Nr. 13 - SILENT SPRING 2018, MAT

40 x 60 x 50 cm: paper, wood, iron

In 1962, Rachel Carson, a US scientist and writer, publishes her one but last book: “Silent Spring”. She writes about the indiscriminate effects that pesticides and other man-made chemicals have on nature: land, forests, rivers, birds, children, ...  “Here in our village the elm trees have been sprayed for several years. When we moved here six years ago, there was a wealth of bird life. I put up a feeder and had a steady stream of cardinals, chickadees, downies and nuthatches all winter, and the cardinals and chickadees brought there young ones in the summer. After several years of DDT spray, the town is almost devoid of robins and starlings; chickadees have not been on my shelf for years, and this year the cardinals are gone too; the nesting population in the neighbourhood seems to consist of one dove pair and perhaps one catbird family.” (Rachel Carson)

Carson's book brings the ideas from ecology into mainstream public thinking. Ecology is the scientific discipline that studies the interconnectedness between organisms and their environment. It is a discipline that is bringing together rather than it is separating (see Cat. Nr. 12Cat. Nr. 28, Cat. Nr. 47)

Carson however spoused the romantic idea of a nature the is present  timelessly outside humans. As such she did promoted the nature / man division.  Environmentalism in 20th century took that view. It led to the critique by the right-wing that environmentalists did not care for people, just for nature. ("Carson killed more people than Hitler because of avoiding pesticides" ....)

Environmentalism in 21st century sees nature and humans, nature and culture, as one. We have to live and work with nature in a way that we both can flourish; we are nature.

The last book of Rachel Carson is: ”The Sense of Wonder”