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Rachel Carson: Change Agent
Transcript of Rachel Carson: Change Agent
Sparking a Movement
Earth Day, 1970
Rachel compiles all of her research into a book, Silent Spring. This sparks off the environmental movement in the US.
Rachel didn't say that all pesticides should be made illegal. She posed that people should use dangerous chemicals carefully and responsibly. She wanted people to be aware that these substances impacted whole ecosystems.
Pesticides are chemicals that are used to kill insects, bugs and fungi. One of the most harmful chemicals being used in the 1940s and 1950s was called DDT.
DDT is a chemical that was first discovered in the 1890s, but only started to be used to control insects in the 1930s. Scientists found that it leads to deformations in the shells of birds like eagles, causing them to die. Eagles were getting poisoned by eating the fish that lived in water polluted by DDT. This chemical is also thought to cause cancer in humans. in 1972, DDT was made illegal in the US.
Earth Day 1970 was a major event for the environmental movement. Thousands of people showed up in support of protecting the environment.
April 14, 1964
May 27, 1907
Rachel Carson dies of breast cancer. She was 57.
Rachel was born in Pennsylvania
DDT is banned from USA.
Graduates university with a degree in Biology. Becomes a marine biologist.
Who is Rachel Carson?
Environmental Protection Agency
Changing the way Americans viewed the Environment.
This picture is of a man spraying an alley way with DDT, a chemical that was eventually banned by the US government.
This picture shows a farmer watching as his crops are sprayed with pesticides.
The Environmental Protection Agency (also known as the EPA) was created in 1970 by president Richard Nixon, in response to concerns raised about the environment. Before 1970, there were very few federal laws about protecting the ecosystems. This agency has the job of protecting humans and the environment from harmful things such as pollution, chemicals, deforestation, etc.
Born on May 27, 1907, Rachel Carson was a biologist who is best known for her career as a conservationist. A conservationist is someone who works hard to preserve and protect nature and wildlife. She inspired the United States to pass laws banning people from using harmful pesticides. Her actions led the US to develop the Environmental Protection Agency, which helps protect the natural resources of the country. Rachel Carson changed the way Americans viewed the environment.
Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring inspired people to get involved in protecting their environment. There were many people who gathered to protest the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides. They were so successful, the US government created an agency to protect the natural diversity of the land as well as to keep humans safe from pesticide poisoning.
This is Rachel Carson in her laboratory in the late 1940s. Her observations about how chemicals were affecting ecosystems led to a revolution in the way people saw the environment.
As part of Earth Day, this person wears a gas mask as a statement about how people were poisoning the environment through the use of toxic pesticides.
Rachel publishes her first book,
Under the Sea.
Publishes 2nd book, The Sea Around Us
Rachel publishes Silent Spring in the New Yorker Magazine.
June 3, 1963
Rachel testifies in front of the US congress about the dangers of pesticide.
Earth Day, 1970
Millions of people demonstrate in parks around the United States in hopes of protecting the earth.
In 1964, Rachel Carson died at the age of 57 of breast cancer. She died before she saw the impact of her hard work. Even today, across the world, we see the product of the environmental awareness she inspired in millions of Americans in the 1960's.
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