chapter  8
20 Pages

A Call to Action: Silent Spring, Public Disclosure, and the Rise of Modern Environmentalism

Several months a er the publication of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson praised the public response to her best-selling book in a speech to the Garden Club of America.1 She commended not only the increased awareness about the dangers of pesticides and the government’s heightened attention to address these hazards, but also the growing tendency among the public to demand access to information and to insist on change. Referring to the public response to Silent Spring, she stated:

e most hopeful sign is an awakening of strong public interest and concern. People are beginning to ask questions and to insist upon proper answers instead of meekly acquiescing in whatever spraying programs are proposed.2