Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Obligation to Endure


The Obligation to Endure

Today is World Environment Day 2012 and I am sitting down to read Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' which was first published in 1962. Her words are still resoundingly relevant to today's environmental challenges. 

In Chapter 2, 'Obligation to Endure' Rachel says: 
"The history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. To a large extent, the physical form and the habits of the earth's vegetation and its animal life have been moulded by the environment. Considering the whole span of earthly time, the opposite effect, in whcih life actually modified its surroundings, has been relatively slight. Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species - man - acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world". 

We continue to grapple with the disturbing magnitude of this power to this day - and it will be challenge that ultimately makes or breaks us as a species on this planet, able to live on and sustain not only ourselves but the life and environment around us. 

"The rapidity of change and the speed with which new situations are created follow the impetuous and heedless pace of man rather than the deliberate pace of nature". 

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