Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and a seminal figure for the modern environmental movement, would have turned one hundred this past Sunday. "Carson's book altered the nature of environmentalism," is how the Washington Post described her legacy. "Previously, it had been mainly about preserving and appreciating parks and other beautiful places. But Carson's message was that all of nature should be protected, for its own sake and because people eventually would suffer if it was degraded."
"What she said was, the Earth itself needs an advocate," said Patricia M. DeMarco, Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association.
But when Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland â€“ where Carson was a longtime resident â€“ tried to honor her with a Senate resolution it was blocked by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. "Rachel Carson has been an inspiration to a generation of environmentalists, scientists and biologists who made a difference and changed the irresponsible use of pesticides," Cardin said. "Honoring her 100th birthday should not be controversial. I wanted to share that with our country."