This has been an intense period of time for me. Half of my family, virtually everyone on my wife’s side, is recovering from the hurricane damage in Puerto Rico. Two weeks in, they have just gotten running water, but are still without power. Unless you have spent time in the islands, I don’t think you can fathom trying to sleep amidst the intense heat and humidity without so much as a fan to stir the air and nevermind the mosquitos. In most places, the vegetation is stripped bare, so there is no longer even shade from trees. It’s sweltering.
Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring as she was battling cancer. It would become a seminal book on humanity’s misguided propensity to undermine its own well-being through the widespread use of chemical poisons. It would also become recognized as the starting point of the modern environmental movement. It’s no small irony that I had never read it despite having introduced it to countless audiences of introductory environmental science students.