“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.” —Rachel Carson, speech accepting the John Burroughs medal
The healthiest communities enjoy the right to clean air, land, water, food, and energy. This means that they are free from exposure to nuclear testing, pesticides, toxic chemicals, and hazardous wastes. In the last four decades, the failure to regulate and deconcentrate toxic substances has put human health and reproductive justice in jeopardy. As we know from reports like Toxic Waste and Race at 20, the concentration of waste disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. In light of our current ecological transition, the Rachel Carson Council believes it is important to deepen relationships with our partner grassroots organizations to ensure that everyone has the right to environmental justice, articulated by the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network as “the right to a safe, healthy, productive, and sustainable environment…where ‘environment’ is considered in its totality to include the ecological (biological), physical (natural and built), social, political, aesthetic, and economic environments.”
Our work with our allies in the Smart on Pesticides coalition in Maryland — beekeepers, environmentalists, health professionals and ordinary citizens — has passed the Pollinator Protection Act (PPA). It will give hope and be a model across the nation for what informed, active citizens can achieve facing opposition from chemical companies and entrenched interests. And it is a vital step to help preserve our precious pollinators.