Classics (Biology Today)
The American Biology Teacher 2010, Nov-Dec, 72, 9
The American Biology Teacher
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Last April 23 was the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. Some attention was paid to a book that was a catalyst for the environmental movement, which was emerging at the time and spurred the creation of Earth Day The book is, of course, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in 1962. Her vivid descriptions of the effect of DDT on songbird populations led to an increased awareness of environmental issues in general, and ultimately to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, also in 1970. The prominence of Silent Spring has tended to put Carson's other writings into the shadows, but Under the Sea-Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951), and The Edge of the Sea (1955) are all worth reading, and they did a great deal to inspire research on underwater life. While it is a fictional example, I feel compelled to mention one of my favorite novels, The Highest Tide, by Jim Lynch (2005). It's about an adolescent living on the Washington state coast and moved by The Edge of the Sea to study the ocean life he finds there. It has absolutely everything a biologist would want in a novel: romance, adventure, species names, poignancy, and humor. Obviously, Silent Spring wasn't the only trigger for the environmental movement. As with any large-scale social change, there were many factors involved, including the whole social ferment of the time, with everything, including how we use the natural world around us, being called into question. In addition, there was the increasing evidence of the effects of pollution, and the example of how London, a city that had been choked by deadly fogs, had made real progress in improving air quality. There were also other books besides Silent Spring that were influential, including A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, which was published in 1949. This is a deceptively simple book that begins with short essays on observations Leopold made around his farm in Salk County, Wisconsin. In the second part, he digs into some environmental problems, drawn from his experiences not only in Wisconsin but in the Southwest, where he worked for a number of years in the U.S. Forest Service. It was out west that he developed his awareness of the complexities of ecological webs and the unanticipated consequences of human interference in them. These are the ideas that he later brought to his teaching of wildlife management at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and that he presents more fully, and with more theoretical grounding, in the last third of his book. There he lays out moral arguments for the necessity of husbanding lands and the organisms living there.
- 2,99 €
- Kategorie: Biowissenschaften
- Erschienen: 01.11.2010
- Verlag: National Association of Biology Teachers
- Druckseiten: 17 Seiten
- Sprache: Englisch