Republicans Block Resolution Honoring Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson"s work is credited with launching the modern environmental movement.© US Fish & Wildlife

The late Rachel Carson wrote the influential 1962 book Silent Spring that detailed how pesticides like DDT were wiping out America’s birds. Her far-reaching influence gave birth to the modern environmental movement. But does that make Carson a national hero?

U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, had intended to submit a resolution celebrating Carson for her "legacy of scientific rigor coupled with poetic sensibility" on the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the author’s birth.

But when word of the resolution made it across the aisle, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn announced he would use Senate rules to block it. Coburn staffers told reporters that Carson’s warnings about environmental damage have put a stigma on potentially life-saving pesticides, and as such has done more harm than good, especially in developing countries where insect-borne diseases still wreak havoc on human populations.

As a result of Coburn’s opposition, Cardin pulled the resolution, and is reportedly considering whether or not to submit it at a future date. It’s unclear if Cardin can muster enough support to override Coburn’s opposition. But many consider it an embarrassment that there is controversy over a routine bill honoring one of environmentalism’s early heroes.

Source: Washington Post