In an essay first published in July 1956 in Woman's Home Companion, under the title “Help Your Child to Wonder”, Rachel Carson argued that every child needs at least one adult with whom to share the earliest experiences of the natural world, She calls for a sharing of the experience with the child, for using our senses and emotions with the child, avoiding the temptation to teach. This is not just a pleasant way to pass the time in caring for a young child. Towards the end of the essay Carson asks:
“What is the value of preserving and strengthening this sense of awe, this recognition of something beyond the boundaries of human existence? Is the exploration of the natural world just a pleasant way to pass the golden hours of childhood or is there something deeper? “I am sure there is something much deeper, something lasting and significant. Those who dwell as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living. Those who contemplate the beautu of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter.” (Carson 1965, p88-9).
After her death, in 1964, the article was published in book form, illustrated according to RC's wishes. (See Rachel Carson, (1965) The Sense of Wonder, Harper and Row.) In the article, RC hopes there might be a good fairy to give each child “a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last through life”. Later, in Silent Spring, (1962) she documented exactly how humanity is poisoning every living creature on earth, including its own children.
Writing over a quarter of a century after the massive public debate which followed the publication of Silent Spring, Patricia Hynes was moved by looking at “so much death” to write The Recurring Silent Spring. She expressed her shock at
“ … the kill-potential of technology and the many ‘silent springs’ throughout the planet; my anger at living in a world in which nature and women are presumed to exist for the use and convenience of men, so that the destruction of nature and violence against women are interconnected, increasingly technologized, and infect all corners of the earth.” (Hynes 1989, p2)
The work of Rachel Carson, and other women scientists, journalists and academics circulated in the 'green', anti-war, women's movement of the late decades of the 20th century, but were airbrushed out of mainstream press, media and education. Works like that of Pat Spallone's Beyond Conception explored "the destruction of nature and the violence against women". But they were silenced, simply ignored, so that individual women and their families had no forum through which to express their concerns. RC researched and explained graphically the effects agri-business chemicals and processes upon the land, the rivers and the seas. Meanwhile, throughout the 20th century, unreported and un-noticed, research and development of medical procedures and pharmaceutical products (IVF), Information Technology (5G, IT, AI) and so on continued apace. Midwives, and their traditional expertise, have been systematically forced to comply with un-natural regulations or face exclusion from employment, so that, on Monday April 2, 2022 the Daily Mail carries an attack on the Natural Childbirth Trust as being the cause of "unnecessary deaths" of mothers and babies. Such little public debate as has taken place has been conducted by the only people who know what is going on in the fields of Big Pharma debate, and that is the scientists, journalists and academics who have been, or still are being, paid by the corporations who conduct the research. (See eg the Warnock Report to The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) 1980s)
There is, to date, no unbiased public forum in a position to conduct a free, impartial, urgently needed ethical debate in this highly emotive territory. The control over the human body and the health of the planet are matters that affect each and every one of us. For far too long we have allowed the profit motive to reign supreme, so that Forster's Machine looms large on the horizon.