Last week, public television aired a documentary about the life of Rachel Carson. Carson’s biography offers two lessons for our troubled times. The first is persistence in the face of adversity. Each time Carson was poised on the brink of success, a crisis would set her back — she had to provide for her family rather than further her studies, her first book was published on the eve of World War II, metastatic cancer ravaged her body as she wrote “Silent Spring.”

Yet Carson pushed through these roadblocks, publishing three works of enduring beauty and one of the most influential books of our time. As we see the progressive gains of the last half-century face attack from the president and Congress, we can take strength from Carson, and follow her example to not give up or give in, and keep fighting for what is right.

The second lesson is the importance of regulation. Prior to the publication of “Silent Spring” in 1962, the public viewed chemical technology as positive, the government served in a promotional role, and industry distributed poisons into every aspect of daily life. “Silent Spring” woke the public up to the dangers to human health and the natural world that unfettered distribution of chemicals posed. This awakening established government in the role of regulator, charged with protecting humans and the environment.

Today corporations that profit off of fossil fuels, chemicals, drugs, food, tobacco, and consumer products, along with Republicans in Congress and the White House as well a segment of the public that has been duped into believing that regulations exist to stymie “freedom” are clamoring to erase consumer and environmental protections.

But I believe that the public will stay woke and will not allow a repeal of our clean air, water, land, and safey.

Andrea Lani

Whitefield