"Knowing what I do, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent... It is, in the deepest sense, a privilege as well as a duty to speak out to many thousands of people..." —Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson

The Rachel Carson Council, an association for the integrity of the environment, founded in 1965, seeks to inform and advise the public about the effects of pesticides that threaten the health, welfare, and survival of living organisms and biological systems. The Council promotes alternative, environmentally benign pest management strategies to encourage healthier, sustainable living. ...more


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Rachel Carson:
What Might Have Been?

by RCC President Dr. Robert K. Musil

Rachel Carson has many nature sites, like the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, North Carolina, named after her. There are schools, organizations, awards, statues, even a postage stamp bearing her image. But Rachel Carson should have been famous even before World War II. Americans might have learned about and been spared the dangers of DDT and other pesticides right at the end of the war, long before Silent Spring rocked the nation in 1962 ...more

Cuomo Adminstration Blocks Massive Tar Sands Oil Facilty Expansion in Albany

In the face of a court challenge from a broad coalition of environmental and community groups and massive community opposition, the Dept. of Environment Conservation halted Global Companies' proposed expansion of its massive Albany oil train facility to handle tar sands oil. The expansion would have allowed Global to pump tar sands oil out of railcars, store and heat it in storage tanks on-site at the Port of Albany, and transfer the oil onto barges for transport down to the Hudson River to East Coast refineries ...Full article

To Fight Bee Decline, President Obama Proposes More Land to Feed Bees

The Obama administration hopes to save bees by feeding them better

A new federal plan aims to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides ...Full article

As Opposition to Offshore Drilling Mounts, Activists to Join "Hands Across the Sand" for Annual International Day of Action

Ocean activists kicked off the 5th Annual Hand Across the Sand International Day of Action, by joining hands in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool in a symbolic gesture to oppose the expansion of offshore drilling to the Atlantic and Arctic oceans ...more

Arctic Ice Melting Faster and Earlier as Scientists Demand Action

Arctic returns to warm period with trend over the decades continuing to show temperatures getting hotter and ice melting faster, scientists say.

According to NOAA scientists, there was less ice in the Arctic this winter than any other winter tracked during the satillite era. The consequences are major and far-reaching ...Full article

Monthly Carbon Dioxide Levels
Hit New Milestone

For 800,000 years before the 20th century, carbon dioxide levels in the earth's atmosphere never exceeded 300 ppm (parts per million). The the Industrial Revolution began, and moder human civilization started burning through millions of years of fossilized carbon in the geological blink of an eye.

Yesterday, NOAA scientists reported that in March 2015 the montly average global carson dioxide level went above 400 ppm for the first time ...Full article

Protesters to Join Hands Against Oil and Coal

North Carolinians will take 15 minutes Saturday to join hands with strangers in a peaceful demonstration against fossil fuels.

The event, known as Hands Across the Sand, will take place in different states and countries around the world.

"What it does is it creates an amazing, powerful image," said Dede Shelton, executive director of Hands Across the Sand. "We send this image to elected officials so they see people won't want this to happen" ...Full article

Audubon's Birds and Climate Change Report

314 Species on the Brink

Shrinking and shifting ranges could imperil nearly half of U.S. birds within this century.

Audubon scientists have used hundreds of thousands of citizen-science observations and sophisticated climate models to predict how birds in the U.S. and Canada will react to climate change. Their work defines the climate conditions birds need to survive, then maps where those conditions will be found in the future as the Earth's climate responds to increased greenhouse gases ...Full article


25 Most and Least Polluted Cities in America

The American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report is out. The report reviews monitoring data on the two most common and harmful types of air pollution—ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot)—and compiles "a report card" telling how much of each type of pollution is in the air where you live ...Full article

Mapping the Dangers of Fracking

It feels like spring only just arrived, but soon it will be the official start of summer. National parks and forests across the country will welcome millions of hikers, campers, photographers and others. People looking to leave home for a whie and enjoy America's natural beauty.

But oil and gas corporations want to visit U.S. public lands for a very different reason: to profit off their oil and gas reserves via fracking ...Full article

Pope Francis Unlikely to Sway Catholic Republicans on Climate Change

As Pope Francis steps up his moral campagin for glboal action on climage change, Republican Roman Catholics in Congress are more likely to listen to fossil fuel interests than their pontiff, religious and political reserchers say, based on lawmakers' track records ...Full article

Inspiring Action on Climate Change and Protecting America's Birds

What can I do? That's the question Audubon hears most frequently when people learn that there may be no Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore or Common Loons in our northern states by the end of the century. After decades of study, scientists have found that if climate change continues on its current trajectory, 314 U.S. and Canadian bird species could lose 50% or more of their current ranges by the year 2080 ...Full article

Four New Universities Join the
Rachel Carson Campus Network

Featured Campus: Elon University

Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, hosted RCC President, Dr. Robert K. Musil, for a week this May as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and has joined the Rachel Carson Council Campus Network.

Over the past decade, under the leadership of President Leo Lambert, Elon has emerged as a leading liberal arts college known for global engagement, student success, sustainability, and the beauty of its campus. Elon has grown rapidly, adding LEED-certified buildings while maintaining classic collegiate architecture ...more

Ocean Assets Valued at $24 Trillion
but Dwindling Fast

A new report highlights the economic value of Earth's marine environments

According to a new WWF report Reviving the Ocean Economy: the case for action—2015, the goods and services from coastal and marine environments amount to about $2.5 trillion each year. That makes the ocean the 7th largest economy in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product ...Full article

Bees May Become Addicted to Nicotine-like Pesticides, Study Finds

Bees have a preference for sugar solutions laced with pesticides, scientists say, as a separate landmark field trial show neonicitinoids harm bee population.

In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists from Newcastle University showed that bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals in much the same way smokers are hooked on tobacco ...Full article

Advocacy Group Offers U.S. Testing for Herbicide Feared Linked to Cancer

An advocacy group seeking a ban on the world's most widely used herbicide said it is launching a U.S. public testing project to gather data on detectable levels of the herbicide in drinking water, human urine and breast milk.

Feed the World, the group behind the effort, is offering test kits that can be ordered for $119 each on its website, feedtheworld.info, and sent to a central laboratory for processing ...Full article

North Carolina Residents Worry Over Tainted Water From Nearby Coal Ash Pond

After state regulators began telling people who live near Duke Energy coal ash ponds that their well water was contiminated, some residents said their worst fears are being confirmed. The State Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that test of 87 private wells near 8 Duke palnts across North Carolina showed results that failed to meet state groundwater standards ...Full article

The Unseen Slaughter Under the Sea

Imagine there's a fence running through the wilderness and that each animal that passes by—deer, bear, bison— is in danger of getting its head stuck in the chain link and starving to death. The happens every day in the world's oceans as lost, abondoned, and derelict fishing gear trap countless numbers of marine animals for years, decases and perhaps even centuries ...Full article

Global Summary Information - March 2015

According to the National Climatic Data Center, March 2015 and first quarter of year warmest on record; Arctic sea ice extent smallest on record for the month of March.

During March, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53ºF above the 20th century average. This surpasses the previous record in 2010 by .09ºF ...Full article

Drought Stricken California Exempts Big Oil and Big Ag From Mandatory Restrictions

An April snowpack assessment in California, which set an all-time record for lowest snowpack levels in the state's history, finally spurred governor Brown's office to issue an executive order to residents and non-agricultural businesses to cut water use by 25% in the first mandatory statewide reduction in the state's history.

Some groups have been exempted from the water restrictions, specifically big agriculture which uses about 80% of Caiifornia's water, and oil companies ...Full article

More Than 70% of U.S. Adults Concerned About Global Climate Change

Survey Touches on Leadership, Household Choices, Pope Francis

A first-of-its-kind survey from the RC Campus Network member school Saint Leo University's Polling Institute shows that 73% of adult Americans responding are concerned about global climate change. 33% reported being very concerned, and 43% said they were somewhat concerned ...more

Study Links Widely Used Pesticides to Antibiotic Resistance

Glyphosate, 2,4-D, and Dicamba found to affect bacteria inways that could promote resistance to common antibiotics.

A study published by the American Society of Microbiology's journal mBio has linked glyphosate and 2 other widely-used herbicides-2,4-D and dicamba-to one of the most pressing public health crises of out time: antibiotic resistance ...Full article

U.S. Coal Sector in 'Structural Decline',
Financial Analysts Say

Over 200 mines shut down and industry loses 76% of its value in 5 years, report finds.

The US coal sector is in a "structural decline" which has sent 26 companies bust in the last 3 years, according to financial analysts.

A report for the Carbon Tracer Initiative found that between 2011 and 2013 at least 264 mines were closed. The world's largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, lost 80% of its share price. These declines were in spite of the Dow Jones industrial average increasing by 69% in the same period ...Full article

New Fracking Rules on Public Lands
'A Giveaway to Oil and Gas Industry,' Advocates Say

The new rules are released following a 4-year process that included more than 1.5 million public comments. The Bureau of Land Management claimed they would "support safe and responsible hydraulic fracking on public and American Indian lands."

Drilling has been occuring on federal lands for years with more than 100,000 wells in existence. However, following the fracking book of the last 2 decades, more than 90% of new drilling operations involve that process, evading the regulations of 30 years ago ...Full article

Health Agency Says Widely Used Herbicide Likely Carcinogenic

Herbicide, glyphosate, is sold by Monsanto under Roundup™ brand. The World Health Organization (WHO) agency recently said that the herbicide widely marketed by Monsanto Co. likely has the potential to cause cancer in humans. Consumer and environmental groups have long warned of health problems that they say could arise from applying the weekiller on farms ...Full article

Don't Drink the Water

In 1991, the EPA Learned That There Were Toxins in a Mountain Stream. But Nobody Told the Family That Owned the Property

Terry Rice lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, about 10 miles outside of Asheville, in a cabin his grandfather build by hand. The Rices drew their regular water supply from a spring just a few hundred yards behind the cabin.

In 1999, a visiting friend volunteered to clean out the spring. He was shocked when he climed down to the water and saw dead plants and an oily liquid near the surface and a diesel-like odor ...Full article

Better Air Quality Helps Lungs Grow, Science Shows For the First Time

A groundbreaking new study has found that long-term improvements in air quality are associated with better respiratory function in children during critical growth years. The study, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, looked at lung development in children ages 11 to 15 in Southern California over the course of the last two decades as air pollution controls significantly improved air quality. It is the first time that researchers have shown that better air quality leads to the direct improvement of lung development in children ...Full article

Climate Change Can Skew Fish Gender Ratios

Scientists find that zebrafish exposed to hormone-disrupting chemical pollution produce abnormal numbers of male offspring, especially in increasingly warmer water. LONDON - Climate change seems to make everything worse - at least for some wild creatures. British scientists have just confirmed that higher temperatures could amplify the impact of hormone-disrupting chemicals that already pollute the environment. The world's waterways are full of industrial pollutants with potentially damaging effects. They include industrial agents, the waste products of birth-control pills, herbicides, pharmaceuticals and even the residues of illegal narcotics. Altogether, more than 800 chemicals have been identified as having some hormone-disrupting capacity ...Full article

Wright Brothers, Lindbergh, Earhart Here We Come!

When Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first sustained, powered heavier-than-air flight at the turn of the 20th century, few people who wwren't science fiction enthusiasts envisioned that their small craft was the precursor of a major mode of internatinal transportion.

So it's best not to scoff at Solar Impulse, a solar-powered airplane able to sustain flight at night with a pilot on board. The company is about to launch it on a round-the-world flight to demonstrate its capacity and draw attention to the potential of solar-powered flight ...Full article

Miami is Already Sinking Under Rising Sea Levels

You don't have to look 85 years into the future to see what a sinking world looks like — you only need to look as far as Miami ...Full article

Pig Poop Fouling North Carolina Streams

Streams near large factory pig farms have high levels of bacteria. Health groups are raising a stink.

Few people know the pig business like North Carolina's Don Webb.

Webb raised pigs in Wilson County, North Carolina, until, in the late '70s, residents told him the smell near his farms was unbearable. He tried some solutions. They didn't work ...more

Chesapeake Bay Recovering But Still Under Stress, Report Finds

(Reuters) the ailing Chesapeake Bay is slowly recovering from pollution and overfishing but still has problems that include a drop by half in a key segment of the blue crab population, a report on the largest U.S. estuary said. The health snapshot from the Chesapeake Bay Program said the 64,000-square-mile watershed covering 6 states and the District of Columbia was threatened by rising sea levels, warmer water and urban development ...Full article

Rachel Carson on Campus Update

Have you ever wondered how sustainable your food on campus is? Sustainability Graduate Assistant, Christine Lacayo, with Students for Sustainability (SFS) and Topper TV at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas go behind the scenes to get a better view of what striving for sustainability is all about at Bon Appétit Management Company ...Watch video

U.S. Interior Department Plan: Open Atlantic Coast to Offshore Drilling

The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's new five-year offshore drilling strategy calls for opening the offshore stretch from Virginia to Georgia, an area the energy industry says could hold large amounts of oil and gas.

The Obama administration proposes an unprecedented opening of the waters off the Atlantic coast for oil and natural gas drilling, even as it put vast areas in the Arctic off-limits.

Environmentalists and people who live on the coast fear a potential oil spill that could threaten the beaches that are the centerpiece of the tourism industry ...Full article

Humans Are Damaging the High Seas — Now the Oceans Are Doing Harm Back

About 3 billion people live within 100 miles of the sea, a number that could double in the next decade. It has long been clear that people are damaging the oceans — witness the melting of the Arctic ice in summer, the spread of oxygen-starved dead zones and the death of coral reefs. Now, the consequences of that damage are starting to be felt onshore ...Full article

The Buzz on Bees

Approximately one third of all the food Americans eat is directly or indirectly derived from honey bee pollination.

There are nearly 20,000 species of bees living on every continent except Antarctica.

Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water.

A queen bee can lay up to 3,000 eggs per day.

A worker bee in their short lifetime will fly the equivalent of 1 1/2 times the circumference of the earth? ...More on bees

NEW FILM SCREENINGS AND MORE!!

And the Winner is...

The winners of this year's best Sustainable Food and Farming Short Film competition have been announced. Out of 175 submissions there were 10 winners announced. All under 4 minutes in length, the winning films are diverse in style, perspective and place ...more

Why should you buy Rainforest Alliance certified products?

Because they help cocoa farmes like Adrian improve their wages and take care of their local environment. A film that put a face to cocoa farmers

Environmental Photographer Competition
Check out these mesmerizing pictures from the Environmental Photographer Competition exposing climate change issues around the world! …more

Our Food Supply is Being Threatened by Alarming Rates
of Honeybee Deaths

1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat is dependent on our honeybees!

As a member of the Smart on Pesticides Coalition, RCC is working to protect Marylanders and the natural systems we depend upon from the toxic impacts of pesticides. Honeybees are dying at alarming rate around the world; Maryland beekeepers have been losing approximately 30% of their hives every year for the past decade. Scientists believe neonicitinoid pesticides are partly to blame. Tell Maryland elected officials that you support restricting the use of pesticides known to kill and harm bees and wildlife! ...Full article and petition

You can help with the birds and the bees! Help update our new organic landscaping map!

Find bee, butterfly and bird friendly landscape and garden supplies here. Just click on our new map of nursery and garden supplies stores and centers to find them. Then you can help by sending information about bee-friendly and organic centers near you directly to the Rachel Carson Council (RCC) so we can share them with our members, supporters and friends around the country! Send us an email or call 301-214-2400 with your information.

Looking Ahead... News and Events

05/21/15: Rachel Carson Council President Events

RCC President Upcoming Events

RCC President Dr. Robert K. Musil will be lecturing and book signing in the following locations:

  • Montgomery Mall, Bethesda, MD
  • The Woodrow Wilson House, Washington, DC
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV
  • St. Vincent College, Latrobe, PA
  • Baltimore Bird Club, Baltimore, MD
[More]

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