"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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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

US 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

Opinion: Spring Eternal

After years of false prospects on climate change breakthroughs, seven reasons for new hope.

1) The numbers on wind and solar are finally beginning to add up impressively.

2) Non-Usual suspects are taking up the discussion

3) Global carbon emissions flatlined in 2014.

4) The embarassments for hardcore deniers are beginning to add up.

5) Beyon a few celebrated columnists, other media are now wide awake.

6) Divestment is showing a few big wins and beginning to work.

7) Some U.S. political operatives are getting louder about Republican climate denial being a dead end.

...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

President Obama Orders Cuts in Federal Greenhouse Emissions

President Obama signed an Executive Order to cut the Federal Government's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% from 2008 levels, saving taxpayers $18 billion in energy costs ...more

We're Finding Out What's in Fracking Wastewater, and it Ain't Pretty

California is often a green leader but better is not the same as flawless. California is doing a better job of regulating fracking than any other state, but local activists would rather they just ban it like New York has.

The federal government doesn't require fracking companies to disclose the chemicals they use in their opertions, and it has failed to produce data on the safety of fracking. The good news is that California;s aquifers used for drinking water have not been contaminated by fracking wastewater — at least not that we know of yet ...Full article

The Right Warms Up to Climate Change

Conservatives are definitely moving in the direction of endorsing climate change. Just don't ask them to blame humans yet.

Four years ago Richard Muller, a UC-Berkeley physics professor, began releasing the results of a sweeping 2-year climate study. It confirmed what the overwhelming majority of other climate studies has also found: that the earth was warming and humans were almost entirely responsible. What set Muller's study apart was that prior to the release of the study, he had been known as a leading climate-change skeptic ...Full article

City Beautiful

When we say infrastructure, we're talking not just about bridge, freeways, and sewer lines but the entire suite of townscape and building that makes up the human habitat, especially the public realm, where our culture expresses itself in feats of architecture.

Americans once did a spectuacular job of honoring their own public life by endowing public space with beauty and grace. This was especially true at the turn of the previous century when a young president, Theodore Roosevelt stepped onto center stage in the theater of geopolitics ...Full article

Mercury Pollution Threat to Artic Bird

Mercury pollution has risen nearly 50-fold in the feathers of the endangered Ivory gull over the past 130 years, say scientists. Mercury levels are going up in other Arctic birds, fish and mammals due to atmospheric pollution. Mercury in the atmosphere comes from natural sources such as volcanoes, as well as human activities such as coal burning. Air currents can transport mercury to the Arctic from mid-latitudes in just a few days ...Full article

The Melting of Antarctica Was Already Really Bad. It just got worse.

A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabiized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise.

Americans should take note—when the bottom of the world loses vast amounts of ice, those of us living closer to its top get more sea level rise than the rest of the planet, thanks to the law of gravity ...Full article

Construction Begins on Solar Farm at Elon University's Loy Farm

An array of solar panels on university property will generate nearly 3 megawatts of electricity.

Work is underway on a 15-acre solar farm at the Loy Farm area of Elon University. The solar farm is being developed by Suntuity, a NJ based company that focuses on large-scale solar power projects around the world, including 10 in the US ...Full article

Fukushima Radiation Found in Sample of Green Tea from Japan

According to the New York Times, a sample of powdered tea imported from the Japanese prefecture of Chiba, just southeast of Tokyo, contained traces of radioactive cesium 137.

300 tons of radioactive water have been pouring into the Pacific every day. According to scientific sources, more than 30 times as much radioactive Cesium was released at Fukushima as was created at the bombing of Hiroshima ...Full article

Lawsuit Launched Over US EPS's Approval of a New Pesticide

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety and the Defenders of Wildlife sent a formal notice of intent to sue the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy claiming that by approving the insecticide flupyradifurone the agency is in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Approved as an alternative to neonicitinoids, flurpyradifurone is registered for a number of crops including citrus, cotton and potatoes. While most pesticides stay on the surface of plants, flupyradifurone, like neonicitinoids, works by infiltrating all plant tissues ...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

Toxic Manure Lagoons Spark Battle Over Chinese-owned Pigs in the US

Attorneys for the Chinese company that now owns America's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, have asked a federal judge to forbid people who live near pig manure lagoons on their farms from mentioning the new Chinese owners - or the country of China or pork exports to China - in court ...Full article

Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Ends on March 16

14 months after the world watched in astonishment as poorly regulated coal-washing chemicals contaminated the Elk River in West Virginia, coal country residents and supporters are gearing up for an epic showdown on March 16 with the state's Department of Environmental Protection—and the US Congress—over the mounting death toll and health crisis from mountaintop removal strip mining ...Full article

College Town Cuts Ties With TransCanada Over Keystone XL, Plans to go 100% Renewable

The battle over building the Keystone XL ppipelline is having an impart far from its proposed route. One of those places is the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to Harvard University and MIT.

the city currently purchased the electricity that powers its municiple buildings from TansCanada, Keystone XL's parent company. But now it city council has passed a unanimous resolution advising city manager Richard Rossi not to do business witht the company once its current contract expires at the end of 2015 ...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

Fukushima's 4th Anniversary Brings Hope Amidst Radioactive Ruins as Renewable Energy Revolution Soars

The catastrophe that began at Fukushima four years ago today is worse than ever. But the good news can ultimately transcend the bad-if we make it so. An angry grassroots movement has kept shut all 54 reactors that once operated in Japan. It's the largest on-going nuke closure in history. Big industrial windmills installed off the Fukushima coast are now thriving ...Full article

Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists

A network of pundits and scientists is consulted about stopping release of "Merchants of Doubt," a documentary film that exposes their work.

In the months before the debut of the new documentary film "Merchants of Doubt," long-time climate denialist Fred Singer contacted more that two dozen bloggers, public relations specialists and scientists asking for help in derailing the documentary's release ...Full article

Kids Are Smarter Than Senators on Climate Change, and This Poll Proves It!

Every kid forever has dreamt of bossing around a bunch of authoritive grown-ups. On Capital Hill, six teens met with climate-denying GOP senators to school them on elementary-level climate science ...Full article

Fukushima 4 Years On

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Japan. Twenty minutes later, the first in a series of tsunami waves inundated a 1,200 mile swath of Japan's northeastern coast, creating a humanitarian and material disaster. At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site, the initial earthquake toppled the offsite electrical grid system knocking out the supply of offsite AC power to the reactor. This set in motion what we now know as "Fukushima;" like Chernobyl, no longer a place name but synonymous with disaster Download PDF to read more

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

We Are Already Seeing the First Examples of How Climate Change Will Leave Us All Thirsty

Climate change is reshaping the world in a big way. Rising temperatures, melting ice, and suging seas are just a few of the obvious effects that we're already observing. In fact, climate change is threatening one of our planet's most precious and necessary resources: our water ...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

Students Compete to Develop Innovative Ways to Feed Future Cities

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs have been extolled in the U.S. in recent years because American students consistently rank lower in math and science than their counterparts in other developed countries. The nonprofit DiscoverE encourages all students to participate in the Future City Competition ...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

Monsanto's Roundup Ready Crop System Puts Monarch Butterflies at Brink of Extinction

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) released a detailed, 80-page scientific report, Monarch in Peril: Heribide-Resistant Crops and the Decline of Monarch Butterfies in North America. The comprehensive report reveals the severe impacts of herbicide-resistant genetically engineering (GE) crops on the monarch population, which has plummeted over the past 20 years ...Full article

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

Coal Will Say Anything Beach Party video

This funny video is just one of Sierra Club's many "Coal Will Say Anything" series 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

Unexpected Toxics Are Surfacing with Fracking Fluid from Oil and Gas Wells

Researchers find alarming levels of ammonium and iodide in fracking wastewater released into Pennsylvania and West Virginia streams. The toxic substances, which can have a devastating impact on fish, ecosystems, and potentially human health, are extracted from geological formations along with natural gas and oil during both fracking and conventional drilling operations ...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


4 Inspiring Eco-films Featured at One of the World's Best Film Festivals

The Cleveland International Film Festival, now in its 39th year, will showcase more than 193 feature films and 234 short films representing 60 countries.

Films include Racing to Zero, a documentary that provides new solutions to the problem of global waste, A Dangerous Game, which tracks billionaire Donald Trump's plans to build golf courses where they typically wouldn't exist and are environmental calamities, Just Eat It, which dives into the issue of food waste, and many more ...Full article

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

Penguins, George Butler, Cuba and Climate Change: Environmental Film Festival Marks 23 Years in Washington, DC

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Captial, March 17-29, is the largest and longest-running environmental film festival in the country and the largest film festival in Washington, DC. The festival presents over 160 films selected to provide fresh perspectives on a wide variety of environmental issues facing our planet ...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

Oceans Campus Underwater Photography Program
Mossel Bay, South Africa

Looking for summer opportunities? Acquire the knowledge and skills required to mast the art of underwater photography while exploring the incredible diversity of the warm Indian Ocean.

Developed by internationally acclaimed underwater photography, jounalist and convervationist Fiona Ayerst, this course will empower students to see and explore the underwater realm in a totally new and intimate manner using high end DSLR cameras and accesories ...more

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.


Our thanks to our environmental colleagues at Friends of the Earth who were the first t

Looking Ahead... News and Events

03/02/15: RCC President Robert K. Musil's Upcoming Campus Events

RCC President Robert K. Musil's Upcoming Campus Events

March 23-27, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow

April 3, Lecture at University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

April 7-10, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, Elon University, Elon, NC.

12/12/14: RCC President at Furman University

March 23-27, 2015

RCC President Robert K. Musil will be at Furman University in Greenville, SC
for a week-long residency.