Her Paradigm Shift
Takes a new look at life and relationships in the home, in the office and in the world.
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To Enlighten, Inspire, and Empower
by Susan Brauer
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Silent Spring

“You’ll never guess what I just saw… a bald eagle swooping down and flying close to the water. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful!” My youngest son, Joseph, had called his mom Susan Brauerand dad to share the moment with him. This was the first time that he had seen one and I envied him. I’ve never seen one but now I know I will. It’s like a dream come true. They are finally coming back!

When I’d first heard about the bald eagles plight, I was fifteen years old. Rachel Carson had written a controversial book called “Silent Spring” in 1962, outlining university studies which linked the dramatic impact of DDT on all life from birds to human beings. Within a year after the book’shttp://www.islandbreath.org release the American bald eagle count had fallen to a meager 400 nesting pairs due to the widespread use of DDT; a shameful condition for the national symbol of the United States, its freedom and its liberty. And it was then that I concluded with great sadness, that I would never see a bald eagle fly free.

And then the world changed. Because one woman had the courage to go against the convictions of the existing power structure, armed with the truth, she changed the course of history. Despite her work and credibility as a scientist coming under attack by the pesticide industry and others, her fact-based, professional testimony before Congress was the catalyst for the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and remarkable things followed.

In 1972 DDT was banned in the United States and the bald eagle was placed on the endangered species list. At the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants the use of DDT for agriculture was banned worldwide. Forty-five years after the publication of “Silent Spring”, the bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list with a reported 10,000 nested pairs within the lower 48 states.

I remember my reaction last spring, to the news of a nesting pair of bald eagles in Palos Township, less than two miles from my home… total disbelief. The closest that I had come to seeing an eagle fly in the last fifty years had been a disappointing trip to Baraboo, Wisconsin when it was rumored that bald eagles were nesting beside a riverbank. All I’d seen on that trip was a dry riverbed and a bill from the local bed and breakfast.

The Palos sighting was near Tampier Slough and people came to catch a glimpse of the miracle, parking their cars along the forest preserve road. The six foot nest was in a tree at the edge of a large slough, far from prying eyes. Even with binoculars, the birds were at most times, impossible to see. But just knowing that they were there warmed my heart.

Then a few days ago, the phone call came from Joseph watching the wondrous eagle swooping down over a pond less than a few miles away, and I knew that it is just a matter of time for me…

And so the story ends, right? Well, no.

From my sons, to my grandchildren, to the fifty year old librarian at the local public library, when recently asked, they didn’t know the name “Rachel Carson” or the book “Silent Spring”. The empowered woman environmentalist and scientist whose valiant fight for the American bald eagle and much, much more, didn’t ring a bell.

So this is my “note in a bottle” with the hope the current of the internet will carry the message within to all minds who reach out to it; one woman, against all odds, changed the world. For if we do not have knowledge of the past we are destined to repeat history, and I for one do not want to wake up to a silent spring.

Tags: bald eagle, Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, birds, American bald eagle, national symbol, pesticide, banned, endangered species, 2001 Stockholm Convention, Persistent Organic Pollutants, Palos Township, Baraboo, Wisconsin, Tampier Slough, | Category: Her Paradigm Shift, empowerment, women

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Contact: Susan O. Brauer
c/o Dreamers Tapestry, Inc.
P.O. Box 207
Palos Park, IL. 60464  
Email: susan@dreamerstapestry.com
ph:  708.361.8017

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