by Conor Mark Jameson
Rachel Carson is said to have sparked the modern day environmental movement with the publication of Silent Spring in 1962. She made vivid the gloomy prospect of life without birdsong. But have her warnings been heeded?
Fifty years on, Conor Jameson reflects on the growth of environmentalism since Silent Spring. Using a particular style of nature writing that could be dubbed 'biogumentary', with its engaging narrative momentum, this revealing tale plots milestone events in conservation and cultural/political history to evoke the five decades since 'zero hour', 1962.
Around this, Conor weaves touching personal observation and two decades of notes from his own roles in conservation. It is an attempt to answer the fundamental question: are we silencing the spring? "It's been an eye-opening exploration of the recent past," says the author. "It has been startling in places, for me and for colleagues I've spoken to. I think others may be a little startled too."