Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Environmental Classics -- Literature that Endures

The 45th Anniversary of Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22 this year. Readers who have yet to delve into the works of Thoreau, Leopold and Carson may find an opportunity to absorb these important works of non-fiction as we reflect upon our human relationship with Mother Earth.

Henry David Thoreau's Walden was published in 1854. It is more-or-less a diary of the two years he spent on 62-acres near Walden's Pond, Massachusetts. It is reflective (man's place in the world; solitude) and observational. Many credit his book with launching the modern conservation movement.

Aldo Leopold was a forester, ecologist and author. His book, A Sand County Almanac, was published in 1949. It is a accumulation of his notes and observations about the seasonal changes on the Wisconsin farm where he lived. His writings helped spread the idea of a "land ethic" and spurred the study of ecology.

Rachael Carson's more recent book, Silent Spring, was published in 1962 and is credited with helping reverse the use of dangerous chemicals in our environment, plus the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Some of these writings served me well in developing plot and setting in my own novels, particularly Ransomed Earth: An Eco-Thriller. Good reading to all .... Happy Earth Day!!!