Rachel Carson’s Legacy Lives on through “Silent Snow” at Greenbuild Film Festival | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more

Rachel Carson’s Legacy Lives on through “Silent Snow” at Greenbuild Film Festival

Published on Written by Jan van den Berg , Jan van den Berg Posted in Industry
Photo credit: "Silent Snow"

Join us at the Greenbuild Film Festival to view “Silent Snow.”

Last month marked 50 years since marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson released “Silent Spring” an unsettling insight in to how our environment has become increasingly polluted by the use of pesticides like DDT.

"The choice, after all, is ours to make,” Carson stated. “If, having endured much, we have at last asserted our 'right to know,' and if, knowing, we have concluded that we are being asked to take senseless and frightening risks, then we should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals; we should look about and see what other course is open to us.”

That was 1962. Today, little has changed, unfortunately, and the results of years and years of pesticides in our environment continues to show. In Greenland, for example, where I filmed most of my footage for “Silent Snow,” persistent organic pollutants accumulate and cause serious health problems for the local inhabitants. The pollutants are carried north by ocean currents and the wind. Research has proved that children with high levels of pesticides in their blood have a lower IQ and for adults, they cause fertility problems and cancer.

In Greenland, I met with Papaluk Knudsen-Ostermann, a young Inuit woman who was also worried by the increase of health problems caused by these chemical residues. Together with Pipaluk, we started the “Silent Snow” project: a platform to create awareness of this problem, consisting of two documentaries, a website and educational material for schools. Since the beginning of the project in early 2011, we have traveled to over 35 countries to show “Silent Snow,” and met many activists who lobby for healthier alternatives. In four different countries, educational projects have been started.

The “Silent Snow” project believes that knowledge is the start of improvement. Its goal is to inform as many people as possible on the dangers of pesticide use and start a discussion on how to improve for our future generations. Needles to say, we are delighted to be able to show “Silent Snow” at Greenbuild, where we will have the chance to meet with influential leaders, experts and other professionals in the field of eco-friendly construction. We hope to inspire many and find new ways to create a “cleaner” future.

See you soon in San Francisco!

  • 1
    Jan van den Berg made 1 contribution in the last 6 months

Jan van den Berg

Director / Producer
USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
iOS App on App StoreAndroid app on Google Play
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn
In Industry 02.10.2016

What a PEER-certified grid looks like in Chattanooga

In Industry 02.9.2016

Survey: Share your insights on the design and construction of healthier buildings

In Industry 02.8.2016

Become a LEED Fellow in 2016

In Industry 02.5.2016

LEED Fellow 2016 application guide