Silver Spring, Md. – The Rodale Institute® in Pennsylvania received The Rachel Carson Council’s Sense of Science Award on May 27.
Dr. Paul Hepperly and his research team determined that soils in organic production actually scrub the atmosphere of global warming gases by capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it into soil organic matter. The research is based on The Rodale Institute’s 23-year Farming Systems Trial®, the world’s longest running comparison of organic and non- organic “conventional” farming. The trial was the first to differentiate organic compared to conventional agriculture approaches for the ability to serve as carbon “sinks.”
“Organic farming is a powerful new tool in the global warming arsenal,” said Anthony Rodale, chairman of The Rodale Institute®, which is based in Kutztown, Pa. “It puts agriculture into a lead role – in regenerating the environment.”
Rachel Carson gave birth to the modern environmental movement in 1962 with her seminal work Silent Spring, a scientifically critical look at the effects of insecticides and pesticides on songbird populations throughout the United States.
“Dr. Hepperly’s research follows admirably in the footsteps of Rachel Carson, who saw scientists as serving both humanity and nature,” stated Dr. Diana Post, executive director of The Rachel Carson Council.
Since 1965, The Rachel Carson Council has followed the work of the late scientist and author Rachel Carson by compiling data on health and environmental effects of pesticides and serving as a resource to the public and scientific community.
“I have long admired the work of Rachel Carson. In her lifetime, organic agriculture was still considered a fringe movement,” Hepperly explained. “This award shows the dramatic shift in public perception in relation to organic agriculture and the food system. Organic agriculture is moving mainstream!”