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Silent Spring A Book Review!

1300 words - 5 pages

"Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson is a passionate and scientific look at the harsh reality of the effects of chemical pest controllers otherwise known as pesticides. Released in 1962, this piece of Carson's writing history would become the founder of the modern environmentalism and start a social movement that is still in existence today and very much a part of our daily lives. Carson not only reveals the deadly truths about the use of pesticides, but also the biological alternatives that are emerging and stand to replace chemical pesticides such as DDT, aldrin and dieldrin. Moreover, Carson sets out to show us how the natural world is a delicate balance and how man strives to conquer it. She maps how the environment is interconnected in a way that keeps our world sustainable for continuous life. Carson also dramatically writes about some of the dramatic effects that pesticides have had on the human and non-human population both scientifically and emotionally from her love of the environment.In the opening essay by Linda Lear, she states "Like the rest of nature, we are vulnerable to pesticides; we too are vulnerable. All forms of life are more alike than different". In many ways, "Silent Spring" was Carson's way of saying just that: Inflicting harm on one species inevitably has a negative effect on another species and the environment as a whole. Carson tells us that nature is a delicate balance. As she proves in the first several chapters of her book, the soil, water, and plant world all work together to maintain this balance. For millions of years, the world stood ever-changing as it adapted to it's natural environment. The appearance of man brought a species that at one time respected and honored nature as a "God"-like object. As Hunters and Gatherers, we took from nature what we needed and then moved on, giving it time to heal and replace itself. However, as Carson says, since the "Industrial Revolution" we have now developed the power to ultimately destroy ourselves. Through our attempts to master the environment Carson says "For the first time in the history of the world every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals from the moment of conception until death". In every part of our daily lives, everyone is now at constant contact with chemicals from the time we brush our teeth with toothpastes containing hydroxide until we sleep in our blankets sometimes made of chemical fibres. Chemicals from pesticides have been recovered from most major river systems according to Carson and flow unseen through the earth in the form of groundwater. As Carson says in Chapter 4 "It is not possible to add pesticides to water anywhere without threatening the purity of water everywhere". The universal establishment of chemicals in products has made our lives dependent upon then and the effects themselves also universal.These dramatic statements were not readily accepted by the industrial world. It ruffled the feathers of the chemical and...

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