After the book was serialized in the New Yorker in , and became a Book-of-the Month Club selection, publicity against DDT was intense, and the chemical companies such as Dupont and American Cyanamid responded. They were on the defensive because of the outcry over the drug thalidomide that had just been proven to cause birth defects. Carson was attacked on the basis of her credentials because she was a marine biologist and not a chemist.
She was called a fanatic. She was slandered by former secretary of agriculture Ezra Taft Benson as a communist, because of her personal life, including her unmarried status.
The chemical companies said she wanted a ban on all pesticides when she specifically denies this stand in the book. She calls for minimum spraying of specific targets will full knowledge of side effects. A congressional review of pesticide dangers cleared her name. Though she received many speaking invitations, Carson was unable to accept because of her illness.
In she appeared on the Today Show and received many awards before her death in Thoreau already saw the wilderness vanishing with the heedless industrialization of the nineteenth century.
With religious zeal, he helped found the National Parks to preserve virgin lands from being destroyed by commercial interests. These naturalists had a certain following, but they were a minority, and often characterized as cultists, a label some tried to put on Rachel Carson. Carson, on the other hand, wrote at a pivotal moment in the s, when the almost unregulated push of industry after World War II was having a devastating impact, not only on the wilderness, but also on the health of ordinary citizens.
She was a naturalist but also a scientist who had worked for the U. Her alarming thesis—that we are poisoning ourselves and the earth—was actually a message ready to be heard by a wider public. It fueled the activism of both the general consumer and a budding environmental movement.
After reading her documented cases of wildlife destruction and human illness from pesticides, it was no longer possible for the thinking public to buy the argument of industry that these practices were the necessary price of progress and science. She inspired the philosophers of the deep ecology movement, such as Gary Snyder, who spoke of an underlying unity in nature that must be respected, and she inspired grassroots movements around the country with citizens rising up to defend their land against spraying.
Carson is also influential among ecofeminists, who see feminist and ecological issues allied the male conquering of nature vs. Environmental Protection Agency in to look out for the specific interests of the environment. In her book she points out that it had largely been governmental agencies, influenced by chemical lobbies, responsible for the mass sprayings.
Carson continued to come under fire for her stand on pesticides, since the opposing argument is that they controlled diseases like malaria, and they controlled pests for greater crop yields, necessary to alleviate world hunger.
The truth is that DDT was never banned for anti-malaria use. Carson pointed out the problem that mosquitoes become resistant to the spraying, so she advised spraying as little as possible until a better solution was found. Although worldwide opinion on DDT and other pesticides has swung largely to the environmental side of the argument, it is still a hot issue among those who claim that insecticides save lives, as in the case of malaria control.
In the World Health Organization started a program to eradicate malaria with DDT, which was highly successful at first until overuse of agricultural DDT led to insect resistance. The early success of DDT for malaria was thus reversed. DDT is called a POP, or persistent organic pollutant, that does not break down quickly in soil or water.
In the s and s, the agricultural use of DDT was banned in most developed countries. It was not banned for disease control. Other pesticides have been used as alternatives to DDT, such as dieldrin, discussed by Carson in her book as even more deadly than DDT.
The danger of insecticides to pregnant and nursing women and fetuses created an international momentum against insecticides.
This protocol was ratified by countries and recognized by most environmental groups. It is a food production method that maintains the health of the entire ecosystem.
Rodale in the United States. Modern organic agriculture is only a fraction of farming today, but the demand for it continues to grow rapidly with environmental awareness. Who are some modern environmental heroes and organizations promoting environmental change? Vandana Shiva is a particle physicist in India who advocates a return to traditional organic farming and is head of Navdanya Nine Seeds , an organization to promote indigenous culture and sustainable farming.
Gro Harlem Brundtland is a physician, scientist, former prime minister of Norway and director of the World Health Organization. She is a special envoy on climate change, convincing countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Wangari Maathai from Kenya is the first woman in east Africa to earn a doctorate in biology. She founded the Green Belt Movement in Africa, inspiring women to plant trees. For her work combining environmentalism, human rights, and democratic change she won the Nobel Peace Prize in Al Gore, former vice president of the United States, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his presentations on climate change and promotion of research.
Rachel Carson is sometimes thought of as an Appalachian author, since she came from that region. There are other famous Appalachian authors interested in environmental issues, such as Wendell Berry and Barbara Kingsolver. Culture and Agriculture Sierra Club, Like Carson, she was an English major who switched to biology and has had a long and distinguished literary careeer.
Aldo Leopold has been called the father of wildlife management for his work with the U. His collection of essays, A Sand County Almanac , is a classic for his description of the ecology of various natural systems, written in the s when the topic was new. He has been considered the Thoreau of the desert. Based on current scientific research for benign alternatives to industrial culture, it is the sort of futuristic thinking Carson would have approved. Gary Snyder The Practice of the Wild , is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and practicing Buddhist, whose essays lay the groundwork of a spiritual environmentalism called deep ecology.
He reeducates the Westerner on practices of courtesy in the wild, how to be with nature, as native peoples have always known. Creating the Next Industrial Revolution in This is a seminal work integrating green practices and business. The authors show a shift in attitude and accounting are needed to calculate the true cost of business that includes human and natural resources.
They give case studies where business is sustainable through proper management of natural resources and principles such as biomimicry. Although laboratory tests were conducted to determine the effects of the lethal substances on their designated targets, little or no regard was given to the effect the pesticide would have on the surrounding ecology.
Nature endures and survives through the interdependence of many life forms. Ironically, very often in the aftermath of a toxic deluge there emerged a species of insect resistant to the chemical, requiring even more lethal dosages. Birds and fish have been particularly susceptible to death by chemical pesticides, but man is not exempt.
Of grave concern to Carson are the long-range effects on the ecology and on humans, effects that result from a chain reaction of disasters, all precipitated by the initial lethal event. Body tissues in other life forms and in man have the proven capability to store toxic substances. Carcinogens have the capability to disturb the natural respiratory function of the cell, the oxidation process. In the ensuing desperate effort of the cell to survive, often through a process called fermentation, the cellular control and balance go completely out of control.
Other chemicals impair the normal functioning of the liver. The latency period for many types of cancer in humans is quite lengthy blood disorders are a notable exception ; therefore, it is not always easy to trace the cause-effect relationship.
When the medical case histories are researched, however, quite often victims can be shown to have been exposed to cancer-producing chemicals. Moreover, with the pervasiveness of these substances in the environment, humans are frequently subjected to more than a single exposure. Silent Spring is an alarming book, but its primary aim was neither to frighten nor to shock, but to caution. Bleak as the message is, it is not without hope.
Essays and criticism on Rachel Carson's Silent Spring - Critical Essays.
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Keywords: silent spring essay, rachel carson essay Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and the Environmental Movement. Thesis: In Silent Spring Rachel Carson starts an environmental movement by informing the public of the dangers of pesticides, which causes a shift in views towards pesticides and the harm they do to the environment. Free Essay: Analysis of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson Silent Spring is a novel written by a woman named Rachel Carson, which was published in With.
In September of , Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published directly to alarm the public of the harmfulness of chemical pesticides. Those pesticides include DDT, dieldrin, chlordane, and more. In the passage from “Silent Spring”, by Rachel Carson, she portrays her strong emotions about American’s attitude towards the environment and the mindset obtained that it is justifiable to kill species because of an inconvenience they might cause. Carson is able to render that through rhetorical strategies such as exemplification, repetition, and cause .