Thursday, May 20, 2010

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson: A Book Review

The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man...It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.

Whew, long quote. :) So, anyway...

Although written more than forty years ago, in 1962, Rachel Carson's now famous book preaches a powerful message that is still important in today's society. In towns all over America...and in other countries as well...an eerie silence has descended. The songbirds, who fill the spring air with their joyous songs, have been killed by the very chemicals we use daily in our homes, on our lawns...everywhere. Pesticides. Nature is trying to tell us something, to warn us...and yet still, we refuse to listen. All over the world are signs that these chemicals are unsafe...exterminators suddenly collapsing in convulsions, livestock dying in masses after the aerial spraying of pesticides.

This book revealed to the public the effects of these pesticides...for many, it was the first time they had heard of these negative effects. And, although decades have passed since Silent Spring's publication, many still use these chemicals daily. Rachel Carson has written a powerful critique of our society and our careless use of deadly toxins that we can still learn from in the present.

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