By Tara Lafemina
Rachel Carson makes some very important points in her book, Silent Spring. A chapter I found intriguing is The Human Price. Carson connects our human nature to the environment around us. The chapter talks about how people react to chemicals and their consequences.
Carson opens the chapter with an interesting point. She writes, “… a hazard we ourselves have introduced into our world as our modern way of life has evolved.”
This quote puts into words the way we treat the world, yet few of us realize our evolution has caused far more hazards then there should be. Even though most of us know we are harming the environment, no one does anything to stop it. Does no one realize we are killing ourselves and our planet in ways which could have been prevented? If we do, there should be a louder outcry over this type of behavior.
Carson continues speaking about how humans do not like to view themselves as nature. I completely agree with this statement. If people want to advance, without killing ourselves in the process, we must stop playing God. The world cannot continue in a pattern where the mentality is, ‘if it has not killed me yet, it must not be so bad.’ We cannot think that if something is happening 3,000 miles away it does not affect us. Carson implies that we should not just look at the direct affects, but think about how chemicals are going to hurt us in the long run.
What makes the chapter so relevant and interesting is how Carson takes the time to explain the effect pesticides have on us. Most people can agree pesticides are not healthy, but may not realize how fatal the chemical is to us. When Carson takes the time to explain the importance of the liver and how pesticides affect it, people will listen. She talks about how the nervous system in both people and animals will deteriorate when exposed to these chemicals. I believe the way Carson illustrates the consequences is the most effective way to learn about pesticides.
Carson brings up a point that I did not realize. We are exposed to so many different chemicals that merge together in our bodies. There is no way to know how this affects us. Many of us are unaware of what we are being exposed to, we will not be able to predict what kind of diseases we may develop. It is a scary truth, but something we all must take into consideration. This unknown future should be enough for us to look closer into the pesticides we put into our crops. We should also regulate more of the other chemicals the population is so blissfully unaware of.
Carson has written a book that everyone should read. She has taken the power of word and turned a population upside down. That is enough reason to pick up a book like this. She has taken a subject that could be a mundane read, and made it easy to understand. Most importantly, Carson explains how all things are connected to each other and what that means to us. Killing off the environment around us and eventually ourselves is the worst case scenario. She makes a point that the result is not as far fetched as we wish it was.