Friday, May 11, 2012

Where Would We Be Without "Silent Spring"

By Luan Madani

          Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring brought out many key issues in environmental negligence that I believe we should all be aware of. Pesticide use has been widespread for decades and many people do not think twice about it. On the surface, we know that pesticides are harmful to humans and we know what it does to plants and insects. Unfortunately, there is more to it than that we think we have knowledge of and Rachel Carson brings up those points. She argues that uncontrolled pesticide use is not only killing animals and birds, but humans as well and over the long term, it can become a bigger problem that we think.
          While Carson is not advocating complete discontinuation of pesticides, as she sees the value in helpful ones, she does support education about the chemicals and controlled use.
          Published in 1962, this book was a step in the right direction, certainly in that time, to uncover truth that many people may not be aware of. The book did its job as soon afterwards a science advisory committee under President John F. Kennedy investigated Carson’s claims and found them to be accurate. This then led to regulations of chemical pesticides being strengthened.
          This book is a very important piece in American Literature because of what it has done in terms of raising awareness on a key environmental issue. The way I see it, had this book not been written and published when it had been, we would have continued to use chemical pesticides irresponsibly and the lives of animals, birds and even humans would have been in jeopardy. This book helped prevent that and educated many people on a danger that could have gotten out of control. This book also opened the doors for future research on chemical pesticides which, in turn, has made them safer and used more responsibly over the years.

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