Thursday, April 2, 2015

On Reading Silent Spring: A Lack of Optimism

By Brianna Farulla

For a while I’ve been feeling almost certain that our planet is in shambles when it comes to the environment. America, in general, hasn’t been an ideal place to live. Rachel Carson only added to my distress with the topics that she discussed in her work titled Silent Spring, although she does put forth some sense of positivity by saying that there are alternatives and that we basically allow this “chemical death rain” to fall upon us. Carson also states that we have the right to know the specifics of what is occurring around us and that we should “no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals.”

However, it’s sad to say, but it’s nearly impossible to change the world in which we live at this point. Of course, if enough people try hard enough, some aspects of environmental pollution can improve for generations to come, but as far as people like myself are concerned, it’s hopeless for the most part.

Although I’ve only been living for 22 years, I’ve still encountered a vast intake of toxins and the area that I reside in doesn’t make matters any better. I’m already aware of the fact that the air I breathe, the food I eat and the water that I drink are each infected in their own ways. I couldn’t avoid any of this even if I tried. As cliche as it sounds, I’d have to actually live inside of a bubble. Breathing the New Jersey air on a daily basis is enough to put me at risk no matter how healthy and eco-friendly I attempt at living my life. Carson says it herself, “ . . . every human is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals from the moment of conception until death.” That doesn’t sound too promising.

As if I wasn’t pessimistic enough when it comes to this situation, Carson presented some new points that I was unaware of. Unfortunately, they caused me to lose even more faith in our world. I recently started to change my eating habits and now I’m beginning to question even that. Carson said, “the common salad bowl may easily present a combination of organic phosphate insecticides.” Here we are regularly being told that it’s beneficial to eat organic, but is it really the healthier route? Is anything a healthy alternative at this point?

What’s more frustrating is that ignorant people add to problems, like the water issue, for instance. There are insecticides, weed killers, etc. in our drinking water and then companies like Ford have to go and increase the severity by tossing paint sludge into it as if it’s no big deal. Now a bad problem worsened. Aside from that, there’s also arsenic present in river streams and reservoirs. There was also a recent announcement that high traces of arsenic were found in major brands of wine, like Sutter Home, for example. Now I can’t even drink a glass of wine, let alone the water sources that I’m provided with.

Obviously, I’d love to have more optimism in what’s to come for the future, but it’s not looking as bright as I’d hope for it to be. Cancer is at an all-time high and traces of chemicals have been found in human milk from breast feeding samples, which is despicable. As much as we have the “right to know,” our government isn’t going to gladly reveal the ways that it has been killing us in a timely manner. It’s going to take a while for us to gather all the information that we need and it’s going to take even longer to fix the environmental mess that has already been made, if at all possible.

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