Sunday, April 10, 2016

Poisons Rachel Carson Warned About Still Surround Us


By Omar Keita


Rachel Carson introducing the hazards of pesticides to the world brought up a major risk in our environment. The chemicals used to kill pests surround us because we use them in our garden and in our yard and we touch and move around in it as if it is nothing and it is totally fine. Her book, Silent Spring, sent the pesticide industry in an uproar and for that she received a lot of criticism, but at the same time plenty of praise. Reviewer Walter Sullivan in The New York Times compared Silent Spring to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was called one of the most controversial American books of the nineteenth century. Spokesmen for the chemical and agricultural products stated that Carson’s claims were not accurate and they were just ignorant misstatements.

However, after all the backlash, Rachel Carson started an environmental movement in America that would try and change the course of chemicals in the environment for years. Still til this day people have been making an effort to preserve the environment and change the way companies are doing things, because they are slowly affecting our lives and the world as a whole.
Mark Stoll of Environment and Society stated, “Carson’s sensational best seller helped transform and broaden the older conservation movement into more comprehensive and ecologically informed environmentalism. Moreover, through dozens of translations, Silent Spring affected events abroad and prepared the way for the rise of environmental and Green movements worldwide.”

At first, many people were not interested in the idea that Carson was proposing about the effects of pest control chemicals and the way they are abused. She tried to get other authors interested in the idea but no one else was really interested. So she decided to write a book about it and it became exactly what she expected it to be.

Carson’s book was a great thing because as a people, we have been making great strides to better ourselves and help modernize ourselves for the future by bringing in new technologies and different products. However, many people, including the ones inventing the products, have never taken into consideration what the effects of their chemically induced products may be doing.

As soon as I read what Carson was saying about how quickly chemicals can affect bodies of water, It made me think of the Pompton Lakes contamination from Du Pont and the Ramapo River and what the Ford Motor Company pollution has done to it. The Ford factory had stopped manufacturing cars more than 30 years ago, however its toxic waste that was dumped into the water is still affecting it and residents in Ringwood where more of the toxic waste was dumped.
 Although Carson made it to known to the world that chemical pesticides can be hazardous to the environment, companies and factories have still been ignoring her warnings to be careful with industrial contamination and soon the atmosphere will feel the effects of our carelessness.

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