Silent Spring by Rachel Carson


I drove from New York City to Upstate New York and although the reason for my trip was a very happy one, some of the scenery made me very sad. I was heading north on I-87 and about two hours into my trip I was stuck in traffic. I didn’t mind much because I was listening to a very interesting book, then I drove a bit further and traffic stopped completely in front of an area that looked like a tree graveyard—so many trees had been cut. I wondered why… then I read a sign that announced some type of development. I can’t remember what exactly, but I’ll get the name on my drive back.

The experience reminded me of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, one of the best books I’ve ever read. EVER. If you love the planet that feeds you, dresses, shelters you… then take a few minutes and read this review. I’m almost sure, that it won’t be long before you feel the need to go and pick up the book or the movie.

***

History has been marked by literary and scientific milestones that have influenced—and continue to influence—public awareness at its core. But there have been very few cases where scientific work has been presented as an impressive bundle, containing commendable literary power and immense scientific worth. The mentioned characteristics can be justly attributed to Rachel Carson’s (2002) Silent spring; a book filled with the literary scientific merit needed to incite global public awareness, awaken environmental consciousness, and redefine environmental justice.

Carson (2002) suggested that “… life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings” (p. 5). She also explained that most creatures have respected and followed that statement, century after century, as if it was common law—but man’s ever increasing ingenuity has forced him away from such belief (Carson, 2002). In man’s view nature has became a troublesome obstacle—trees disturbed the clarity of his roads, undesirable fish filled his rivers, weeds dishonored his gardens, insolent insects invaded his crops—so man created weapons to kill nature where it stood. He used chemicals, such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane (DDT), in order to deal with nature’s small nuisances (Carson, 2002). That was how man’s intelligence, clouded by arrogance, tricked him into believing that he could destroy nature, without suffering the serious consequences of his actions.

In the early 1960s the earth’s pain was heard through the voice of Rachel Carson, a biologist—and wondrous writer—who wanted to make peace between man and his environment. But man’s hearing has been known to be quite dubious, especially if listening might imply doing any work or spending any money, so of course he did not listen (Goodwin, 1993). Those with decision-making power refused to believe Carson’s allegations. Her reputation was attacked when she tried to warn the public of the dangers of DDT; government chemists accused her book of inaccuracy and most of the media backed up their claims (Goodwin, 1993).

But all the slander did not stop Carson’s campaign; maybe the fact that she was living with cancer—one of the terrible illnesses that could be caused by DDT—gave her the strength to continue fighting, in an effort to keep that unforgiving sickness from touching the lives of others (Goodwin, 1993). Carson continued attempting to warn the government of the dangers of DDT, and encouraging the public to fight for their right to breathe unpolluted air and eat foods as free of poison as it was humanly possible (Goodwin, 1993). The public, encouraged by Carson’s voice and terrified by the unbelievable amount of dead birds in their yards (Carson, 2002, p. 123) started to contact the local government plus anyone else who would listen. The public’s cry, along with a copy of Carson’s work, reached President John F. Kennedy. The Commander in Chief appointed the President's Science Advisory Committee to review the validity of Silent Spring, and the book, its author, and nature came out victorious (Goodwin, 1993).

DDT stayed around for another decade or so, and its effects on the environment might stay with humanity forever. But don’t panic, the environmental consequences of Rachel Carson’s (2002) Silent Spring are just as durable. The 40-somethin-year-old book once served to remind man of his symbiotic relationship with nature, and if man’s memory happens to falter again, then I— and others like me—will remind man. I have always been an advocate for the environment, and Rachel Carson’s work made me realize that I will never be alone in my ordeal. There are many who feel just like I do, and who are willing to scream as loud as Silent Spring, in order to promote environmental justice.

If you haven’t read this book, I recommend you to do so as soon as possible; then let your voice speak for your planet in a thunderous echo of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

This is one of those books, which I know I’ll read at least once a year. Do you have any books you like so much that you read it over and over again, and every time you do you find something that makes you like it even more? If so, care to share?

Carson, R. (2002). Silent spring. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Goodwin, N. (Producer), (1993) Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring [Motion Picture]. United States: PBS.

19 comments:

  1. Welcome to Pagan Culture's Eclectic Circle Erotic Horizon, Angie Mroczka and Skellyton Art!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Magaly! Hi sweet girl!

    Sorry this comment is off topic, but I zoomed over as soon as I read your kind words at Casa Hice.

    THANK YOU for visiting and leaving your petite footprints on my welcome mat. It's always so good to see you! I am kicking myself for not being by your blog as much as I should... you see, somehow I forgot to add you to my blogroll (by accident!) and don't see you in my sidebar. I'm off to remedy that situation right now!

    I love you girl. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds pretty fantastic.
    WesVaco (I think that's how it's spelled), is cutting down trees right and left in my state (West Virginia). It makes me SO ANGRY.

    Definitely adding this book to my amazon cart.

    Thanks for the review.

    )O(
    boo

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree! I've discussed Silent Spring in a number of different context (mainly law school and undergrad classes), and the whole thing just makes me sad.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ..i think i will buy that if ill see one in the bookstore.. because im having a hard time looking for english book here in japan and if ever there is its just few of them..but i am interested to know Rachel Carson..

    but my favorite book ever is Dan Brown`s book..

    http://ampil070485.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now that sounsd like a very different book and one I could get behind, too. I didn't know they had made a movie based on it as well. I think I need to put this one on my wish list because it sounds realy interesting.

    Oh, and there aren't any books that I read at least once a year. Not sure why, but once I'm done with it, I'm done with it. Of course, that doesn't mean my keeper shelf is empty either. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi my Wicked Darlings! This is just a quickie *grin* because I'm still without Internet at home. Also, I have been trying to catch up on my writing and some reading... I'm solving some school issues as well, and some other life changing things... so I've been a bit busy.

    I'm glad you liked the book so much. I'll stop by your blogs soon--I PROMISE!

    Endless Blessings for now. Oh, wish me luck... I'm working on something HUGE ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Toadstoolhollow & Liz welcome to the Pagan Culture's Eclectic Circle!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just stopped in because I have not touched base with you in awhile... I have not read a book in over a year or more.. guess two kids will do that... for now I have to read bloggs!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks so much for stopping by Klynch. I hope all is well with you. As you can see, I haven't been stopping by much myself, so no hard feelings lol. I know how things are and sometimes we just can't control them. Good luck--and much speed--on your blog reading ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. My Dad and Mom knew there would be a Silent Spring before Rachael Carson. We became a huge fan of her book. Dad has grown organic his whole life and taught us if we take care of the land, the land will take care of us. When we harvested wild mushrooms or may apples, we would never take them all. When we eat fruit, we scatter the seeds. We use no poisons.

    Dad's other favorites were Euel Gibbons, Will Rogers and Edgar Caycee. I hope I have spelled them correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That was our way of life too. I lived deep in the country in the Dominican Republic and we didn't really have fertilizers, other than the very natural stuff, if you know what I mean.

    I noticed that things tasted different when I came here. Lettuce for instance, I couldn't believe the difference in texture either. It was quite shocking.

    Thanks for the reading suggestions, I'll definitely check them out!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks so much for stopping by Klynch. I hope all is well with you. As you can see, I haven't been stopping by much myself, so no hard feelings lol. I know how things are and sometimes we just can't control them. Good luck--and much speed--on your blog reading ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. My Dad and Mom knew there would be a Silent Spring before Rachael Carson. We became a huge fan of her book. Dad has grown organic his whole life and taught us if we take care of the land, the land will take care of us. When we harvested wild mushrooms or may apples, we would never take them all. When we eat fruit, we scatter the seeds. We use no poisons.

    Dad's other favorites were Euel Gibbons, Will Rogers and Edgar Caycee. I hope I have spelled them correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi my Wicked Darlings! This is just a quickie *grin* because I'm still without Internet at home. Also, I have been trying to catch up on my writing and some reading... I'm solving some school issues as well, and some other life changing things... so I've been a bit busy.

    I'm glad you liked the book so much. I'll stop by your blogs soon--I PROMISE!

    Endless Blessings for now. Oh, wish me luck... I'm working on something HUGE ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That was our way of life too. I lived deep in the country in the Dominican Republic and we didn't really have fertilizers, other than the very natural stuff, if you know what I mean.

    I noticed that things tasted different when I came here. Lettuce for instance, I couldn't believe the difference in texture either. It was quite shocking.

    Thanks for the reading suggestions, I'll definitely check them out!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Now that sounsd like a very different book and one I could get behind, too. I didn't know they had made a movie based on it as well. I think I need to put this one on my wish list because it sounds realy interesting.

    Oh, and there aren't any books that I read at least once a year. Not sure why, but once I'm done with it, I'm done with it. Of course, that doesn't mean my keeper shelf is empty either. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Toadstoolhollow & Liz welcome to the Pagan Culture's Eclectic Circle!

    ReplyDelete