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