formerly Akeret haBayit in Training

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Message of Silent Spring

 An essay I wrote on Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring

SILENT SPRING, a book that many say “launched the environmental movement”, was written by Rachel Carson in the 1960’s. With research and supported facts, Rachel Carson attempted to remove the blindfold from people’s eyes in regard to the chemical development and usage that was, and still is, damaging our world. In a time when so many people were, and still are, uneducated or misinformed about the power of solutions such as pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and the chemicals themselves, this book is enlightening and sobering.
I have never read a book that was so grounded in convincing facts, research, and indisputable truths. Her writing, though sometimes emotional because of heartbreaking reality, was calm, serious, and to the point. There was no exaggeration or complicated excuses, but only the pure truth. This book reminded me not only of the gravity of the danger and troubles we are experiencing, but also that I, living in, and being a part of this world, have a responsibility to let, or not let, the destruction of our planet continue.
Here I am going to discuss, in part, the power of chemicals, and their effect on living things, as well as our natural alternatives and the consequences of the choices we make. There is no final battle, no final choice to be made, between destruction for short lived convenience, and short lived inconvenience for life. Every little decision that is made is carving out the path to our ultimate end.

"The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials." (Silent Spring, pg.6)

The most well known chemical’s today, or what Rachel Carson referred to as “Elixirs of Death”, are man made, though chemicals are found in the natural world, these chemicals are atoms, molecules, and arrangements from those natural chemicals that are manipulated in laboratories. They are dangerous because, not being naturally integrated into, or a part of, the environment, have a damaging effect, as most things that are “unnatural” do.

“The origin of these insecticides has a certain ironic significance. Although some of the chemical’s themselves-organic esters of phosphoric acid-had been known for many years, their insecticidal properties remained to be discovered by a German chemist, Gerhard Schrader, in the late 1930’s. Almost immediately the German government recognized the value of these same chemicals as new and devastating weapons in man’s war against his own kind, and the work on them was declared secret. Some became the deadly nerve gases. Others, of allied structure, became insecticides.” (pg.28)

These chemicals were obviously known to be highly toxic, and yet were, and are, still used to kill insects, or pests. But how can we spread a deadly chemical over the earth, expecting for it to harm only one species? Is this logical? I would say not. And yet, these chemicals are in frequent, almost constant use, usually targeted at insects, but destroying the whole earth…

“For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death…the synthetic pesticides have been so thoroughly distributed throughout the animate and inanimate world that they occur virtually everywhere... They have been recovered from most of the major river systems and even from streams of groundwater flowing unseen through the earth. Residues of these chemicals linger in soil to which they may have been applied a dozen years before. They have entered and lodged in the bodies of fish, birds, reptiles, and domestic and wild animals so universally…They have been found in fish in remote mountains lakes, in earthworms burrowing in soil, in the eggs of birds-and in man himself.” (pg.16, 17)

CLICK HERE and click

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katherine, I just wanted to quick check... did you want to be entered in my give-away or not? You had said maybe, and I didn't know if you wanted me to put you in twice for following me or not. :D I'll probably be doing it tomorrow night sometime, and if I hear from you I'll add you. :D


I appreciate your presence. Feel free to share your opinions and perspectives in good spirit! :)