Environment in Silent Spring by Rachel Carson


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In the introduction of “Silent Spring” written by Rachel Carson in 1962, more than 50 years ago the writer attempts to warn us that human beings will end by destroying the earth in the opening quote. She shows that human beings are causing harmful effects to the environment and the environment becomes polluted day by day. First, to lead to the issue, the author starts with a fable. She describes a beautiful natural town, but then the appearance of human beings brought a strange blight and everything began to change. Stillness, illness, disease, and death emerged in the town. Although the town in this story is not a reality, but the events in this town is happening truly around the world. The author uses points through the introduction of the book to explain, support main idea. Time is one of the important themes in this reading. She says that “time not in years but in millennia”, it took a long time to produce the life that now inhabits the earth, for life adjusts and balance has been reached. However, the earth changes rapidly due to the impetuous and heedless pace of man. People bring toxics to the earth that would require time on the scale and life of generations to adjust these things. People create chemicals, synthetics that introduced along with radiation harm the environment and organisms. The toxic productions are introduced to the environment but people hardly know about the devils of their own creation. These productions cause negative effects such as kill vegetation, sicken cattle, and cause the polluted air. People use chemicals to control the insects but this method has had only limited success. Day by day, insects adapt these chemicals to survive, become stronger and more difficult to control. In the end, the chemicals lose. The writer also says that monoculture (single-crop farming system) does not take advantage of the principles by which nature works, people is simplifying the nature that has introduced variety. Rachel Carson suggests using polyculture (grow many crops in a field) 50 years ago. People also have to face with the modern insect problem. Because of the isolation from one continent to another, insect developed many new species. These species began to move out into new territories that is receiving considerable assistance from man. Although people know the necessary knowledge - chemicals, synthetics are harmful for the earth and human beings - but they do not use it.

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Decision makers let the “chemical death rain” to fall through out human beings’ life. Power is go along with industry and money. Greediness, ignorance and selfishness let the earth and each organism in the world suffer the damages. We, who lives in the earth, need to know these facts. The author closes the introduction of the book by a quote, “the obligation to endure gives us the right to know”. This reading is started by a fable which is strength to attract people to the book. This reading is strong also because the author gives some generalizations and her own opinions beside lots of facts, quotes and references. Throughout the introduction, she gives lots of specific statistics. The author gave necessary predictions and suggests more than 50 years ago, it become true now and still true that make this book famous until nowadays. This reading gives me more knowledge about this subject, environment and it impresses me by the idea “the people had done it themselves”. It is human beings destroy their environment. Whose earth, whose environment? It is ours, each of us. As opening quote “man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall”, we will end unless we stop destroying the earth.




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