Environmental Issues In Silent Spring

analytical Essay
2441 words
2441 words

Birds dying, leaves covered with deadly powder, chemicals floating through the air. These were all issues faced globally in the 1950’s and 60’s due to the use of dangerous pesticides such as DDT, chlordane, and heptachlor. Though several scientists conducted studies that proved the issues with pesticides, the first person to make a lasting impression on America was Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring. Her writing not only discussed the environmental issues that Americans faced in the 1960’s, but also served as the catalyst for the environmental movement as we know it today.
Rachel Carson was born in 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania during the height of the Industrial Age (Griswold 8). Her mother, Maria Carson, was an avid bird-watcher and …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how rachel carson, author of silent spring, made a lasting impression on america in the 1950s and 60s due to the use of dangerous pesticides.
  • Explains that rachel carson was born in 1907 in springdale, pennsylvania during the height of the industrial age. her mother, maria, was an avid bird-watcher and encouraged her to study nature from a young age.
  • Describes how rachel carson's career in environmentalism began when she became a science editor for the u.s. fish and wildlife service.
  • Explains that american scientists discovered ddt, a chemical that proved to be lethal to insects. it was used to protect crops and stop insect-borne diseases such as malaria and typhus.
  • Explains the effects of ddt on the environment, including cancer, infertility, miscarriages, developmental delay, and nervous system and liver damage.
  • Explains that ddt's effects were uncontrollable in the 1960s, despite research and testing, not many people knew of the consequences of spraying it.
  • Analyzes how rachel carson's silent spring, published in the new yorker in 1962, revealed the harmful effects of ddt on the ecosystem.
  • Analyzes carson's message in silent spring, that humans should not try to overpower nature, and that technological advancements could easily destroy the natural world.
  • Analyzes how carson used the era's hysteria about radiation to snap readers to attention, drawing a parallel between nuclear fallout and an invisible chemical threat of pesticides throughout silent spring.
  • Explains that silent spring's foreboding message was not met without opposition, and many people deemed her research as mere overreactions. chemical producing companies had gained great prestige from their involvement in world war ii.
  • Analyzes how silent spring brought out the reactions from readers that rachel carson had hoped for. though the scientific community knew of the effects of ddt, carson was the first person to offer this knowledge to the general public.
  • Opines that silent spring's legacy was the new awareness that nature was extremely threatened by human intervention. rachel impacted the environmental movement as no other scientist had.
  • Explains that the environmental movement grew more popular after silent spring and the banning of ddt. in the mid to late 1960's, americans needed to understand the importance of taking care of the earth.
  • Explains that environmentalists are the most popular social movement in the united states, with over five million american families donating regularly to environmental organizations.
  • Explains how rachel carson's book, silent spring, showed people around the world that the actions of humans could negatively impact the natural world.

“Carson used the era’s hysteria about radiation to snap her readers to attention, drawing a parallel between nuclear fallout and a new, invisible chemical threat of pesticides throughout Silent Spring,” (Griswold 21). She described radiation as the creation of human’s tampering with nature, and warned that similar dangers would become inevitable with the continued use of pesticides (Carson 7). Carson also knew that a large percent of her audience would be housewives, who she could use as example of those who found poisoned birds and squirrels in their gardens. She angled much of Silent Spring towards this audience, which helped her book become the catalyst for environmental change (Griswold …show more content…

In 1989, seventy five percent of Americans identified themselves as environmentalists, and the number has continued to grow since then (Walls 1). Environmentalism is now the most popular social movement in the United States, with over five million American families donating regularly to environmental organizations (Walls 1). Environmentalists today focus on what kind of world they hope to see in the future, and largely deal with limiting pollution and changing consumption rates (Kent 1 and 9). Modern environmentalists also have much different issues than those Carson’s America faced. With climate change becoming more threatening each year, protection of the natural world is needed more than ever. Pollution has caused the warmest decade in history, the deterioration of the ozone layer, and species extinction in extreme numbers (Hunter 2). It not only threatens nature, but also human populations, who already suffer from lack of clean water and poisoning from toxic chemicals (Hunter 16). Unlike environmental actions in the 1960’s, which were mostly focused on protection, a massive increase in pollution has caused efforts to be focused on environmental restoration (Hunter 16). Like in the time of Silent Spring, environmentalists are not only concerned with one country. Protecting the environment remains a global issue, and every nation is threatened by the

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