In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring and was greeted with a roar of protest and approval. After years and years of controversy and skepticism surrounding its argument, Silent Spring was and still is recognized as a perceptive warning of things in progress and things to come. The book set the stage for the first real and effectual environmental movement.
In 17 chapters, many of which can stand alone as essays, Carson develops a deceptively simple premise: the use and overuse of synthetic chemicals to control insect pests introduces these chemicals into the air, water, and soil and into the food chain where they poison animals and humans, and disrupt the many intricate interdependencies that make up the delicate natural order. In the concluding paragraph of the book, Carson said:
The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man. The concepts and practices of applied entomology for the most part date from that Stone Age of science. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.
Rachel Carson: a renowned nature author and a former marine biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was uniquely equipped to create so startling and inflammatory a book. A native of rural Pennsylvania, she had grown up with an enthusiasm for nature matched only by her love of writing and poetry. The educational brochures she wrote for the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as her published books ...
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...cies Act (jointly administered by EPA and the Department of Interior) helped the birds made a dramatic recovery. President Clinton celebrated this progress on July 2, 1999, saying that the bald eagle is "now back from the brink, thriving in virtually every state of the union." He proposed removing the bird from the Endangered Species Act listing.
Most recently it spurred in 2001 a global treaty, the Stockholm Convention, that requires phase-out and elimination of twelve persistent organic pollutants. And it forced new scientific questions to be asked about links between contamination and health.
Her writings taught Americans a new way of thinking about the earth which was really a very old way: she helped us to see ourselves as connected to the earth, as part of an interconnected web of life rather than the controllers of a world intended to satisfy our needs.
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