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Silent Spring

Essay by   •  February 2, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,043 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,745 Views

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Once there was a town in the United States of America that after being warned about the imminent dangers of polluting our natural resources fifty years ago, continues to do so without abandon. While Rachel Carson's renowned Silent Spring has had a tremendous effect in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and various programs for environmental advocates, the sad truth is that as guests on this planet we continue to destroy our surroundings with our carless and ignorant practices. Now fifty years later, we must closely investigate where we went wrong and how we can greatly improve our current circumstances as well as our future.

Rachel Carson's novel Silent Spring started out just as this paper did, by illustrating a town that had reached its limits. While the town is fictional, she believes it could be any town, proposing to the reader that they are in fact in danger of seeing this destruction in their own backyard. The book is titled so in allusion to the birds she describes that you will no longer hear chirping or the water in the streams rushing. It's a chilling take on what could very well be the future of our country if we continue to pollute and destroy our home.

I realize that insects are a necessary part of our food chain, but honestly, I would not mind if they were eliminated (yes, even the pretty butterflies). Unfortunately, though, this is not an option as insects are also an integral part of our world necessary to keep it running. This is why pesticides are such a huge concern. As we said in class, the greedy/ignorant farmer sprays pesticides to produce a more bountiful crop that is unharmed by the insect predator. What he does in the process is contaminate our food source with harmful chemicals, pollute our water supply as the pesticide runs off into our groundwater and streams, as well as disturb the natural balance of these insects they so badly want to kill. Whether or not they know exactly how bad these pesticides actually affect everyone, these farmers will not stop because they are trying to earn a buck...that's the American way!

Personally, when she discussed mother's milk that passes the chemicals to the baby, I was very concerned. I will soon be a mother, and plan to breastfeed for all the joys of giving my baby immunities and all that fun stuff, but I do not like the thought of actually harming my child in the process. When discussing DDT's passage from organism to organism she says, "...the breast-fed human infant is receiving small but regular additions to the load of toxic chemicals building up in his body...there is good reason to believe this begins while he is still in the womb" (Carson, 2003). Well reading that just made me feel like a great mother. Even babies are not given a fresh start in this world to make their own decisions about what goes into their bodies. I do not find that very fair, but know there is not much we can



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