interestingness

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

This environmental science book was published in 1962 and it is just as relevant as it was then, if not more. Rachel Carson dives deep into the chemical industry's attack on all life- whether deliberate or not is up to you to decide. She was demonized and ridiculed once she began to speak publicly on these things. Even her spinster status was exploited as something that discredited her body of work even though one has nothing at all to do with the other. That alone- to me- speaks volumes about the verity of the information she sought to arm the public with. This is a great read and I urge anyone with any love for humanity and the Earth to pick it up and be outraged and called to action. I suggest we all take a moment's pause and consider how we perpetuate this problem and what we can do to stop our involvement in it and that of our communities.

I am so grateful to Maria Popova and her marvelous website Brain Pickings for featuring this book.

"It is not my contention that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to  contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge. If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons distributed either by private individuals or by public officials, it is surely only because our forefathers, despite their considerable wisdom and foresight, could conceive of no such problem."

"Along with the possibility of the extinction of mankind by nuclear war, the central problem of our age has therefore become the contamination of man's total environment with such substances of incredible potential for harm- substances that accumulate in the tissues of plants and animals and even penetrate the germ cells to shatter or alter the very material of heredity upon which the shape of the future depends."

"For the first time in the human history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death. In the less than two decades of their use, 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 that scientists carrying on animal experiments find it almost impossible to locate subjects free from such contamination. They have been found in fish in remote mountain lakes, in earthworms burrowing in the soil, in the eggs of birds- and in man himself. For these chemicals are now stored in the bodies of the vast majority of human beings, regardless of age. They occur in every mother's milk, and probably in the tissues of the unborn children."

click on the link below to learn more about the book: