“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”Silent Spring
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is the book that sparked the conversation about environmental protection. It was published in 1962, two years after Rachel Carson’s death due to breast cancer. There is no doubt why this book sparked praise and critiques alike. It was new information at the time and some companies even tried to sue her for libel. Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist…but also a woman. While there are plenty of critiques, she really backed up her arguments with amazing research. The main focus of Silent Spring is the effects fuels and pesticides have on our environment. The main issue she discusses is DDT or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. She explains that DDT was originally made to be an insecticide to help stop the spread of malaria and typhus. While there is no doubt that it worked, Rachel Carson’s argument is that there was little to no research done on the effects of DDT. She provides statistics and evidence that it could cause cancer and greatly harms nature, as well as animals. In fact, I looked it up. After the ban of DDT, the bald eagle was able to make a comeback from being on the endangered list.
One of the things that I have been learning this summer is that everything has its place and function within nature. When we introduce something to get rid of something in nature, it will have a domino effect on everything else. When we put these chemicals into our soils and on our food, it can cause long term effects. While this book is pretty slow, the narrator, Kaiulani Lee did a phenomenal job at bringing the passion in Rachel Carson’s words. One thing that I really appreciated is that she never says that we should turn our backs on science and progress to make things better. But she just wants there to be a significant amount of research before something is used world-wide, like certain pesticides.
This is a book that I recommend to anyone who has an interest in preserving the environment. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars.