Silent Spring

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AP Environmental Science

Silent Spring

The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was one of the first books to truly spark the environmentalist movement. It describes in great detail the little things we as humans are doing to damage our planet and all of its life; particularly through the use of pesticides. Little did we know, the pesticides not only infect the pests they were intended for, but also other plants, animals, and even human kind. “The earth’s vegetation is part of a web of life in which there are intimate and essential relations between plants and animals. Sometimes we have no choice but to disturb these relationships, but we should do so thoughtfully, with full awareness that what we do may have consequences remote in time and place.” (Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, page 64). Technology almost always comes with unintended consequences, but it is vital that we do not remain ignorant to its negative effects. The earth has always been a beautiful luscious place, teeming with life, but we cannot be sure that it is not subject to change. If we cannot grasp the negative effects of some of our technology, we will live to see and feel the consequences. Starting from the lowest life forms, poisons are permeating the food chain, working its way up until everyone is infected. One significant form is chemical poisons, or pesticides. These begin by infecting things such as insects, which are then consumed by something higher on the food chain, and so on, until a product of one of these creatures is ingested by one of us, at which point we are infected. The meat, the dairy products, the fruit and vegetables: a vast majority of the food we eat could very possibly be infected. These poisons act over long periods of time, by storing themselves in the fatty tissue of the host creature, where they grow and spread. One of the first and most prevalent insectides is DDT. It is now abundant in much of the life on...
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