Silent spring rachel carson

Fish and Wildlife Service employee photo In the mids, Carson became concerned about the use of synthetic pesticides, many of which had been developed through the military funding of science after World War II.

Silent spring rachel carson

Fish and Wildlife Service employee photo In the mids, Carson became concerned about the use of synthetic pesticides, many of which had been developed through the military funding of science after World War II.

She tried to enlist essayist E. White and a number of journalists and scientists to her cause. ByCarson had arranged a book deal, with plans to co-write with Newsweek science journalist Edwin Diamond.

However, when The New Yorker commissioned a long and well-paid article on the topic from Carson, she began considering writing more than the introduction and conclusion as planned; soon it became a solo project. Diamond would later write one of the harshest critiques of Silent Spring.

From reading the scientific literature and interviewing scientists, Carson found two scientific camps; those who dismissed the possible danger of pesticide spraying barring conclusive proof and those who were open to the possibility of harm and were willing to consider alternative methods, such as biological pest control.

That spring, Carson wrote a letter, published in The Washington Postthat attributed the recent decline in bird populations—in her words, the "silencing of birds"—to pesticide overuse. Carson attended the ensuing FDA hearings on revising pesticide regulations; she was discouraged by the aggressive tactics of the chemical industry representatives, which included expert testimony that was firmly contradicted by the bulk of the scientific literature she had been studying.

She also wondered about the possible "financial inducements behind certain pesticide programs". Of particular significance was the work of National Cancer Institute researcher and founding director of the environmental cancer section Wilhelm Hueperwho classified many pesticides as carcinogens.

Carson and her research assistant Jeanne Davis, with the help of NIH librarian Dorothy Algire, found evidence to support the pesticide-cancer connection; to Carson the evidence for the toxicity of a wide array of synthetic pesticides was clear-cut, though such conclusions were very controversial beyond the small community of scientists studying pesticide carcinogenesis.

She had investigated hundreds of individual incidents of pesticide exposure and the resulting human sickness and ecological damage. In Januaryshe suffered an illness which kept her bedridden for weeks, delaying the book. As she was nearing full recovery in March, she discovered cysts in her left breast, requiring a mastectomy.

By December that year, Carson discovered that she had breast cancer, which had metastasized. However, further health troubles delayed the final revisions in and early By AugustCarson agreed to the suggestion of her literary agent Marie Rodell: Silent Spring would be a metaphorical title for the entire book—suggesting a bleak future for the whole natural world—rather than a literal chapter title about the absence of birdsong.

The final writing was the first chapter, "A Fable for Tomorrow", which was intended to provide a gentle introduction to a serious topic. By mid, Brooks and Carson had largely finished the editing and were planning to promote the book by sending the manuscript to select individuals for final suggestions.

DDT is a prime example, but other synthetic pesticides—many of which are subject to bioaccumulation —are scrutinized. Carson accuses the chemical industry of intentionally spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically.

In laboratory tests on animal subjects, DDT has produced suspicious liver tumors. Scientists of the Food and Drug Administration who reported the discovery of these tumors were uncertain how to classify them, but felt there was some "justification for considering them low grade hepatic cell carcinomas.

The book closes with a call for a biotic approach to pest control as an alternative to chemical pesticides. She said in Silent Spring that even if DDT and other insecticides had no environmental side effects, their indiscriminate overuse was counterproductive because it would create insect resistance to pesticides, making them useless in eliminating the target insect populations: No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored.

The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse. The world has heard much of the triumphant war against disease through the control of insect vectors of infection, but it has heard little of the other side of the story—the defeats, the short-lived triumphs that now strongly support the alarming view that the insect enemy has been made actually stronger by our efforts.

Even worse, we may have destroyed our very means of fighting. Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible. Carson was undergoing radiation therapy for her cancer and expected to have little energy to defend her work and respond to critics.

There was another round of publicity in July and August as chemical companies responded.

Silent spring rachel carson

DuPonta major manufacturer of DDT and 2,4-Dand Velsicol Chemical Companythe only manufacturer of chlordane and heptachlorwere among the first to respond. Chemical industry representatives and lobbyists lodged a range of non-specific complaints, some anonymously. Chemical companies and associated organizations produced brochures and articles promoting and defending pesticide use.

The magazine and book publications proceeded as planned, as did the large Book-of-the-Month printing, which included a pamphlet by William O. Douglas endorsing the book. White-Stevens called her "a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature", [43] while former U.

Eisenhower reportedly said that because she was unmarried despite being physically attractive, she was "probably a Communist". The chemical industry campaign was counterproductive because the controversy increased public awareness of the potential dangers of pesticides.

The program included segments of Carson reading from Silent Spring and interviews with other experts, mostly critics including White-Stevens.Rachel Carson¿s, Silent Spring, certainly changed the perceptions of all who have read it.

Carson carefully wrote Silent Spring in her own soft style which incorporates scientific evidence, theory and reasoning along with the naturalistic biological observations Carson noted herself.4/4(68).

When Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in , the book became a phenomenon. A passionate and eloquent warning about the long-term dangers of pesticides, the book unleashed an.

Silent Spring - Kindle edition by Rachel Carson, Linda Lear, Edward O. Wilson. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Silent Spring.

Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives. In Silent Spring () she challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government and called for a change in the way humankind viewed the natural world.

Carson was attacked by the chemical industry and some in government as an alarmist, but courageously spoke out to remind us that we are a vulnerable part of the natural world. Silent Spring: Silent Spring, nonfiction book written by Rachel Carson that became one of the most-influential books in the modern environmental movement.

Published in , Silent Spring was widely read by the general public and became a New York Times best seller. The book provided the .

Rachel Carson, Biography