I started reading Silent Spring last week. It had been in my to-read pile for a long time, and its turn finally came up.

And wow. It is about the decimation of many wildlife populations from the 40’s to the 60’s (the book was published in ’65) in the name of “pest” and “weed” control. It points out the short-sightedness of these “eradication” campaigns, because so many insects and plants are beneficial. Kill off all the spiders, and you’ll find you have a ton more flying insects, as an example we’ve probably all experienced. Well, nature, these micro and macro ecosystems, it is always about complex interconnected relationships. You can’t kill off parts without effecting the whole.

And damn, did they ever effect the whole. We’re talking about entire generations of streams of salmon dying. We’re talking about springs where there were no birds chirping, hence the title, Silent Spring.

I’ve been really paying attention to the birds that live around me since reading. It is 40+ years later, and I know some things were examined, some things were changed, but we also have Montsano trying to eradicate any non-GMO species and we have rainforests being mowed down for palm and soybean oil on plantations owned by wealthy north american corporations.

Will we ever learn?

I need to do some research and read up on any follow up studies that have been done. If you haven’t read Silent Spring, you should. It is chilling. Steven King’s imagination never approached our reality.

And something I find even more chilling is how The Industries came out in attack against her, and against all concerned citizens, and are still trying to claim that Rachel Carson’s book and research were flawed. But the important question is: what do they have to gain or lose, versus what Rachel Carson had to gain or lose. The Industry has a vested interest in selling massive amounts of chemicals, regardless of the effectiveness or safety. Rachel Carson must have scared the hell out of them, and still does, though she died 18 months after Silent Spring was published.

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