Is Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Still Relevant In Today’s Society?

Published in 1962, Silent Spring was Rachel Carson’s endeavor to eliminate man-made pesticides that were destroying the natural environment. One of the first environmental works of its kind since the writings of Henry David Thoreau in the nineteenth century, Silent Spring helped to launch the environmentalism movement. Carson’s work further inspired government action and intervention to prevent further chemical damage to the environment.

Carson’s well-known book helped to establish the organic food movement, the elimination of BPA from plastic food and drinking containers, the founding of the EPA, as well as numerous other scientific and societal changes to improve the environment. By any standard, Rachel Carson can be considered an environmental crusader; however, are the environmental concerns she expressed in the 1960s still relevant in the twenty-first century?

Rachel Carson was born in 1907-World War II did not begin until the 1940s. This year marks Carson’s one hundred and tenth birthday. The natural and political environments were very different in the beginning of the twentieth century than they are in 2017. Yet, the impact from Carson’s book is still noticeable in this century and continues to have an impact on environmental awareness.

In the later half of Silent Spring, Carson adds a more poignant chapter entitled, “One in Every Four”. In her later years, Rachel Carson was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is interesting that she relates chemical pollution to cancer in the fourteenth chapter of her book. Carson writes, “As the tide of chemicals born of the Industrial Age has arisen to engulf our environment, a drastic change has come about in the nature of the most serious public health problems” (Carson, 187). This relationship adds a more sympathetic view to her work that appeals to a greater audience and inspires them to change.

Regardless of its publication in the late 1900s, Silent Spring remains relevant to current environmental issues since this text sparked environmentalism and offers readers important insight into the importance of respecting the natural world that took millenniums to develop. Should the U.S. government discard the Constitution merely because it was composed in 1787?No, the U.S. Constitution set important precedents of law that are vital to bind the country together. Silent Spring had the same effect on the environmental movement. In this book, Carson gives scientific evidence why mankind does not have the right to chemically destroy a planet that existed before humanity. Consequently, Carson’s environmental philosophy is still relevant to today’s society.

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