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Silent Spring | Rachel Carson

 

In this seminal text published in 1962 Carson exposed the hazards of pesticides including the notorious DDT, questioned humanity’s faith in technological progress and kickstarted the environmental movement. Carson, a renowned nature author and a former marine biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was uniquely equipped to create what was considered at the time a startling and inflammatory book.

Carson argued that chemical treatment of soils led to the destruction of beneficial biological species and resulted in an imbalance to the ecosystem. Furthermore, she emphasised chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophosphates as the main cause of bird and fish fatalities, and human nervous system disorders. Her work is characterised by meticulous research and a poetic evocation of the subject. Carson concluded that the human desire of total control of nature is conceived in arrogance.