Review: Rachel Carson – Silent Spring


(Fish and Wildlife Service employee photo: Rachel Carson)

   Silent Spring, published in 1962, was a key to the environmental revolution in the late 20th century. Rachel Carson dedicated her life to biology, starting out as a marine biologist before turning to writing. Specialising in the threats posed by synthetic pesticides during the growing Agricultural sector, Silent Spring highlighted pesticides such as (the infamous) DDT and Methyl-parathion amongst other carcinogenic compounds.

Carson’s book provoked outrage and hatred from the relevant sectors, after accusations of spreading false information to consumers and her detailing the terrible health defects that result from the continued exposure to pesticides. However, her book also caused much needed changes in legislation and the withdrawal of some of the most harmful pesticides on the market.

The book is definitely a necessary read for any environmentalist, although be aware of the intensity of warning and fear that Carson intended in her writing, making any reader want to run away to the hills and live in a self-sustaining shack with nothing but 3 goats and a herb garden.