Review: Silent Spring

Silent Spring
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not a review. Just some notes.

Chemicals irrevocably changing the very nature of the world. The pace is too fast for nature to adjust. Poisons killing indiscriminately – not just what they’re put out to kill.
Monocrops lead to huge infestations of pests that survive on that crop.
Communities were sprayed without their knowledge or consent.
Insecticides can be classified as “organic” because they are built by carbon atoms.

Interesting that this became a best-seller; were readers more patient in the 1960s? Lots of chemistry in the early chapters. Fascinating stuff that I lack the ready knowledge to verify, but I am engaged while reading it. How many in our general reading public today would stick with this if not reading for a class?

Substances in fat can lay dormant until periods of physiological stress when the body draws on its fat reserves. Would exercise and weight loss also activate the poisons?

DDT – WHO – Malaria control – The mosquitoes became resistant to DDT. It stopped being effective as pest/disease control.

p. 50 “The reservoir was created as a public water supply, yet the community, probably unconsulted about the sportsmen’s project, is forced either to drink water containing poisonous residues or to pay tax money for treatment of the water to remove the poisons – treatments that are by no means foolproof.”
(when lakes/reservoirs are treated to control nuisance bugs like gnats to make fishing more pleasant0

Carrots absorb more insecticide that other crops studied (what other crops have been studied?) Eat organic carrots!

What does this mean for soils? How many years have to pass before “organic” or “best practices” have any meaning (if soils still test for pesticides 10 years later)?

Are peanuts still grown in rotation with cotton?

Bees – In order for them to pollinate our food plants, the “weeds” need to be there – the wild plants that flower before and after sustain them so that they will be there when we “need” them.

silo death
diffuse chemical pneumonia

“By acquiescing in an act that can cause such suffering to a living creature, who among us is not diminished as a human being?” p. 100

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