Silent Spring

 

 

Rachel Carson

 

Mariner Books, 2002

 

ISBN: 0-618-24906-0

 

This is the classic that is said to have started the environmental movement. Originally published in 1962, new editions are printed occasionally so that modern readers can read  its message, which continues to be as relevant as ever. In a nutshell, this book compiles a long list of examples of how humans can inadvertently (and sometimes intentionally) poison the environment. By the 1960's newly designed chemicals were being used to control all sorts of unwanted organisms, whether they be insect pests or invading weeds. As effective as they were at removing these scourges, they were also causing immense collateral damage and killing many other living organisms that came into contact with these chemicals.

 

Rachel Carson found this troubling and decided to write a straightforward account of the facts that anyone could follow, and plenty of facts there are. Today the numbers and figures reported in the book won't be important anymore, but the general message still rings true. Her gentle prose is easy to digest making the book a quick read that will remind the reader about the importance of finding sustainable ways to co-exist with nature. Perhaps today her message is even more important as we not only continue to struggle with the irresponsible use of pesticides, but also now wrestle with things like global warming and deforestation.