Environmental Studies1.31.04While watching the Rachel Carson and Silent Spring video three majorideas struck me as interesting.
The first was the idea that some peopleactually believe that nature was created for us. In other words, we havefree reign to control the environment in any way that we wish. This stanceon the environment may not have been true of the people who created DDTbecause they may have been ignorant of the side effects.They might nothave thought to thoroughly check what DDT did the environment and topeople. This type of ignorance is present all throughout our society, agood example of this of is the cigarette business.
Now, if these peoplewho created DDT did in fact understand what they were doing to theenvironment and they chose to do nothing about it, that is purelyunacceptable and I think that is the stance that Rachel Carson took. Onething that the companies that created DDT were guilty of was the idea ofplaying God through chemicals. I believe that even in the earliest days,we as a culture understood the fact that there were ecosystems. Myreasoning behind this is the Bushman culture that we observed in the othervideo in the class. They grew to understand what overkill would do to theecosystem that they lived in. This idea compared to the fact that we as asociety are more advanced gives me clear reason to believe that thescientists knew that the eventual extinction of certain insects would causea great rift in that ecosystem.
Unfortunately, I am not educated enough topredict what that change in the ecosystem would be, but I’m sure that itwould have a detrimental effect. While I’m talking about effects, I feelthe need to briefly discuss the vast effect that Silent Spring had on theUnited States. I can assume that Rachel Carson thought her book would havea largely felt impact, but not as large of an impact that it did have. Itis a reassuring thing to see that one small seemingly inconsequentialperson can greatly impact a nation’s thinking. Not only that, SilentSpring helped educate a country about something that would not have beenuncovered unless much time was dedicated to it and also it educated thecountry about something that needed to be known.
My feeling is that weneed more people like Rachel Carson, who educate people about things thatwe have assumed or taken for granted in the past.