Rachel Carson about Chemicals

Rachel Carson talks about large number of chemicals (approximately 500 or more pesticides) that were introduced each year and possibly making the earth unfit for all forms of life. Author argues about harmful effects of pesticides/chemicals on the environment. This book is an ideal example for public warning on the dangers of increasingly destructive practice.

Carson advocates about the dangers of pesticides/biocides on the nature that humans are causing in the urge of creating pest free environment rather stepping towards self destructing himself by the harmful effects of the chemicals. Man has been trying to engineer over the environment over few decades but is constantly disturbing the complex harmony of the environment. Chemicals/pesticides were used as war against insects and these chemicals were used carelessly without precautionary measures on large scale. Spraying DDT over large millions of acres of lands was not properly justified as humans were at war with pests, poisoning themselves in near future.

These global markets exaggerated the pest problem, which in turn helped them to advertisement and sell more pesticides. Major technological advancements in pesticide industries helped in newer advancements in various chemicals/pesticides output rather government concentrating on the threat it is in turn posing on mankind. The inability of government agencies to take proper actions or conduct practical programs to understand the complexities of the issue and an inability to take responsibility when that belief steers them in the wrong direction.

Carson explains the effects of these pesticides into their component parts, examining different sections of the natural world from the water to the soil, and from plants to birds life. Author gives an impressive range of statistical evidence to show that pesticides are much deadlier than their manufacturers will admit and within nature they will accumulate and interact to create effects that are difficult to foresee. Almost all types of populations were affected by use of these chemicals, entire plant kingdom across North America, many animal species among them the most affected were birds and marine life killing millions of species.

From the micro to macro scale of entire ecosystems had been affected by use of chemicals or pesticides. Author urges caution because little is known about their effects as they cause a harmful ripple effect in the interconnected web of life and could pose a direct threat to humans. Humans are not only poisoning themselves presently but are posing a serious threat to the future generation as we are transferring deadly mutations and toxins. Carson has narrowed her focus first to the human body and to the functioning of individual cells. Carson argues that chemicals in ecological systems can cause acute poisoning, nervous disorders, detrimental health effects, cancer, sterility in males, many genetic deformities, chromosomal abnormalities and even death. Carson’s consistent argument is that, nature is a complex ecological system, developed through checks and balances over thousands and millions of years, which should not be disturbed without proper precautions.

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