"Silent Spring" Book Critique

"Silent Spring" Book Critique - Megan Carter ZOO 121H...

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Megan Carter ZOO 121H – Environmental Biology Dr. Oris April 27, 2010 “Silent Spring” Book Critique “Silent Spring” is a book written by Rachel Carson (1907-1954) and published in 1962. Some say it launched the environmental movement. Although I wasn’t alive then, I definitely see why. In the first chapter a small town is described where everything is perfect, then something goes terribly wrong and all the plants and animals die. The way this ‘story’ was told makes me think that if Carson were still alive she would be amazed that it had not yet come to quite that. The scene depicted reminded me of the array of apocalyptic movies, telling the story of the end of the world, trying to put fear into her readers before giving the cold, hard facts. It almost seemed like a scare tactic (a rather successful one). The second chapter gives facts as to how many chemicals are being introduced to the world in the United States every year. The figures are amazing to say the least and it seems odd that there could even be that many chemicals to produce each year especially back then. Carson then focuses on the idea of introducing new species into an environment and the implications of such an introduction. This is a great segway into the next topic: insecticides, herbicides and pesticides. The third chapter (and pretty much the rest of the book) focuses on insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides and how they not only affect the natural environment but families and communities throughout the U.S. Carson begins by describing older methods of getting Carter 1
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insecticides from plants, then moves on to discuss modern insecticides and breaks them down into two different groups: chlorinated hydrocarbons (such as DDT, chlordane, heptachlor, dieldrin, aldrin, and endrin) and alkyl or organic phosphates (such as parathion and malathion). She also points out chemicals such as arsenic, although known to be one of the deadliest chemicals known to man at the time, was still being used in insecticides and herbicides. Throughout the book Carson continues to bring up these chemicals in dozens of examples
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2011 for the course ZOO 121H taught by Professor Oris during the Spring '10 term at Miami University.

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"Silent Spring" Book Critique - Megan Carter ZOO 121H...

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