"What we have to face is not an occasional dose of
poison which has accidentally got into some article
First published in 1962, Rachel Carson's scientifically passionate exposure of the
effects of the indiscriminate use of chemicals will continue to be of vital importance.
In her vivid & well-informed text she describes how pesticides & insecticides are applied almost universally to farms, forests, gardens & homes with scant regard to
the consequent contamination of our environment and the widespread destruction
of wildlife. She argues that unless we recognise that human beings are only part of
the living world, our progressive poisoning of the planet will end in catastrophe.
Silent Spring remains the classic statement which founded a whole movement and should be read by everyone who is concerned about the future of our world.
Lord Shackleton wrote in his introduction - Silent Spring is not merely about poisons; it is about ecology or the relation of plants and animals to their environment and to one another. Ecologists are more and more coming to recognize that for this purpose man is an animal and indeed the most important of all animals and that however artificial his dwelling, he cannot with impunity allow a natural environment of living things from which he has so recently emerged to be destroyed.
Cover photograph by Sebastiao Salgado/Magnum from the John Hillelson Agency
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