Words

A 2012 discussion of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring."
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TomTheobald
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Words

Post by TomTheobald » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:03 pm

This is probably my third reading of Silent Spring, first when it was new, then about 10 or 12 years ago and now this time. What struck me in chapter 3, Elixirs of Death, is how little things have changed. With the change of just a few words, a few product names, Carson could have written this last week, not 50 years ago.

Book Club Host
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Re: Words

Post by Book Club Host » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:24 pm

What passage did you find most striking?

igmula1
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Re: Words

Post by igmula1 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:25 pm

I agree. I wasn't born yet when the book was written and as I read it I can't help but think things have changed but I wonder how much. Sure, some chemicals have been banned, but countless more have taken their place.

Even more alarming are the things we are creating unintentionally. One of the passages that really struck me in this regard is in Chapter 4 and reads, "Indeed one of the most alarming aspects of the chemical pollution of water is the fact that here - in river or lake or reservoir, or for that matter in the glass of water served at your dinner table - are mingled chemicals that no responsible chemist would think of combining in his laboratory."

donstu
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Re: Words

Post by donstu » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:59 pm

Agreed. Further, the chemical reactions, unknown and unknowable, happen not just in the water, but in the air and in the soil ... creating things no chemist ever intended or imagined ... to have what affect is anyone's guess. The irresponsible nature of this ... the choice not to use a precautionary approach ... is criminal in my not so humble opinion.

DavisChurches
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Re: Words

Post by DavisChurches » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:20 pm

I'm wondering how difficult it might have been in the early 60's to have an outsiders view of the propaganda machine that was in full swing back then...she obviously did not drink the kool-aid.
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donstu
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Re: Words

Post by donstu » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:52 pm

Right from the beginning of this "green revolution" the chemical companies have been willing and able to pump us full of lovely sales promotions telling us how wonderful the chemicals are "for us" and how extensive testing has scientifically proven how safe they are. This DDT advertisement is a classic demonstration. The same was said for many chemicals that have now been removed from the market due to the negative health impacts. Take, for example, the drug my mother took which deformed and discolored my teeth while she carried me. There is no reason we should expect any different from the likes of Sulfoxaflor, the latest neonic being rushed through for "conditional registration" which will, naturally, become forever registration ... until they need to change the name and distract us with a new chemical we cannot pronounce. We've been through this cyclically throughout my life ... throughout my parent's lives. Why, pray tell, is this behavior not criminal by now? Have we no legislator willing to take up the cause?

Geez ... I'm sounding bitter. I don't like that. But I have good cause. ... dons

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Re: Words

Post by Book Club Host » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:36 pm

Igmalu1, there's a new book out you may find interesting. (Perhaps you've already seen?) Breasts, by Florence Williams addresses some of the issues you brought up. I haven't read it yet, but Williams was interviewed, entertainingly, by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. Recommended.

"Just What's Inside Those Breasts?"

http://www.npr.org/2012/05/16/152818798 ... -to-toxins

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Re: Words

Post by Book Club Host » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:02 pm

DavisChurches, you said, "I'm wondering how difficult it might have been in the early 60's to have an outsiders view of the propaganda machine that was in full swing back then ..."

Same here.

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