Bryan Kibbe's Reviews > Silent Spring

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
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Jun 27, 11

Read in June, 2011

As Edward O. Wilson observes in his afterword to this classic environmental text, while the effects of broad spectrum chemical insecticides had been documented in certain quarters of the scientific community prior to Silent Spring, no one had offered such a comprehensive vision of the problems posed by chemical insecticides. Indeed, Carson displayed a remarkable ability to see across the boundaries dividing various scientific disciplines and synthesize results in a way that was accessible an compelling. In such a manner, Carson continues to offer an example for present and future research and advocacy, namely to develop lateral thinking that is able to see beyond the proverbial cubicle walls. A testament to Carson's writing style, this is the kind of book that makes you look and listen a little closer to the world happening around you. As I was reading I often found myself noticing more closely the sounds of bird calls outside my window , and when I visited a part of the city recently that was particularly devoid of trees I felt an especially deep revulsion for such development patterns. While the environmental movement has more recently fallen prey to political partisanship and the subsequent stalemate that results, Carson's approach reminds us that rarely is the solution to any given problem at the extreme, but rather rests somewhere along the middle road that is forged by creativity, patience, and a desire to understand the effects of our actions prior to the realization of irreversible consequences.
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