Quiet Revisions

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Its title was inspired by a poem by John Keats , " La Belle Dame sans Merci ", which contained the lines "The sedge is wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing. By August , Carson agreed to the suggestion of her literary agent Marie Rodell: Silent Spring would be a metaphorical title for the entire book—suggesting a bleak future for the whole natural world—rather than a literal chapter title about the absence of birdsong.

The final writing was the first chapter, "A Fable for Tomorrow", which was intended to provide a gentle introduction to a serious topic. By mid, Brooks and Carson had largely finished the editing and were planning to promote the book by sending the manuscript to select individuals for final suggestions. The overarching theme of Silent Spring is the powerful—and often negative—effect humans have on the natural world. DDT is a prime example, but other synthetic pesticides—many of which are subject to bioaccumulation —are scrutinized.

Carson accuses the chemical industry of intentionally spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. Most of the book is devoted to pesticides' effects on natural ecosystems, but four chapters detail cases of human pesticide poisoning , cancer, and other illnesses attributed to pesticides. In laboratory tests on animal subjects, DDT has produced suspicious liver tumors.

Scientists of the Food and Drug Administration who reported the discovery of these tumors were uncertain how to classify them, but felt there was some "justification for considering them low grade hepatic cell carcinomas.

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Carson predicts increased consequences in the future, especially since targeted pests may develop resistance to pesticides and weakened ecosystems fall prey to unanticipated invasive species. The book closes with a call for a biotic approach to pest control as an alternative to chemical pesticides.

Carson never called for an outright ban on DDT. She said in Silent Spring that even if DDT and other insecticides had no environmental side effects, their indiscriminate overuse was counterproductive because it would create insect resistance to pesticides, making them useless in eliminating the target insect populations:. No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored.

The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse. The world has heard much of the triumphant war against disease through the control of insect vectors of infection, but it has heard little of the other side of the story—the defeats, the short-lived triumphs that now strongly support the alarming view that the insect enemy has been made actually stronger by our efforts.

Even worse, we may have destroyed our very means of fighting. Carson also said that "Malaria programmes are threatened by resistance among mosquitoes", [33] and quoted the advice given by the director of Holland's Plant Protection Service: "Practical advice should be 'Spray as little as you possibly can' rather than 'Spray to the limit of your capacity'.

Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible. Carson and the others involved with publication of Silent Spring expected fierce criticism and were concerned about the possibility of being sued for libel. Carson was undergoing radiation therapy for her cancer and expected to have little energy to defend her work and respond to critics.

In preparation for the anticipated attacks, Carson and her agent attempted to amass prominent supporters before the book's release. Most of the book's scientific chapters were reviewed by scientists with relevant expertise, among whom Carson found strong support. Douglas , a long-time environmental advocate who had argued against the court's rejection of the Long Island pesticide spraying case and had provided Carson with some of the material included in her chapter on herbicides. Though Silent Spring had generated a fairly high level of interest based on pre-publication promotion, this became more intense with its serialization, which began in the June 16, , issue.

Around that time, Carson learned that Silent Spring had been selected as the Book-of-the-Month for October; she said this would "carry it to farms and hamlets all over that country that don't know what a bookstore looks like—much less The New Yorker.

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There was another round of publicity in July and August as chemical companies responded. The story of the birth defect-causing drug thalidomide had broken just before the book's publication, inviting comparisons between Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey , the Food and Drug Administration reviewer who had blocked the drug's sale in the United States. In the weeks before the September 27, , publication, there was strong opposition to Silent Spring from the chemical industry.

DuPont , a major manufacturer of DDT and 2,4-D , and Velsicol Chemical Company , the only manufacturer of chlordane and heptachlor , were among the first to respond. DuPont compiled an extensive report on the book's press coverage and estimated impact on public opinion. Chemical industry representatives and lobbyists lodged a range of non-specific complaints, some anonymously.

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Chemical companies and associated organizations produced brochures and articles promoting and defending pesticide use. However, Carson's and the publishers' lawyers were confident in the vetting process Silent Spring had undergone. The magazine and book publications proceeded as planned, as did the large Book-of-the-Month printing, which included a pamphlet by William O. Douglas endorsing the book. White-Stevens called her "a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature", [43] while former U. Eisenhower reportedly said that because she was unmarried despite being physically attractive, she was "probably a Communist".

Monsanto published 5, copies of a parody called "The Desolate Year" which projected a world of famine and disease caused by banning pesticides. Many critics repeatedly said Carson was calling for the elimination of all pesticides, but she had made it clear she was not advocating this but was instead encouraging responsible and carefully managed use with an awareness of the chemicals' impact on ecosystems. The academic community—including prominent defenders such as H. Muller , Loren Eiseley , Clarence Cottam and Frank Egler —mostly backed the book's scientific claims and public opinion backed Carson's text.

The chemical industry campaign was counterproductive because the controversy increased public awareness of the potential dangers of pesticides, an early example of the Streisand Effect. The program included segments of Carson reading from Silent Spring and interviews with other experts, mostly critics including White-Stevens. According to biographer Linda Lear , "in juxtaposition to the wild-eyed, loud-voiced Dr.

Robert White-Stevens in white lab coat, Carson appeared anything but the hysterical alarmist that her critics contended". In one of her last public appearances, Carson testified before President John F. Kennedy 's Science Advisory Committee, which issued its report on May 15, , largely backing Carson's scientific claims.

Senate subcommittee to make policy recommendations. Though Carson received hundreds of other speaking invitations, she was unable to accept most of them because her health was steadily declining, with only brief periods of remission. She spoke as much as she could, and appeared on The Today Show and gave speeches at several dinners held in her honor. It was translated into French as Printemps silencieux , with the first French edition also appearing in The book's Italian title is Primavera silenziosa. Carson's work had a powerful impact on the environmental movement. Silent Spring became a rallying point for the new social movement in the s.

According to environmental engineer and Carson scholar H. Patricia Hynes, " Silent Spring altered the balance of power in the world. No one since would be able to sell pollution as the necessary underside of progress so easily or uncritically. It was also influential on the rise of ecofeminism and on many feminist scientists.

The organization brought lawsuits against the government to "establish a citizen's right to a clean environment", and the arguments against DDT largely mirrored Carson's. By , the Environmental Defense Fund and other activist groups had succeeded in securing a phase-out of DDT use in the United States, except in emergency cases. The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency by the Nixon Administration in addressed another concern that Carson had written about.

Until then, the USDA was responsible both for regulating pesticides and promoting the concerns of the agriculture industry; Carson saw this as a conflict of interest , since the agency was not responsible for effects on wildlife or other environmental concerns beyond farm policy. Fifteen years after its creation, one journalist described the EPA as "the extended shadow of Silent Spring ". Much of the agency's early work, such as enforcement of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act , was directly related to Carson's work.

Ruckelshaus' conclusion was that DDT could not be used safely. In a interview, Ruckelshaus briefly recounted his decision to ban DDT except for emergency uses, noting that Carson's book featured DDT and for that reason the issue drew considerable public attention.

bamedontti.cf He wrote: " Silent Spring had a profound impact Indeed, Rachel Carson was one of the reasons that I became so conscious of the environment and so involved with environmental issues Carson and the environmental movement were—and continue to be—criticized by some who argue that restrictions on the use of pesticides—specifically DDT—have caused tens of millions of needless deaths and hampered agriculture, and implicitly that Carson was responsible for inciting such restrictions.

May Berenbaum, University of Illinois entomologist, says, "to blame environmentalists who oppose DDT for more deaths than Hitler is worse than irresponsible. In the s, criticism of the bans of DDT that her work prompted intensified. That person is Rachel Carson. A review article in Nature by Rob Dunn [78] commemorating the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring and summarizing the progressive environmental-policy changes made since then, prompted a response in a letter written by Anthony Trewavas and co-signed by 10 others, including Christopher Leaver , Bruce Ames , Richard Tren and Peter Lachmann , who quote estimates of 60 to 80 million deaths "as a result of misguided fears based on poorly understood evidence".

Biographer Hamilton Lytle believes these estimates are unrealistic, even if Carson can be "blamed" for worldwide DDT policies.

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DDT was never banned for anti-malarial use, and its ban for agricultural use in the United States in did not apply outside the U. Writing from different disciplinary vantages and drawing on multiple case studies from South Africa, the former Soviet Union, Lebanon and Thailand, among others, the contributors decolonize trauma studies and make us question, how and where our own eyes and bodies are positioned as we revision the scenes before us.

Visions and Revisions : Performance, Memory, Trauma. Bryoni Trezise , Caroline Wake. People learn and recall information better if they connect it to other pieces of information. Quite often, students end up highlighting whole chunks and passages of text, which can give the appearance of having worked hard, but is of little value. Students who study in a quiet environment can recall more than those who revise while listening to music.


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Get some fresh air and exercise You cannot work all day, every day. Nor should you. Revision has to be about quality, as well as quantity.