Published in 1962, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson influenced the environmental movement as no one had since the 19th century’s most celebrated hermit, Henry David Thoreau, wrote about Walden Pond. Silent Spring presents a view of nature compromised by synthetic pesticides, especially DDT. Once these pesticides entered the biosphere, Carson argued, they not only killed bugs but also made their way up the food chain to threaten bird & fish populations & could eventually sicken children.
Much of the data & case studies that Carson drew from weren’t new; the scientific community had known of these findings for some time, but Carson was the first to put them all together for the general public and to draw stark and far-reaching conclusions. In doing so, Carson, the citizen-scientist, sparked a revolution.
“Silent Spring,” which has sold 2+ million copies, made a powerful case for the idea that if humankind poisoned nature, nature would in turn poison humankind. “Our heedless & destructive acts enter into the vast cycles of the earth & in time return to bring hazard to ourselves,”