From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible. In this now universal contamination of the environment, chemicals are the sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation in changing the very nature of the world— the very nature of its life."-- Silent Spring (1962) by Rachel Carson
"The crux, the fulcrum over which the argument chiefly rests, is that Miss Carson maintains that the balance of nature is a major force in the survival of man, whereas the modern chemist, the modern biologist and scientist, believes that man is steadily controlling nature."--Robert White Stevens cited in CBS Reports: The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson (1963)
"To these people, apparently the balance of nature was something that was repealed as soon as man came on the scene - you might just as well assume that you could repeal the law of gravity."--Rachel Carson cited in CBS Reports: The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson (1963)
"The sedge is wither’d from the lake, And no birds sing." --Keats
"I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially."--E. B. White
The book was published on September 27, 1962, documenting the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting the industry's marketing claims unquestioningly.
Starting in the late 1950s, prior to the book's publication, Carson had focused her attention on environmental conservation, especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result of her research was Silent Spring, which brought environmental concerns to the American public. The book was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, but, owing to public opinion, it brought about numerous changes. It spurred a reversal in the United States' national pesticide policy, led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses, and helped to inspire an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Blessed Unrest (2007), by Paul Hawken
- Our Stolen Future (1996), by Theo Colburn, et al.
- Our Synthetic Environment (1962), by Murray Bookchin
- Sterile insect technique
- Timeline of history of environmentalism
- Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed
- Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of American Cities
- Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique