My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Al Gore’s introduction to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring he wrote, “Silent Spring came as a cry in the wilderness, a deeply felt, thoroughly researched, and brilliantly written argument that changed the course of history.
Without this book, the environmental movement might have been long delayed or never have developed at all.”
In “And No Birds Sing” Carson began making clear connections with the use of pesticides and insecticides and the hazardous effects they have on birds.
In 1954 spraying for Dutch elm disease on the Michigan State University campus began and “soon it became evident that something was wrong. Dead and dying robins began to appear on the campus” (106).
Carson went on to include other species, writing:
“Mammals, also, may easily be involved in the cycle, directly or indirectly” (110).
Direct poisoning was no longer the only act to consider in the destruction of the Earth and its species, but indirect or secondary poisoning was belonging to the threat as well.
Carson further cites research after research article which began to draw a morbid picture of how pesticides/insecticides did more harm than good in both the United States and England.
At the end of the chapter, Carson asks, “Who has made the decision that sets in motion these chains of poisonings, this ever-widening wave of death that spreads out, like ripples when a pebble is dropped into a still pond” (127)?
In “Rivers of Death” Carson continues the onslaught of scientific facts which illustrate how pesticides and insecticides not only destroy the land but how they also contaminate water supplies, indirectly poisoning human beings.
Spraying of forests led to the toxins entering into the water supply, either by rainfall or by an underground source, which then in turn poisoned the fish, and when birds and humans ate the fish, they too were poisoned.
In addition, the poisoned waters would also find their way into the drinking water, poisoning more and more humans.
The chain which linked the initial spraying of chemicals apparently did not end with the designated targets. In efforts to save trees, humanity was finding, as Carson notes, that a cycle of life was becoming broken and species were dying in the hundreds of thousands, and in some cases in the millions.
Carson ends the chapter with a warning as much as a reminder:
“The fisheries of fresh and salt water are a resource of great importance, involving the interests and the welfare of a very large number of people. That they are now seriously threatened by the chemicals entering our waters can no longer be doubted” (152).
Carson makes it clear that if one unit of the whole is contaminated then all parts of the whole, in some form or manner, also become contaminated, seriously jeopardizing everything.
Carson’s jeremiad, as Al Gore noted, “brought us back to a fundamental idea lost to an amazing degree in modern civilization: the interconnection of human beings and the natural environment. This book was a shaft of light that for the first time illuminated what is arguably the most important issue of our era.”
Silent Spring woke a sleeping nation up, and the world, angering belligerent chemical producing companies, to the deadly possibilities and truths which had long been over-looked, even blatantly ignored, in efforts to maximize profits, but in the end did more harm than good.
I recommend reading Silent Spring and more about this remarkable woman that helped to make the world a better and safer place.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a member of the Hemingway Society, Club Med, and the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America: A Look Back (2020); and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; A Time to Forget in East Berlin; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
You can follow the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 450,000+ followers
“Readers of The Catcher in the Rye and similar stories will relish the astute, critical inspection of life that makes Little Hometown, America a compelling snapshot of contemporary American life and culture.”
“Fewston employs a literary device called a ‘frame narrative’ which may be less familiar to some, but allows for a picture-in-picture result (to use a photographic term). Snapshots of stories appear as parts of other stories, with the introductory story serving as a backdrop for a series of shorter stories that lead readers into each, dovetailing and connecting in intricate ways.”
“The American novelist CG FEWSTON tells a satisfying tale, bolstered by psychology and far-ranging philosophy, calling upon Joseph Campbell, J. D. Salinger, the King James Bible, and Othello.”
“In this way, the author lends intellectual heft to a family story, exploring the ‘purity’ of art, the ‘corrupting’ influences of publishing, the solitary artist, and the messy interconnectedness of human relationships.”
GOLD Winner in the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for Contemporary Realistic Fiction
FINALIST in the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL FICTION category of the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence 2020 Awards (NIEA)
“Fewston’s lyrical, nostalgia-steeped story is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old man gazing back on events from his 1980s Texas childhood…. the narrator movingly conveys and interprets the greater meanings behind childhood memories.”
“The novel’s focus on formative childhood moments is familiar… the narrator’s lived experiences come across as wholly personal, deeply felt, and visceral.”
American Novelist CG FEWSTON
This is my good friend, Nicolasa (Nico) Murillo, CRC, who is a professional chef & a wellness mentor. I’ve known her since childhood & I’m honored to share her story with you. In life, we all have ups & downs, some far more extreme than others. Much like in Canada, in America, the legalization of marijuana has become a national movement, which includes safe & legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use & research for all.
“This is a wellness movement,” Nico explains. The wellness movement is focused on three specific areas: information, encouragement, & accountability.
In these stressful & unprecedented times, it makes good sense to promote & encourage the state or condition of being in good physical & mental health.
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.
TEXANS FOR SAFE ACCESS ~ share the mission of their national organization, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, for all Texans.
Stay safe & stay happy. God bless.
Nico Murillo Bio ~ Americans & Texans for Safe Access ~ Medical Cannabis