Her description of chemical spraying suggests that moral dilemmas are involved in the use of toxins as well as technical problems of environmental management. What moral dilemma is Carson worried...

Her description of chemical spraying suggests that moral dilemmas are involved in the use of toxins as well as technical problems of environmental management. What moral dilemma is Carson worried about?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the dilemmas with which Carlson finds herself concerned is the moral approach to pesticides.  The moral problem she sees with pesticides is that something so destructive happens with so much ease.  Carson sees so much that is wrong with pesticide usage in scientific terms.  It is a condition that does so much damage to so many living organisms, both animals and humans.  The moral dilemma that Carson sees is that the use of pesticides is a simple approach to a complex problem.  Rather than people engaging in complex solutions to the problem that embraces biological intricacy, there is an ease to embrace "Neanderthal Science" that fails to understand ecological context. 

For Carson, this is a moral issue because, like the dropping of the atomic bomb, something that is so destructive can happen with so much ease.  The moral issues are evaded with the ease and simplicity with which it is embraced.  Death and destruction through pesticides are not fully grasped when its ease in use is so clear.  In this, Carson sees a moral dilemma because of its simplistic and reductive approach that fails to understand ecological complexity.  It is an easy way to embrace death and destruction without a willingness to see its implications. 

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