What is the significance of Silent Spring in the course of Environmental Awareness?

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

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An argument can be made that Carlson's work helped to actually start the movement towards environmental awareness.  At a time when there was a fairly wide and expansive embrace about how industrialization and technology almost above reproach, Carson's work detailed how individuals' and companies'  use of pesticides were destructive on two levels.  On one hand, the use of artificial means to eliminate natural elements helps to destroy the intertwined ecosystem upon which all nature relies.  Additionally, Carson's work points out the need to reject man-made solutions to complex ecological problems.  Her work details the need to seek to integrate human endeavors into a natural scope and sequence that respects and almost reveres the environment as opposed to operating outside of it.  Carson's pleas are not emotional and rhetorical as much as they are scientific and precise, rooted in the same type of analysis and thought that gave forces the reader to fully grasp that technological advancement can come with an intense cost.  Carson's work goes very far in demanding that government and social elements play a role in protecting the natural setting and do what must be done to protect the ecological balance and framework within which all humans are immersed.  It is in this note that the modern movement towards environmental awareness can be seen.

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