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Alexis Benavidez's Profile: Summary and Responses : Summary and response: The obligation to Endure by Rachel Carson

Summary and response: The obligation to Endure by Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson, a bestselling author and credible well known scientist at the time took up the problem of chemical pesticides. She wrote, “The Obligation to Endure,” that was published in 1962 and also “Silent Spring” which was a big hit. “Silent Spring” was her most successful work where she took the position of a social activist, on the impact pesticides have on the environment. She died in 1964 from breast cancer, before she was even able to see her success on how her work impacted the world.

“Silent spring” had mainly focused on the unintended consequences of human behavior. She talks about all the things man invents; not realizing the harm it does on the environment. Carson states, “…man acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.” I think she means mans power to make structural changes with the nature part of our world is so great, but in return only hinders the environment. We constantly contaminate our world with new experiments or creations of something that not only hurts our environment, but humans as well. And she made that explicitly clear throughout this chapter. Carson says the damage has already taken its effect, which it’s almost impossible to reverse and undo what’s been done.  She focused on chemical pesticides that are being used because once it settles into the soil it transfers to underneath where aquifers are and can get into the water supply. So it’s a chain reaction, where not only the water is contaminated but so are humans. These chemical pesticides are supposed to be helping us, but instead it’s having the opposite effect.

Carson also mentions that man isn’t aware of the contamination that being done, because the contaminants are the farmers who are only doing what they are told to do. Yet again, theres this continuous cycle of contamination with animal life, plant life, water, and air all to keep pests away but even chemical pesticides can’t keep new pests from forming. She then goes on about the unnatural creations that man makes, like radiation. She says the sun and rocks are no longer a problem for the cause of UV rays, but mans abnormal creations of messing with the atom. There’s so many issues embedded with one another because it’s a constant chain reaction, since anything contaminated is either eaten, drunken, or breathed. Carson then concludes with where she stands and it’s not that chemical pesticides aren’t unnecessary because they are, but rather being knowledgeable and aware because there are so many issues to be looked.

After reading a chapter from her book, I was informed about a lot and what the underlying issue really is. The biggest problem we face is not being aware or enough knowledge of what we are actually doing to our environment. I’ve also come to the realization of the chain reaction that happens; chemical pesticides are being put in plant life, settle into the soil, animals drink this water or eat off these plants, humans eat the animal, and all life has been contaminated just to keep a couple pests away. I chose this article not really focusing on if it related to my topic, but because of the underlying issue with everything and how do we make these issues so that people are aware. One of the questions I need to answer for my research paper, is “what the solution is?” Well it all starts with just knowledge and being informed, but it’s hard to get this message across if the community isn’t being told about the harmful causes. So, it starts with being informed and making it worldwide, because as soon as a new virus comes out everyone freaks out and maybe that’s exactly what needs to happen to become knowledgeable about what we put into our system and environment.

Posted by Alexis Benavidez on 17 March 2012, 4:32 PM
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