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Environmental Influence Of Silent Spring: Rachel Carson's Environmental Movement

Decent Essays
Thesis: In Silent Spring Rachel Carson starts an environmental movement by informing the public of the dangers of pesticides, which causes a shift in views towards pesticides and the harm they do to the environment. DDT is WW II insecticide designed to rid the troops of disease carrying insects such as lice and mosquitoes (Graham 56). Paul Hermann Muller, the chemist who invented DDT, was even awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology Medicine. However no research was done on the environmental impact of the chemicals. DDT soon became the miracle pesticide used everywhere until concerns began to surface as animals began dying off. The problem with DDT is that it does not break down into harmless chemicals, so the dangerous compounds are passed through the food chain (Graham 15). Because DDT is fat soluble, it is ingested by an animal and then stored in its fat. As DDT passes through…show more content…
The National Environmental Policy Act was enacted in 1969 focused on assessing the environmental impact of any governmental project. Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the first Earth Day which occurred on April 22, 1970. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act were all passed by 1976, all with the intention of protecting the environment (Harlan 118). Rachel Carson's call to protect the environment is still being heard today by our politicians. In 1996 President Clinton enacted The Food Quality Act which requires the EPA to again review the effects of pesticides (Milestones). Vice President AL Gore cites Rachel Carson as an inspiration in his book An inconvenient Truth. When Gore was a child his mother read Silent Spring to him and his sister Gore 10). Gore writes, “The book's lessons made a huge impression on us. The way we thought about nature and the earth was never the same (10).” Now AL Gore is one of the main spokespersons of a new environmental war, global
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