The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a highly disruptive species that can, and has played a distinctive role in the lives of many organisms. Included in these organisms are various deciduous trees and shrubs, wildlife species that share the same environment, and even humans. The gypsy moth destroys the beauty of woodlands via defoliation, alters ecosystems and wildlife habitats, and disrupts our own lives. It should therefore come as no surprise that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and many other agencies have taken huge steps to help diminish populations of this small, yet persistent species. In an effort to control these overwhelming populations, five chemical control agents have
The following involves the second chapter of Carson’s book, Silent Spring that was written in 1962. In this chapter Carson argues persuasively the adverse impacts of pesticides upon the environment and the risks on human health and the environment associated with these “genetic invaders” (Carson, 1962). Many of the extremely diverse people from Carson’s audience targeted were under the impression that chemicals like DDT, at that time in history, were safe for their health. Carson reconciles and attempts to persuade the public to consider the idea that DDT, which in the 1950s and 60s was one of the many chemical pesticides being manufactured and sold to
Carson speaks about the diminishment of us as a human being. With the amount of harmful pesticides we use without fully understanding its consequences, we are slowly killing our human race. When pesticides are sprayed on crops and insects, they end up getting into our bodies. Adopting the easy way of getting rid of insects is harming us in the long run.
She suggest chemical insecticides and herbicides be call biocides (toxins that kill many species) because these chemicals do their job at eradicating their target organism, but end up in the animal that eats the chemical’s target organism thus having the potential to kill this animal also. Carson is opposed to the use of most toxins.
When DDT became available for civilian use in 1945, there were only a few people who expressed second thoughts about this new miracle compound. One was nature writer Edwin Way Teale, who warned, "A spray as indiscriminate as DDT can upset the economy of nature as much as a revolution upsets social economy. Ninety percent of all insects are good, and if they are killed, things go out of kilter right away." Another was Rachel Carson, who wrote to the Reader's Digest to propose an article about a series of tests on DDT being conducted not far from where she lived in Maryland. The magazine rejected the idea.
3. With regards to the genetic makeup of target insect populations, heavy pesticide use can alter their DNA to the point where the insects develop a resistance to certain insecticides like malaria mosquitoes to DDT. These effects can be counterproductive to long-term insect control because one the
Everyday people all over the world try to improve the qualities of their lives. Nonetheless, they forget that what they do can have severe harms and damages on the environment and other organisms. In the excerpt “A Fable for Tomorrow” from the book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson describes the disastrous and horrific effects of pesticides on the environment and animals of the town. In the essay “Our Animal Rites” by Anna Quindlen, she shows the inhumanity of animal hunting by human. Furthermore, she argues how human migration is destroying the natural habitats that belong to the animals. In the excerpt “Reading the River” from the autobiographical book Life on Mississippi, Mark Twain describes how he loses the ability to perceive the
In the book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s main concern is the widespread use of synthetic pesticides and their impact on the environment. Carson concentrates on a commonly used pesticide in the 1950s called DDT. She opposes the indiscriminate spraying of DDT because it has profound consequences on the environment, humans and animals. Carson collected information about how the DDT can cause cancer in humans, harm animals such as birds and remained in the environment for long periods of time. Subsequently, the chemicals in the pesticides are extremely harmful so she tries to raise awareness and convince others that there are better alternatives.
DDT, one of the first insecticides, showed resistance to a species of insects starting as early as 1946, and this resistance has continued to progress and become documented showing that insects can become resistant to any insecticide. (“Insecticide Resistance,” 1958). Insecticide resistance has been shown in four major ways: behavioral resistance, penetration resistance, knock-down resistance (kdr), and metabolic resistance (Bartels et al., 2001). All of these types of resistance are allowing insects to avoid the effects of the insecticide either by physically avoiding through their behavior, or in the case of knock-down resistance, a phenotype trait is inherited giving the insect nerve insensitivity of the major insecticides – DDT, pyrethrins, and pyrethroids – through a point mutation (Gellatly et al.,
Blinded by the seemingly favorable outcomes of the use of chemical pesticides, humans are unlikely to acknowledge pesticides’ detrimental effects. Such is the case with the controversial use of parathion and other pesticides to protect crops on farms in the 1960’s. In 1962, conservationist and marine biologist Rachel Carson released a book entitled Silent Spring, detailing the harmful environmental effects of pesticides. The release of her book drew national attention to the contentious use of pesticides in America and led to a nationwide ban on the pesticide DDT and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency. In an excerpt from Silent Spring, Carson seeks to not only caution the general public against the hazardous use of pesticides,
There were also many unintended problems that came from the giant sprayings. 95-98% of pesticides sprayed reach destinations other than the intended target, including non-target species, water, soil, and air. This “pesticide drift” lead to water pollution and soil contamination. Soil contamination is a serious problem because it degrades the soil and the communities of organisms can be damaged. Because of this contamination, it has drastic effects on the environment. It incredibly decreases biodiversity, reduces nitrogen in the soil, has contributed to the decline in pollinating insects, destroys habitats (especially those for birds), and threatens endangers species. In order to reduce the negative impacts on the environment, the best pesticides are degradable, or at least quickly deactivate in the environment.
After viewing the studies held in the United States and Africa, I believe that the use of DDT in the United States or Africa is not ethical. If I were a politician or community leader, I would ban the use of all the insecticides that harm people and the environment. Even if some will argue that their current use in some areas shows that their perceived benefits outweigh the health and environmental risks, but I strongly believe that the use of DDT is not an appropriate insecticide. According to United States Environmental Protection Agency, DDT is known to be very persistent in the environment and stays for a significant period of time; it will accumulate in fatty tissues, and can travel long distances in the upper atmosphere (EPA, n.d.).
As humans, we have always been trying to gain control over nature, chemicals being one of the ways we have attempted this. Carson also explains that most of the problems we try to control with chemicals is caused by our own doing, an example being living in unsanitary conditions or accidentally bringing over new insects when we are shipping things from place to place. Then as we all know, when this book was written the solve-all solution to this problem was to spray DDT all over everything. People believed that this stuff was going to make their lives better and insect free. She even gives an example of