The longer I remain on this planet, the more I am growing to despise the vermin
known as the human race, and long for the day of freedom when those few of us that are not blinded by greed and stupidity may escape to a new dimension to
live in peace and harmony with all life and all that was once beautiful on this planet. Gods help us all! I had only to read one page to know that this
landmark book in environmental activism, first published in 1962, is even more relevant here in 2017. Rachel Carson must be spinning in her grave.
There. Having gotten that off my chest, I will just give a tiny bit of background on this extremely influential book that helped establish the Environmental Protection Agency, (which, of course, now is just as corrupt as the rest of the government agencies).
Carson was born in 1907 and died in 1964 from complications related to breast cancer. She was a marine biologist and conservationist, along with authoring numerous books. According to Wikipedia, she is "credited with advancing the global environmental movement." This article and the specific one on Silent Spring contain a great deal of useful information on Carson's background and the background of the book. This book is essential reading for every human being on the planet. It should be required in every school program. Period.
After WWII, the U.S. Military took it upon themselves to begin development of extremely toxic pesticides. You will note that this is the same time they decided they have the right to control global weather. Why our military, whom many people erroneously believe exists to protect us, why they took it upon themselves to enter into these two areas is beyond me. Well, no it actually isn't. Working with chemical companies equals $$$$$$ for all concerned, which excludes most of the country, and led us down the road to poisoning the people, animals, plant life, water, air—and since they accomplished that, they have moved on to destroy everything beyond the globe, including the ozone and entire biosphere and play deadly games with H.A.A.R.P.. Yep. that's our military—here to protect us. Our military has a long track record of poisoning the very people who erroneously believe they are there to protect. And add to that the overwhelming support of the Department of Agriculture, which has got to be one of the most corrupt government agencies ever, and the biggest waste of taxpayer dollars, and something I hope Trump will take steps to eliminate. This, it seems, began the modern era of lies, cover-ups and denial, although that, of course, really began with the government's treatment of the Indigenous Americans. The Department of Agriculture supported this chemical slaughter even when there was ample and undeniable proof that these toxins were wiping out entire species, poisoning humans, and were ineffective on the insects they were attempting to "eradicate." And even when it was known that there were non-toxic means to work with nature and amplify her natural order. These people began by destroying isolated patches of life, but now, here in 2017, have destroyed entire ecosystems. There is zero possibility, mathematically and scientifically, that we can continue upon this path. Restitution is coming in the form of massive human sacrifice for our ignorance and apathy, and not in ten or twenty years, but now. The eternal fires of Hell are not sufficient punishment for those who have purposely and with abandonment perpetrated the wanton destruction of all that is precious upon this planet. And that includes all those who have stood by and pretended not to notice.
While I find many non-fictional books more difficult to read than fiction because there is so much information to absorb, this one reads like a modern thriller. Unfortunately it isn't fiction. And truly, by half-way through the book, my stomach sickened with each new page.
As I read, I took notes and have way too many quotes I want to include. But first, here is a synopsis of what is covered. Carson begins with a grim picture of a fictional town in "A Fable for Tomorrow." First the description is one of idyllic beauty—flowers and trees, verdant fields, fresh, clean streams and abundant, healthy wildlife. "Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens; the cattle and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death." She continues with strange and sudden diseases and death striking the people and the disappearance of birds, and when birds do appear, they are trembling and near death.
Though no town was struck with all this horror at once, every malady in this scenario did strike, spread out across the nation. And the cause? The new array of toxic agricultural chemicals which had been developed as pesticides after WWII, being sprayed without regard to their deathly effects.
Chapter Two, "The Obligation to Endure" speaks of the modern era of purposeful environmental destruction, the contamination of every aspect of our habitat, not only agricultural spraying, but uses for the home gardens, household "pests," weeds, lawns, and all sold under the false premise of being safe. Granted, most of the extremely deadly ones, like DDT were taken off the market as a result of this book, but what do we have now? Monsanto and all their evil concoctions, such as "Round-Up," and everything else, ranging from "not-quite-so-toxic" house and garden chemicals to the horror that goes on in the skies every single day with the spraying of chemtrails, which unlike the toxic chemicals mentioned in the book that could cause immediate death, is instead creating a scenario of "slow kill" which is accelerating into total environmental collapse.
In "Elixirs of Death," Carson gives a rundown of the chemicals and their atomic compositions and reactions. "Surface Waters and Underground Seas" covers the increasing pollution of all bodies of water on the planet, from pouring industrial waste directly into them, to runoff due to spraying. I realize that steps have been taken to stop or curb this process since 1962, as we have supposedly become more "environmentally conscious," (supposedly). But have we? Here is a recent article, dated June 5, 2107 about chemical waste adding to the already dire situation in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
"Realms of the Soil" is about the lingering quality of toxins in the soil once they are applied, and the consequences of toxicity of produce grown in those soils. For the past, perhaps thirty years, we have seen a rising interest in organic farming as a result of reports such as this book contains, but, really, when we are being doused day in and day out with heavy metal particles, organic has become a bit of a joke. I know it has here on my farm, when I can tell that my soils are dead and toxic, though not because of anything I have done wrong.
"Earth's Green Mantle" discusses the flora of the planet, from trees to weeds, and how, though some plants may be "undesirable" they still are part of an ecosystem that took millions of years to develop, and existed harmoniously on the planet until humans decided they could and should "control" nature. "Needless Havoc" tells of heartbreaking chemical slaughter of animals, wild and domestic, due to the determination of certain agencies (especially supported through the Department of Agriculture) to "eradicate"certain insects from given areas, even when 1: They had documented proof of horrible suffering and painful death to birds and other animals, including pets; 2: These insects were not even particularly threatening to the environment; 3) It was known at the time that there are safe and non-toxic ways of dealing naturally with insect pests, such as introducing natural predators; (I have done this numerous times on my farm. I especially enjoy my Praying Mantis community, one of the most voracious predatory insects.); and 4): The toxic spraying programs really did little to kill the targeted insects. These chapters are particularly difficult to read, especially for those like myself who have been animals rights and environmental activists for many long years. The material is utterly heartbreaking.
The next three chapters continue with the documented horror of our purposeful poisoning of our habitat: "And No Birds Sing," "Rivers of Death." and "Indiscriminately From the Skies." "Beyond the Dreams of the Borgias" discusses our love of poisons, and the next three chapters, "The Human Price," "Through a Narrow Window," and "One in Every Four," are about the human toll in death and disease, especially cancer from our deadly experiments with substances we really do not understand. Carson also talks about the discovery of the nature of chromosomes and genetic mutations. Of course, the positive aspect of medicine here has been the move toward more chemical-free, holistic and natural ways of healing our own bodies. Mind-body attitudes of wellness can often bypass the effects of the toxic soup we're swimming in, at least temporarily. We may be reaching even those limits.
The next chapters, "Nature Fights Back," and "The Rumblings of an Avalanche," are about insects developing resistance to poisons, but the final chapter, "The Other Road," is more positive and hopeful, which, of course, was Carson's intent on writing this book—to make the public aware of the chemical atrocity we were committing, and to illustrate that there are other ways to deal with "problem" pests, mostly to allow nature to create her own balance. Of course, now, even if we stop using chemicals all together, between the toxic heavy metals raining down on us daily and the practice of messing with genetic materials in an unnatural manner, as in GMOs, and also the prevalence of EMFs, microwaves, and especially the extremely high frequencies being bounced along the ionosphere by H.A.A.R.P., we are creating an even more fatal situation, and this one, unlike targeted areas for spraying pesticides, is affecting the entire planet and well beyond. We are truly at the cusp of total annihilation, which the vast majority of the population has refused to acknowledge.
This is the general information Carson has provided, (along with my personal running commentary), but within the book, she has numerous reports and data cited of specific kill-off events. And what is most distressing is that even when it was documented and obvious that the chemical assaults were killing off vast numbers of animals and poisoning natural resources, agencies such as the Department of Agriculture turned a blind eye and continued to insist that these chemicals were safe. And even worse, they knew these practices were ineffective. But, of course, no doubt certain people were making big profits from burgeoning pesticide sales, and back then, and even more now, when you're rich you can do whatever you please, and fuck the rest of the world.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I had so many quotes I wanted to include, but simply cannot. Rachel Carson was not one to mince words, and her attitudes toward the irresponsibility of the agencies supposedly there to protect us is very similar to my own. So here are just a few of her comments.
Back in the days of family farming, typically many different crops were grown. With the rise of "agribusiness," however, vast areas were now seeded with single crops, year after year. This was an open invitation to specific insect pests.
Under primitive agricultural conditions the farmer had few insect problems. These arose with the intensification of agriculture—the devotion of immense acreages to a single crop. Such a system set the stage for explosive increases in specific insect populations. Single-crop farming does not take advantage of the principles by which nature works; it is agriculture as an engineer might conceive it to be. Nature has introduces great variety into the landscape, but man has displayed a passion for simplifying it. Thus he undoes the built-in checks and balances by which nature holds the species within bounds.
Another problem arises because foreign insects, before quarantines, were
accidentally introduced into an environment where their natural predators did not exist.
And here is a great quote that, more than ever sums up the apathetic global population:
Have we fallen into a mesmerized state that makes us accept as inevitable that which is inferior or detrimental, as though having lost the will or the vision to demand that which is good? Such thinking, in the words of ecologist Paul Shepard, "idealizes life with only its head out of water, inches above the limits of toleration of the corruption of its own environment . . . Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home of insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?"
And yet we do, the vast majority unaware. How long can it continue and how much
worse will it get before the entire web of life unravels? We are already there. Ironically, Carson says, "Future generations are unlikely to condone our lack
of prudent concern for the integrity of the natural world that supports all life." But here in 2017, not only do we condone it, we are in nearly total
denial of it.
The thing about the toxins Carson discusses, and I would bet this includes all the poisons we are dealing with now, too, is that they multiply in parts per million (PPM) up the food chain, for instance DDT. When I was growing up, we—and I'm sure most who farmed and gardened—used this chemical. We had a little hand-pump sprayer, where we targeted leaves that were being eaten by bugs. Of course, we now know that DDT was an extremely dangerous poison that has long-since been off the market, but, how much worse had it been when such a chemical was not sparingly applied by a push sprayer, but broadcast over vast acres by airplanes.
In the case of DDT, a field of sprayed alfalfa made into meal and fed to hens would yield contaminated eggs. Milk from cows fed the hay would test at 3 PPM, while the more concentrated butter would show up as 65 PPM. Breast milk in mothers who drank the cow's milk would also contain the toxin. I have a young friend—actually a good friend whom I've known for ten years, who is currently nursing. We are investigating heavy metals showing up in breast milk, too. She is trying to have hers tested, but the tests are horrendously expensive. Go figure—what they don't want you to know. . . .
In the chapter, "Surface Waters and Underground Seas," spells out just how permeating water is on this planet. It seeps down and down, reaching a sub-surface sea, and eventually emerges again in a spring which may go on to feed a river.
In the entire water-pollution problem, there is probably nothing more disturbing than the threat of widespread contamination of groundwater. It is not possible to add pesticides to water anywhere without threatening the purity of water everywhere. Seldom if ever does Nature operate in closed and separate compartments, and she has not done so in distributing the earth's water supply.
And to make matters even worse, it is not one chemical but by now, probably thousands that are combined in bodies of water, not to mention the radioactive contaminants of "accidents" such as Fukushima, and toxic oil spills. Carson says:
Indeed one of the most alarming aspects of the chemical pollution of water is the fact that here—in river or lake or reservoir, or for that matter in the glass of water served at your dinner table—are mingled chemicals that no responsible chemist would think of combining in his laboratory.
And here are some figures which illustrate the buildup of chemical toxins up
the food chain, as mentioned above. This is condensed from the above chapter on water.
A lake was sprayed with DDD to kill gnats, in a concentration of 1/50 PPM. Plankton, however, tested 5 PPM, while plant-eating fish tested at 40-300 PPM! And it gets worse. One brown bullhead tested at 2500 PPM, the California gulls that ate the fish tested at 2000 PPM. Shocking and horrible!!
The chapter, "Realms of the Soil" continues with the amounts different vegetables absorb form the soil, with carrots absorbing the most. (I love carrots and eat them nearly every day!!) In some cases, the chemical used to kill a certain insect on a certain plant ended up killing the plant, and remaining toxic in the soil so that even years later, the plant would no longer grow there.
In "Earth's Green Mantle," Carson points out how humans have attempted to mess with the earth's natural landscape, such as the destruction of western sagebrush, substituted with grasslands for grazing livestock. In the process, an entire ecosystem of desert-dwellers was made unbalanced and destroyed.
Though I had a great many more specifics I wanted to cite, I really must end here. In addition to all this, Carson includes numerous specific data on estimated numbers of species "accidentally" killed off over a number of years in specific spraying programs. I will end on a positive note, however, and that is with a mention of the natural and non-toxic ways we have discovered to deal with plant or pest imbalances. Many of these I have used on my farm.
In "Earth's Green Mantle," Carson discusses two plants accidentally brought to the U.S. which had become invasive. One was Klamath weed or goatweed, known as St. Johnswort in England. There it is not invasive because certain little metallic beetles eat it and keep it under control. By importing the beetles, which do no damage to other plants, the Klamath weed problem disappeared without chemical assault. Likewise, in Australia, prickly pear cacti were accidentally released from an experimental garden. Australian entomologists, however, discovered an Argentine moth which controls the spread of this cactus. The operation of releasing the moth eggs at the time, (1930) ended up costing about a penny per acre, again without the use of toxins.
It was discovered that Japanese Beetles succumbed to Milky Spore Disease. Though this could not be produced in the lab, infected grubs could be ground up and combined with chalk. I have used this one—you just spread it on the lawn, and it is harmless to anything but Japanese Beetles. I have also bought ladybug eggs, the orange ones with black dots, to control aphids. Praying Mantises eat everything, including each other, so you cannot release too many in an area. There are certain types of little harmless wasps that act as parasites on destructive insects. Certain destructive insects were also completely wiped out by an experimental procedure of sterilizing the males by radiation, then releasing them. The result was that any eggs laid would be sterile, and thus the destructive species bred themselves out of existence.
There are so many creative, safe and natural ways to help the earth maintain her balance amidst the invasion of human creatures. Unfortunately, I think we have regressed in many ways since the impact of this book has worn off. It is just so much easier for most people to spray the hell out of whatever bothers them, especially when the chemical companies entice them so well.
But we shall pay the price for our negligence, irresponsibility, selfishness, ignorance and just plain evil. It is happening now and can only accelerate, as it appears that human apathy is too deep-seated. The consequences are not for the future, but now, for our time. We do not deserve this beautiful planet and will be rid from it, just as violently as the life we have poisoned. If we have a chance to spring to life again, perhaps we will evolve better at the spiritual level next time around, and our primary interest will be to respect all life rather than to lust after material wealth.
I cannot begin to tell you how highly I recommend reading this book. It is available for free in many different formats at Internet Archive, and may also be read online. In Modern Library's listing of the 100 best nonfictional books of the Twentieth Century, Silent Spring is Number 5.
And No Birds Sing
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