Silent Spring Irony

Silent Spring Irony

Too much food

One of the main arguments the pesticide manufacturers gave when they pushed for more pesticide was that more pesticide was necessary because farmers needed to produce more food for the population. The government however reveled that food shortages was not the reason why the pesticide manufacturers pushed for a bigger pesticide production. In fact farmers were already producing too much food and a big portion of it was going to waste and ending up in land fields.

Harmful to the makers

Pesticides were created by humans to kill those animals they considered as being harmful to their crops. Ironically however, their creators were affected as well and people began dying shortly after the pesticides were used on the crops. More disease appeared as a result and bacteria and viruses suffered mutations that affected in a negative way the domestic plants, animals and humans that came into contact with the harmful chemicals.

Killing the wrong animal

The author points out that farmers tried to use pesticides to kill certain pests they considered dangerous. Ironically, more than often, the animals affected were not the pests but rather the animal species that helped control the pest population. Thus, in some cases, the use of pesticides made the pest problem even worse by eliminating the pests’ natural enemy.

Better than pesticides

Humans have long tried to change the natural course of nature without success. While they didn’t succeed in eliminating the pests they wanted to eliminate, they also affected healthy species that had to suffer as a result. Ironically the best solution to dealing with pests are not chemicals spread on large pieces of land, but the introduction of other animal species that are natural predators to the undesirable pests. Thus, this suggests that the pesticides used are not only dangerous but also useless as nature is more than capable of dealing with intrusive species.

Good disaster

In the ninth chapter, Carson presents a case that happened in Canada where in 1954 massive quantities of DDT were used to kill budworms. The pesticide affected the salmon and the trout in the rivers because the pesticide also killed a larvae the fish feed on. Though an ironic twist of events, what saved the trout and salmon population was a natural catastrophe, namely the Hurricane Edna. After the hurricane, the rivers were once more capable of sustain salmon and trout and for a while everything was back to normal.

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