More On Celbrating Rachel Carson's 100th Birthday

Along with a thirty-week run on The New York Times bestseller list, the book was discussed in the Senate, debated by Congressional committees, analyzed by the presidential Science Advisory Committee and widely covered on television. All of which was a deep pity, because Silent Spring was an extremely dishonest and flawed piece of work.

Carson's book was rife with omissions, misrepresentations, and errors. She neglected to mention that the spraying of Huckin's bird sanctuary was accompanied by fuel oil, which would have harmed the birds in and of itself. The fact that DDT had eliminated malaria in the northern hemisphere went unnoted. The threat of cancer (Carson herself had been diagnosed with breast cancer while at work on the book) was overemphasized -- to put it mildly -- on no scientific basis.

But far worse was the tone of hysteria permeating the entire work. DDT was not simply a chemical compound, to be analyzed dispassionately like any other. No - it was representation of absolute evil, a demonic threat to all forms of life, one that had to be ousted from the environment at all costs. Such an overwrought treatment is perhaps understandable from a woman effectively writing under the gun of cancer, but it's scarcely acceptable in a work purporting to be a serious scientific study. . . . .

As Coburn is well aware, you do not pass resolutions in favor of people who were involved in the deaths of millions, however inadvertently. . . . .



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