Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson

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Overview

Widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement when published 50 years ago, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had a profound impact on our society. As an iconic work, the book has often been shielded from critical inquiry, but this landmark anniversary provides an excellent opportunity to reassess its legacy and influence. In Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson a team of national experts explores the book’s historical context, the science it was built on, and the policy ...

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Overview

Widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement when published 50 years ago, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had a profound impact on our society. As an iconic work, the book has often been shielded from critical inquiry, but this landmark anniversary provides an excellent opportunity to reassess its legacy and influence. In Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson a team of national experts explores the book’s historical context, the science it was built on, and the policy consequences of its core ideas. The conclusion makes it abundantly clear that the legacy of Silent Spring is highly problematic. While the book provided some clear benefits, a number of Carson’s major arguments rested on what can only be described as deliberate ignorance. Despite her reputation as a careful writer widely praised for building her arguments on science and facts, Carson’s best-seller contained significant errors and sins of omission. Much of what was presented as certainty then was slanted, and today we know much of it is simply wrong.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937184995
  • Publisher: Cato Institute
  • Publication date: 9/16/2012
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 437,774
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger E. Meiners is chairman of the department of economics at the University of Texas at Arlington and a senior fellow at the Property & Environment Research Center, Bozeman, MT. Pierre Desrochers is associate professor of geography at the University of Toronto and senior research fellow at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University. Andrew P. Morrissis professor of law and business at the University of Alabama and a senior fellow at the Property & Environment Research Center, Bozeman, MT.

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Table of Contents

1 Silent Spring at 50 1

2 The Lady Who Started all this 7

3 The Intellectual Groundwaters of Silent Spring: Rethinking Rachel Carson's Place in the History of American Environmental Thought 37

4 Silent Spring as Secular Religion 61

5 The Selective Silence of Silent Spring: Birds, Pesticides, and Alternatives to Pesticides 97

6 Rachel Carson's Health Scare 119

7 The Balance of Nature and "The Other Road": Ecological Paradigms and the Management Legacy of Silent Spring 139

8 Did Rachel Carson Understand the Importance of DDT in Global Public Health Programs? 167

9 Agricultural Revolutions and Agency Wars: How the 1950s Laid the Groundwork for Silent Spring 201

10 The False Promise of Federalization 229

11 The Precautionary Principle: Silent Spring's Toxic Legacy 245

12 Risk Over-Simplified: The Enduring and Unfortunate Legacy of Silent Spring 271

Notes 289

Index 343

Contributors 359

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    put me to sleep

    put me to sleep

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 10, 2014

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