Tag: Rachel Carson

Healthy World, Healthy Body

Healthy World, Healthy Body

The health issues within humans have become a large topic of discussion lately. The environment surrounds all human beings at all times. Therefore it makes sense that most of our health issues are coming from our surroundings. It all counteracts with each other and when we as humans are killing our environment it makes sense that it is killing us back. Rachel Carson talks a lot about the different effects of the chemicals that we are using to fight against the earth that are hurting ourselves. As I have talked about in another recent post, Cancerous Chemicals, Carson uses multiple ways of stating how we are slowly killing our bodies by trying to ‘help’ our environment.

“belief that malignant diseases can be reduced significantly by determined efforts to identify environmental causes and to eliminate them or reduce their impact. For those in whom cancer is already a hidden or a visible presence, efforts to find cures must of course continue. But for those not yet touched by the disease and certainly for the generations as yet unborn, prevention is the imperative need” (242-243).

This quote stated in Carson’s book Silent Spring is the perfect example of what we as humans need to be doing and continue doing. It is sad to think that those who have yet to be introduced to cancer do not think about their impact but it is true. Bringing out the truth is yet again the answer to most of our questions. The environment is changing every single day and we are the cause of this change. All of the little things that we do allows for the earth to move with us on the road toward the future. But moving forward can’t involve most humans to be left behind from diseases. Cancer kills millions of people every year and yet we are still not changing our ‘needs’ when it comes to larger crops, bigger plants, and ways of living.

Ken Treloar- Unsplash

“Our fragmentation of this subject cannot be our cure, because it is our disease. The body cannot be whole alone. Persons cannot be whole alone. It is wrong to think that bodily health is compatible with spiritual confusion or cultural disorder, or with polluted air and water or impoverished soil” (107).

We are never whole. Without the environment we aren’t whole. Without each other we aren’t whole. Without knowledge we aren’t whole. Berry needs to find the answer to what makes us whole. I personally need to find the answer as well. How can we be whole without demeaning each other, bringing people down, introducing chemicals, or dying. Humanities health is becoming less and less, minute by minute. I think it is extremely hard to understand fully that we are causing a lot of our health problems. Carson uses the truth toward our health mentally and Berry uses more of evidence based support. Which I find to be very helpful when it comes to the comprehension of our ecological and physical health. Berry talks about what the word health even is and it tells the reader to understand the idea that health is wholesome.

Having a healthy world will lead us into having a healthy body. Without the chemicals, pesticides, and negative environmental attitudes our wholeness would become greater. We can be happier and healthier along with keeping our environment safe and healthy as well.

Cancerous Chemicals

Cancerous Chemicals

“For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” – Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (15)

Rachel Carson has created this deadly sentence. The bold statement of truth is scary and it makes you stop where you are and just sit in silence for a minute. Of course this may be exactly what she was intending for in her book, Silent Spring. The human body has the ability to store chemicals without causing serious amounts of harm but as the world seems to be evolving the chemicals are becoming too much to handle. Carson is consistently talking about the cause and effects of spraying no only on animals but on humans, these topics hit home and allowed me to focus in on the true impact that we are doing to ourselves.

For hundreds of years we have been spraying chemicals to try and get rid of certain pests that we don’t like and of course it is coming back to haunt every single one of us. Karma. As Carson was talking about the cancerous chemicals that are being tossed around our environment I made a serious connection. My father was diagnosed with cancer around six years ago (Multiple Myeloma) and I remember sitting in the hospital in Boston one day and listening to the doctors question his whole entire life. Everything he has ever done, where he has lived, what he lived next to, his eating styles, literally everything. All of these things that he has done is the probable cause to why he has cancer. I called him the other night and was telling him about Silent Spring when he said, “when I was little we used to run behind trucks that pumped out all of the chemicals… it was like running in a fog storm and we always loved it. Of course now I have cancer but at the time we had no idea that doing this would come back to bite us in the ass.” His statement is completely true. No one had any idea that what they were doing was going to kill them. Not being informed is just as deadly as a gun.

Carson states, “these natural cancer-causing agents are still a factor in producing malignant; however, they are few in number and they belong to that ancient array of forces to which life has been accustomed from the beginning.” The truth behind the scenes is that there always has and always will be cancer causing materials in our world, however, we are amplifying them. The human race is single handedly killing not only the world that we are lucky enough to live in but ourselves.

“We are accustomed to look for the gross and immediate effects and to ignore all else. Unless this appears promptly and in such obvious form that it cannot be ignored, we deny the existence of hazard. Even research men suffer from the handicap of inadequate methods of detecting the beginnings of injury. The lack of sufficiently delicate methods to detect injury before symptoms appear is one of the great unsolved problems in medicine.” (Carson)

I struggle with understanding how we as humans can even live with ourselves knowing that we are destroying everything we have. The quote above is what we as humans have become accustomed too. We look for the simple ways out and for the easy answers. Taking an Advil for your headache is a lot more deadly than just going to sleep and passing through the pain, but we can’t seem to take the risk of hurting even if it means we will be in more pain in the future. The question behind the destruction is, do we actually know what we are doing? Sadly, most do not have a single clue, that even the tiniest of things are ruining the great place that we get to call home. It is very clear throughout Carson’s book that more people need to be informed about the issues with our environment and what we are doing internally to ourselves.

Although changing one’s whole life around to prevent environmental damage is difficult but one person can start the train of difference in the world and within ourselves.

Eye Opening

Eye Opening

Growing up in a world of science is something quite eye opening. I have had the amazing opportunities in my life to learn with every experience that I have through a scientific lens. Why? Both of my parents have backgrounds in the field of science. My father, the most brilliant man I know, is a science teacher. Anything I could ever wonder about he seems to have the answers for me; I am biased about it of course. My mother has her degree in marine biology, this is why I think I have come to such a serious love for turtles over the past twenty years. Sitting in class everyday I find myself wondering about the more in depth things that we could learn through writing about the environment.

The fact that all over the world there are billions of people who will never understand what we have. Our world is so amazing and provides so many different materials that we all need to survive and all we keep doing is trashing it. After reading the first section of Environmentalism by Ramachandra Guha I became interested in what we as humans have done to our earth. Of course the question, “are we destroying our own earth?” is such a huge one that we can probably never answer it fully. Guha leads a reader to understand the scale of destructiveness and the ongoing “slow violence” that makes it so difficult to address. I think it is obvious that we can’t fully answer it. But we can begin.

Guha himself is a teacher, he fills the mind of kids with the important information that is needed to ‘survive’ on this earth. For him to be a teacher it allows me to connect to him through the need to help people learn. Being a teacher especially in environmental awareness is something that I can assume is harder than teaching math. He himself has this ability to tell the world what is happening, what we need to change, why, and how we are going to go forward. Such an influence is what can start this whole journey towards changing our ways and helping the environment. Therefore, after finding out Guha’s personal background it had me thinking even more, deeper into the meanings of change and the answers to resistance against our own personal destructiveness against the world we live in.

I found myself wanting to think so much farther into the information that I have prior knowledge on. Learning about all of the different eras of environmental trails and tribulations clears our minds to the truth about how we got to where we are now.  Environmentalism is to have concern about the environment and I personally feel that everyone no matter what, has concern. We humans and animals live on earth, this living, orbiting, and growing thing that some how supports our lives. That is insane just to think about even the slightest bit. Our minds don’t have the capability to wrap themselves around what we truly have here in this world and the lives that we are living every single day until we die.

Unsplash -Jay Wennington

Listening to all of my professors this semester and in previous semesters I haven’t really thought too much about the deeper meaning behind their teachings. You just kind of do the work, whatever they say you just do it. But in this course, Writing in an Endangered World, I am very interested in seeing how we progress. Learning about our world and the environment through a critical lens of writing is one thing that I find to be very incredible. Using words to describe and create the world is a beautiful quality that people have. Writers such as John Muir who physically go out into the environment and then write about their experiences are the types of writers that tell the true and full story. I want to be a writer who has the ability to tell the full truth even if that means it is the ugly truth. Reading other writers gives the opportunities to the reader to clearly think through the elements of non-fiction and what certain writers such as Muir and Rachel Carson are truly trying to do when they fill in the lines of a book with their stories. Every detail is physically right in front of them and we luckily have the experience to be able to mentally be there with them.