Quotes from Silent Spring

Rachel Carson ·  378 pages

Rating: (27K votes)


“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in 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?”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -- man -- acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world. ”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“A Who's Who of pesticides is therefore of concern to us all. If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones - we had better know something about their nature and their power.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring



“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will ensure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“As crude a weapon as the cave man's club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life - a fabric on the one hand delicate and destructible, on the other miraculously tough and resilient, and capable of striking back in unexpected ways. These extraordinary capacities of life have been ignored by the practitioners of chemical control who have brought to their task no "high-minded orientation," no humility before the vast forces with which they tamper.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“Nature has introduced 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.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“It is also an era dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring



“We urgently need an end to these false assurances, to the sugar coating of unpalatable facts. It is the public that is being asked to assume the risks that the insect controllers calculate. The public must decide whether it wishes to continue on the present road, and it can do so only when in full possession of the facts.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“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.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons distributed either by private individuals or by public officials, it is surely only because our forefathers, despite their considerable wisdom and foresight, could conceive of no such problem.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“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?”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind? Yet this is precisely what we have done. We have done it, moreover, for reasons that collapse the moment we examine them.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring



“It is not my contention that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“If, having endured much, we have at last asserted out "right to know," and if by knowing, we have concluded that we are being asked to take senseless and frightening risks, then we should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals; we should look about and see what other course is open to us.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“All this has come about because of the sudden rise and prodigious growth of an industry for the production of man-made or synthetic chemicals with insecticidal properties. This industry is a child of the Second World War. In the course of developing agents of chemical warfare, some of the chemicals created in the laboratory were found to be lethal to insects. The discovery did not come by chance: insects were widely used to test chemicals as agents of death for man.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“the responsibility of science, and the limits of technological progress.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“To have risked so much in our efforts to mold nature to our satisfaction and yet to have failed in achieving our goal would indeed by the final irony. Yet this, it seems, is our situation.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring



“When the public protests. confronted with some obvious evidence of damaging results of pesticide applications, it is fed little tranquilizers pills of half truth.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“The ultimate work of energy production is accomplished not in any specialized organ but in every cell of the body. A living cell, like a flame, burns fuel to produce the energy on which life depends. The analogy is more poetic than precise, for the cell accomplishes its ‘burning’ with only the moderate heat of the body’s normal temperature. Yet all these billions of gently burning little fires spark the energy of life. Should they cease to burn, ‘no heart could beat, no plant could grow upward defying gravity, no amoeba could swim, no sensation could speed along a nerve, no thought could flash in the human brain,’ said the chemist Eugene Rabinowitch.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“¿Quién ha tomado la decisión que pone en movimiento esa cadena de envenenamientos, esa ola creciente de muerte que se va extendiendo como las ondas que se forman cuando se lanza una piedra sobre un estanque tranquilo? ¿Quién ha puesto en un platillo de la balanza las hojas que podrían haberse comido los escarabajos y en el otro los lastimosos montones de plumas de diversos colores que forman los restos sin vida de las aves que cayeron bajo el golpe generalizado de los venenos insecticidas? ¿Quién ha decidido (quién tiene derecho a decidir) en nombre de legiones sin cuento de personas que no fueron consultadas, que el valor supremo corresponde a un mundo sin insectos, aunque tenga que ser también un mundo estéril, privado de la gracia de una bandada de aves en vuelo? Esa decisión es la del autoritario revestido temporalmente de poder; ha sido tomada durante un momento de distracción de millones de personas para las que la belleza y el mundo ordenado de la naturaleza tienen todavía un significado que es profundo y perentorio.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“Carson’s writing initiated a transformation in the relationship between humans and the natural world and stirred an awakening of public environmental consciousness. It”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“On the other hand, those who are willing to wait for an extra season other two for full results (against an Japanese beetle) will turn to milky disease; they will be rewarded with lasting control that become more, rather than less effective with the passage of time.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring



“Incidents like the eastern Illinois spraying raise a question that is not 9nly scientific but moral. The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“A dynamic female zoology professor expanded her intellectual horizons by urging her to take the daring step of majoring in biology rather than English. In doing so, Carson discovered that science not only engaged her mind but gave her “something to write about.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“Carson’s thesis that we were subjecting ourselves to slow poisoning by the misuse of chemical pesticides that polluted the environment may seem like common currency now, but in 1962 Silent Spring contained the kernel of social revolution.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


“Ino the course of developing agents of chemical warfare, some of the chemicals created in the laboratory were found to be lethal to insects, The discovery did not come by chance: insects were widely used to test chemicals as agents of death for man.”
― Rachel Carson, quote from Silent Spring


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About the author

Rachel Carson
Born place: in Springdale, Pennsylvania, The United States
Born date May 27, 1907
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