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The Dark Side of Technology$
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Peter Townsend

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.001.0001

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The ‘Silent Spring’ Revisited

The ‘Silent Spring’ Revisited

Chapter:
(p.106) 7 The ‘Silent Spring’ Revisited
Source:
The Dark Side of Technology
Author(s):

Peter Townsend

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.003.0007

The 1962 book by Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, related agricultural treatments of herbicides and fertilizers to a wide range of long-term changes in soils, products, and consumers; it was a dramatic bombshell. This chapter reiterates the same theme and shows that, in reality, little has altered. Technology continues to poison the environment and consumers as a consequence of high productivity via low-cost, intensive farming and fishing. The pattern of agricultural exploitation has evolved only in name, rather than reality, over several thousand years. The only major difference is that the chemicals today are more powerful. They destroy more species, plus have a wider range of negative side effects. Newer technologies generate long-term effects, such as the detection of mutagenic changes that do not show up for perhaps two generations. The message is clear, but it not being addressed. This is thus a further warning to that of 1962.

Keywords:   agriculture, fishing, herbicides, fertilizers, mutagenic changes

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