Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring illustrates a necessity of consistent understanding among the ways in which we effect the environment as well as its subsequent effect on us, thereafter. Most importantly, with regards to chemicals such as DDT and other ‘advances’ which humanity has made so as to increase its agri-business’s cost-efficiency with little-to-no regard for it’s long-term ramifications upon the earth and it’s inhabitants. Shortsightedly concerned merely with that which will fit regulations and legalities of the present moment, in conjunction with the propagation of paychecks, humanity isn’t leveraging its’ concern for itself with its concern for all other living things on the planet, and almost every trend followable points towards a near & ominous ending, after accounting for our misgivings as a species.
“As we have seen, soil and the living things in and upon it exist in a relation of interdependence and mutual benefit. Presumably the weed is taking something from the soil; perhaps, it is also contributing something to it.” (Carson, 78)
This quote touches upon exactly that quality which humanity has overlooked in terms of its’ relationship with the more than human world: these notions of interdependence and mutual benefit. The particularly operative word here being ‘mutual’. In this quote’s acknowledgement of the potential for duality within living organisms’ functions, it illustrates the piece which humanity has omitted from its own equation; that of understanding both nature’s ebbs as well as its flows, its generalities in tandem with its idiosyncrasies. There’s a reason there’s an ethos of ‘balance’ associated with nature; all of its inhabitants boast some kind of inherent dualism which characterizes it as a member of that domain. This inherent dualism illustrates the kind of fluidity of thought which must go into attempting to truly understand the natural world, as well as work it to ones (and simultaneously, its own) advantage. To put it one way, nature, in order to advance itself, is in love with a certain harmony about all of its inhabitants; whereas humanity, to accomplish the same means, lusts to play only a singular melody. It’s this understanding of those processes with regards to the treatment of nature which might turn out favorably for all involved in conjunction with humanity’s imperative acknowledgement of its’ own incomplete perspective which might be able to provide some clarity as to how to go about solving some of the issues plaguing our environment.
It strikes me as strange that in it’s search for productivity, humanity’s nature has seemingly rendered it incapable of forecasting the possibility that the most productive process might also happen to be the most mutually beneficial process. We seem to have conflated one as the exact opposite of the other, when in actuality the two don’t seem to have any correlation whatsoever. Rachel Carson’s text underscores humanity’s hubris against a ticking-time-bomb of a backdrop, the former standing to perpetuate the latter at an alarming rate, taking care to illustrate potential sources of error across humanity as well as how to reverse engineer some of those errors so as to attempt to find a solution of some sorts. Humanity is so caught up in the logical differences between the singular concepts of ‘answer’ and ‘question’, it’s forgotten to stop and ask; what if one could be found within the other? And if so, where should we begin looking? It’s these questions of derivation which Carson’s work emphasis necessarily so; in the hopes that humanity possesses the wherewithal to continually analyze why we think the way we do, as well the degree to which that very thinking might be able to be improved upon.