Carson writes this essay informing us about pesticides and chemicals farmers use on their crops that can danger our echo system. The pollution man is creating “is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible.” (Carson 2) There are many different ways that pollution can harm the environment, from the nuclear explosions discharging toxic chemicals into the air, to the pesticides sprayed on plants that kills vegetation and sickens cattle. I think Carson writes an effective argument because she gives us lots of facts and examples of how these pesticides are hurting our environment and how we can stop polluting and damaging our environment.
Cason develops her argument by first explaining the chain reaction of the pollutions and chemicals “man’s inventive mind” (Carson 4) has created. Then she goes on to explain that “it would require not merely the years of a man’s life but the life of generations” (Carson 5) to fix the damage that has already been caused. Carson goes on telling us how sprays, dusts, and aerosols contaminate the whole entire environment. Carson gives a very strong argument explaining how humans are damaging our ecosystem. Carson believes the people that are using these pesticides are ignorant and are abusing these chemicals. I think Carson’s argument is a little hard to follow because she goes so in depth and uses scientific words that are hard to understand. I believe if she would’ve made this argument simpler to read it would have made it a lot more effective and easier to follow along with. I think she drags her argument out a lot, and she is trying too hard to sell her argument instead of just getting to the point.
Carson appeals to our emotions by saying these chemicals “pass mysteriously by underground streams until they emerge and, through the alchemy of air and sunlight, combine into new forms that kill vegetation, sicken cattle, and work unknown harm on those who drink from once pure wells.” (Carson 2) This is scary to me because not only are these chemicals affecting our land and livestock, but they can also be affecting us as humans through our drinking water. Another powerful point Carson makes is “nonselective chemicals that have the power to kill every insect, the “good” and the “bad”, to still the song of birds and the leaping of fish in the streams, to coat the leaves with a deadly film, and to linger on in soil – all this though the intended target may be only a few weeds or insects.” (Carson 7) This is powerful because we are killing wildlife just for a few bugs and weeds. Imagine waking up one day and not hearing any birds chirp because we killed them all with these chemicals we are using in our crops; this would be depressing.
Carson gives a very organized and effective argument. However, I do not think Carson states her facts in a way everyone can understand her argument, I think she writes her argument in a manner made for people in the scientific field. Carson goes into detail with mostly all of her scientific facts and explanations and in my opinion, loses her readers. Carson’s argument, in my opinion, is presented in a way that’s difficult to understand. Carson could have simply stated her argument to save herself time by not going into such detail and I think this would better inform her readers because not everyone is knowledgeable with every scientific fact she states, but instead she chooses to describe her argument with hard to understand vocabulary and scientific explanations. Carson does present a lot of facts of why pesticides should not be used for the treatment of pests, but I do not think she explains it in a way that everyone can understand.
In conclusion, I think if we cut back on these pesticides people are using on their crops it would cause less damage to our environment. I believe the people using these pesticides and chemicals should be more informed on the damage they can cause to other living organisms. I do not think people realize that they are causing pollution and possibly putting wildlife in danger. Most farmers know there are good insects and bad insects needed for crop production. I think they are over doing it with pesticides causing the good insects to suffer and die. If more people are informed of the dangers of using these chemicals, people could find better alternatives to rid weeds and insects damaging our crops, or they can learn to use these pesticides and chemicals more wisely.
Carson, Rachel. “The Obligation to Endure.” Practical Argument/ A Text and Anthology, John E. Sullivan III. Boston/ New York: Bedford? St. Martin’s, 2011. Pg. 789-794
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