Silent Spring

Continuing the discussion from Silent Spring:

The Brooks book can be borrowed in 1 hour increments at the Internet Archive. The scanned images are a bit dark but readable.

Here’s a large quote:

Some of the least temperate reactions came from the agricul-
tural jourals and the state institutions whose agricultural re-
search was heavily financed by the chemical industry. An edito-
rial in the American Agriculturist presented a parody of the
future in which a young boy and his grandfather “sat on opposite
ends of a log in a forest clearing, cracking acorns and eating them
greedily.” Gramps explained that a book had come out called
Quiet Summer expressing the views of “a number of people who
believed that no chemical material should be used in agricul-
ture . . . So now we live naturally. Your mother died naturally
from malaria that mosquitoes gave her; your Dad passed away
naturally in that terrible famine when the grasshoppers ate up
everything; now we are starving naturally, because the blight
killed those potatoes we planted last spring. I only wish the
author of that book had stayed around to share the joys of living
'naturally - but she made so much money as an author that she
moved to a country where her book was banned. Farming there
is still ‘unnatural.’ Please pass the acorns!”

Another magazine, County Agent and Vo-Ag Teacher, ran an
article entitled, “How to Answer Rachel Carson.” “We hope,”
wrote the editor, “you will use this information in talks before groups on TV or radio, or in newspaper articles.” The article
refers the reader to “a kit of valuable information from the Na-
tional Agricultural Chemicals Association” and “a devastating
satire, written in the manner of Rachel Carson’s book, describing
a world in which no pesticides were allowed, titled The Desolate
Year.” On conclusion, it quotes the “chief horticulturist at
Michigan State University” as saying: “Her book is more poi
sonous than the pesticides she condemns.”
In short, the pesticide industry treated the challenge of Silent
Spring as a problem in public relations, to be met by any means
at hand. Yet not all the trade papers ignored the substance of
the book while searching for clever ways to discredit it. For in-
stance, Agricultural Chemicals, despite its orientation toward
the industry, quoted Professor Moody Trevett of the University
of Maine: “Miss Carson has posed some unanswerable questions
as to what may happen to us in the next twenty years and this
may be the time to sit down and do some serious thinking about
the answers.”