The Recurring Silent Spring

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9780080371160: The Recurring Silent Spring
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Preserving genetic diversity in a species-endangered world is one part of the mythology which encases biotechnology development. The other element of the mythology is that this "green-gene revolution" will solve the growing world population's food needs. This is, again, a technical band-aid offered for the profound human tragedy of hunger and malnutrition. People dying from hunger when surplus food stands in silos elsewhere is not a failure of agricultural technology. This tragedy is caused by militarism which uses hunger as a weapon and siphons off countries' economic resources for guns, tanks, and planes that should be used for sustainable agriculture. It is caused by economic and agricultural development which depletes and erodes soils rather than replenishing and sustaining their fertility. It is caused by structures of poverty which drive people in developing countries to live in and wear out fragile ecosystems. It is caused by agricultural policies in the West which use food surpluses as cheap aid to developing countries and, thus, undercut their indigenous agricultural economies.

Review:

Rachel Carson's earth-shattering book, Silent Spring, proclaimed war on industrial society and created an enormous surge in environmental awareness and governmental reaction. Pat Hynes, in remembrance of and respect for Rachel Carson's legendary work, offers an updated version with The Recurring Silent Spring. This book reveals the current chemical, and now genetic, warfare going on in agriculture and biotechnology that is shaping how the government, industry and science are each taking part in death-dealing behavior-allowing the depletion of our environment and our health. The work of both of these women highlights the importance of women's role in science and the growing need for increased awareness and action. Each of these are invaluable; read them consecutively. -- From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by SH

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