PhilosophyType of assignment:Essay (any type)Type of service:WritingSpacing:Doub

PhilosophyType of assignment:Essay (any type)Type of service:WritingSpacing:Double spacingPaper format:MLANumber of pages:1 pageNumber of sources:0 sourcePaper details:Philosophy1 st Discussion board question:Read 3 philosophical readings; Silent spring, Thinking like a mountain, and What it feels like toloose your favorite season, extract the main ideas from it. You may construct an argument andexpress it.I will attach first 2 readings; however, for the 3 rd reading, please use a link below. nd question. This is a complete different question. Not related to any readings.Write at least 150 words on a meaningful connection you’ve made with the environment.“Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson***I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approachto nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if weaccommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically anddictatorially.E. B. WHITE1. A Fable for TomorrowTHERE WAS ONCE a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmonywith its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, withfields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above thegreen fields. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickeredacross a backdrop of pines. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields,half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings. Along the roads, laurel, viburnum and alder, greatferns and wildflowers delighted the traveler’s eye through much of the year. Even in winter theroadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on theseed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow. The countryside was, in fact, famous forthe abundance and variety of its bird life, and when the flood of migrants was pouring through inspring and fall people traveled from great distances to observe them. Others came to fish thestreams, which flowed clear and cold out of the hills and contained shady pools where trout lay.So it had been from the days many years ago when the first settlers raised their houses, sank theirwells, and built their barns. Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began tochange. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks ofchickens; the cattle and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death. Thefarmers spoke of much illness among their families. In the town the doctors had become moreand more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing among their patients. There had beensickness appearing among their patients. There had been several sudden and unexplained deaths,not only among adults but even among children, who would be stricken suddenly while at playand die within a few hours. There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example—where hadthey gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in thebackyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violentlyand could not fly. It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed withthe dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there wasnow no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh. On the farms the hensbrooded, but no chicks hatched. The farmers complained that they were unable to raise anypigs—the litters were small and the young survived only a few days. The apple trees werecoming into bloom but no bees droned among the blossoms, so there was no pollination andthere would be no fruit. The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned andwithered vegetation as though swept by fire. These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things.Even the streams were now lifeless. Anglers no longer visited them, for all the fish had died. Inthe gutters under the eaves and between the shingles of the roofs, a white granular powder stillshowed a few patches; some weeks before it had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns,the fields and streams. No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in thisstricken world. The people had done it themselves. This town does not actually exist, but it mighteasily have a thousand counterparts in America or elsewhere in the world. I know of nocommunity that has experienced all the misfortunes I describe. Yet every one of these disastershas actually happened somewhere, and many real communities have already suffered asubstantial number of them. A grim specter has crept upon us almost unnoticed, and thisimagined tragedy may easily become a stark reality we all shall know. What has already silencedthe voices of spring in countless towns in America? This book is an attempt to explain.2. The Obligation to EndureTHE HISTORY OF LIFE on earth has been a history of interaction between living things andtheir surroundings. To a large extent, the physical form and the habits of the earth’s vegetationand its animal life have been molded by the environment. Considering the whole span of earthlytime, the opposite effect, in which life actually modifies its surroundings, has been relativelyslight. Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has onespecies—man—acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world. During the pastquarter century this power has not only increased to one of disturbing magnitude but it haschanged in character. The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is thecontamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. Thispollution is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world thatmust support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible. In this now universalcontamination of the environment, chemicals are the sinister and little-recognized partners ofradiation in changing the very nature of the world—the very nature of its life. Strontium 90, re-leased through nuclear explosions into the air, comes to earth in rain or drifts down as fallout,lodges in soil, enters into the grass or corn or wheat grown there, and in time takes up its abodein the bones of a human being, there to remain until his death. Similarly, chemicals sprayed oncroplands or forests or gardens lie long in soil, entering into living organisms, passing from oneto another in a chain of poisoning and death. Or they pass mysteriously by underground streamsuntil they emerge and, through the alchemy of air and sunlight, combine into new forms that killvegetation, sicken cattle, and work unknown harm on those who drink from once pure wells. AsAlbert Schweitzer has said, “Man can hardly even recognize the devils of his own creation.” Ittook hundreds of millions of years to produce the life that now inhabits the earth—eons of timein which that developing and evolving and diversifying life reached a state of adjustment andbalance with its surroundings. The environment, rigorously shaping and directing the life itsupported, contained elements that were hostile as well as supporting. Certain rocks gave outdangerous radiation; even within the light of the sun, from which all life draws its energy, therewere short-wave radiations with power to injure. Given time—time not in years but inmillennia—life adjusts, and a balance has been reached. For time is the essential ingredient; butin the modern world there is no time. The rapidity of change and the speed with which newsituations are created follow the impetuous and heedless pace of man rather than the deliberatepace of nature. Radiation is no longer merely the background radiation of rocks, thebombardment of cosmic rays, the ultraviolet of the sun that have existed before there was anylife on earth; radiation is now the unnatural creation of man’s tampering with the atom. Thechemicals to which life is asked to make its adjustment are no longer merely the calcium andsilica and copper and all the rest of the minerals washed out of the rocks and carried in rivers tothe sea; they are the synthetic creations of man’s inventive mind, brewed in his laboratories, andhaving no counterparts in nature. To adjust to these chemicals would require time on the scalethat is nature’s; it would require not merely the years of a man’s life but the life of generations.And even this, were it by some miracle possible, would be futile, for the new chemicals comefrom our laboratories in an endless stream; almost five hundred annually find their way intoactual use in the United States alone. The figure is staggering and its implications are not easilygrasped—500 new chemicals to which the bodies of men and animals are required somehow toadapt each year, chemicals totally outside the limits of biologic experience. Among them aremany that are used in man’s war against nature. Since the mid-1940’s over 200 basic chemicalshave been created for use in killing insects, weeds, rodents, and other organisms described in themodern vernacular as “pests”; and they are sold under several thousand different brand names.These sprays, dusts, and aerosols are now applied almost universally to farms, gardens, forests,and homes—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 adeadly film, and to linger on in soil—all this though the intended target may be only a few weedsor insects. Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surfaceof the earth without making it unfit for all life? They should not be called “insecticides,” but”biocides.” The whole process of spraying seems caught up in an endless spiral. Since DDT wasreleased for civilian use, a process of escalation has been going on in which ever more toxicmaterials must be found. This has happened because insects, in a triumphant vindication ofDarwin’s principle of the survival of the fittest, have evolved super races immune to theparticular insecticide used, hence a deadlier one has always to be developed—and then a deadlierone than that. It has happened also because, for reasons to be described later, destructive insectsoften undergo a “flareback,” or resurgence, after spraying, in numbers greater than before. Thusthe chemical war is never won, and all life is caught in its violent crossfire. Along with thepossibility of the extinction of mankind by nuclear war, the central problem of our age hastherefore become the contamination of man’s total environment with such substances ofincredible potential for harm— substances that accumulate in the tissues of plants and animalsand even penetrate the germ cells to shatter or alter the very material of heredity upon which theshape of the future depends. Some would-be architects of our future look toward a time when itwill be possible to alter the human germ plasm by design. But we may easily be doing so now byinadvertence, for many chemicals, like radiation, bring about gene mutations. It is ironic to thinkthat man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of aninsect spray. All this has been risked—for what? Future historians may well be amazed by ourdistorted sense of proportion. How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwantedspecies by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of diseaseand death even to their own kind? Yet this is precisely what we have done. We have done it,moreover, for reasons that collapse the moment we examine them. We are told that the enormousand expanding use of pesticides is necessary to maintain farm production. Yet is our realproblem not one of overproduction? Our farms, despite measures to remove acreages fromproduction and to pay farmers not to produce, have yielded such a staggering excess of crops thatthe American taxpayer in 1962 is paying out more than one billion dollars a year as the totalcarrying cost of the surplus-food storage program. And is the situation helped when one branchof the Agriculture Department tries to reduce production while another states, as it did in 1958,”It is believed generally that reduction of crop acreages under provisions of the Soil Bank willstimulate interest in use of chemicals to obtain maximum production on the land retained incrops.” All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control. I am saying,rather, that control must be geared to realities, not to mythical situations, and that the methodsemployed must be such that they do not destroy us along with the insects. The problem whoseattempted solution has brought such a train of disaster in its wake is an accompaniment of ourmodern way of life. Long before the age of man, insects inhabited the earth—a group ofextraordinarily varied and adaptable beings. Over the course of time since man’s advent, a smallpercentage of the more than half a million species of insects have come into conflict with humanwelfare in two principal ways: as competitors for the food supply and as carriers of humandisease. Disease-carrying insects become important where human beings are crowded together,especially under conditions where sanitation is poor, as in time of natural disaster or war or insituations of extreme poverty and deprivation. Then control of some sort becomes necessary. It isa sobering fact, however, as we shall presently see, that the method of massive chemical controlhas had only limited success, and also threatens to worsen the very conditions it is intended tocurb. Under primitive agricultural conditions the farmer had few insect problems. These arosewith the intensification of agriculture—the devotion of immense acreages to a single crop. Sucha system set the stage for explosive increases in specific insect populations. Single-crop farmingdoes not take advantage of the principles by which nature works; it is agriculture as an engineermight conceive it to be. Nature has introduced great variety into the landscape, but man hasdisplayed a passion for simplifying it. Thus he undoes the built-in checks and balances by whichnature holds the species within bounds. One important natural check is a limit on the amount ofsuitable habitat for each species. Obviously then, an insect that lives on wheat can build up itspopulation to much higher levels on a farm devoted to wheat than on one in which wheat isintermingled with other crops to which the insect is not adapted. The same thing happens in othersituations. A generation or more ago, the towns of large areas of the United States lined theirstreets with the noble elm tree. Now the beauty they hopefully created is threatened withcomplete destruction as disease sweeps through the elms, carried by a beetle that would haveonly limited chance to build up large populations and to spread from tree to tree if the elms wereonly occasional trees in a richly diversified planting. Another factor in the modern insectproblem is one that must be viewed against a background of geologic and human history: thespreading of thousands of different kinds of organisms from their native homes to invade newterritories. This worldwide migration has been studied and graphically described by the Britishecologist Charles Elton in his recent book The Ecology of Invasions. During the CretaceousPeriod, some hundred million years ago, flooding seas cut many land bridges between continentsand living things found themselves confined in what Elton calls “colossal separate naturereserves.” There, isolated from others of their kind, they developed many new species. Whensome of the land masses were joined again, about 15 million years ago, these species began tomove out into new territories—a movement that is not only still in progress but is now receivingconsiderable assistance from man. The importation of plants is the primary agent in the modernspread of species, for animals have almost invariably gone along with the plants, quarantinebeing a comparatively recent and not completely effective innovation. The United States Officeof Plant Introduction alone has introduced almost 200,000 species and varieties of plants from allover the world. Nearly half of the 180 or so major insect enemies of plants in the United Statesare accidental imports from abroad, and most of them have come as hitchhikers on plants. In newterritory, out of reach of the restraining hand of the natural enemies that kept down its numbersin its native land, an invading plant or animal is able to become enormously abundant. Thus it isno accident that our most troublesome insects are introduced species. These invasions, both thenaturally occurring and those dependent on human assistance, are likely to continue indefinitely.Quarantine and massive chemical campaigns are only extremely expensive ways of buying time.We are faced, according to Dr. Elton, “with a life-and-death need not just to find newtechnological means of suppressing this plant or that animal”; instead we need the basicknowledge of animal populations and their relations to their surroundings that will “promote aneven balance and damp down the explosive power of outbreaks and new invasions.” Much of thenecessary knowledge is now available but we do not use it. We train ecologists in ouruniversities and even employ them in our governmental agencies but we seldom take theiradvice. We allow the chemical death rain to fall as though there were no alternative, whereas infact there are many, and our ingenuity could soon discover many more if given opportunity.Have we fallen into a mesmerized state that makes us accept as inevitable that which is inferioror detrimental, as though having lost the will or the vision to demand that which is good? Suchthinking, in the words of the ecologist Paul Shepard, “idealizes life with only its head out ofwater, inches above the limits of toleration of the corruption of its own environment … Whyshould we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle ofacquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief toprevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?” Yet such aworld is pressed upon us. The crusade to create a chemically sterile, insect-free world seems tohave engendered a fanatic zeal on the part of many specialists and most of the so-called controlagencies. On every hand there is evidence that those engaged in spraying operations exercise aruthless power. “The regulatory entomologists … function as prosecutor, judge and jury, taxassessor and collector and sheriff to enforce their own orders,” said Connecticut entomologistNeely Turner. The most flagrant abuses go unchecked in both state and federal agencies. It is notmy contention that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have putpoisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely orwholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people tocontact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge. If the Bill ofRights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons distributed eitherby private individuals or by public officials, it is surely only because our forefathers, despitetheir considerable wisdom and foresight, could conceive of no such problem. I contend,furthermore, that we have allowed these chemicals to be used with little or no advanceinvestigation of their effect on soil, water, wildlife, and man himself. Future generations areunlikely to condone our lack of prudent concern for the integrity of the natural world thatsupports all life. There is still very limited awareness of the nature of the threat. This is an era ofspecialists, each of whom sees his own problem and is unaware of or intolerant of the largerframe into which it fits. It is also an era dominated by industry, in which the right to make adollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged. When the public protests, confronted with someobvious evidence of damaging results of pesticide applications, it is fed little tranquilizing pillsof half truth. We urgently need an end to these false assurances, to the sugar coating ofunpalatable facts. It is the public that is being asked to assume the risks that the insect controllerscalculate. The public must decide whether it wishes to continue on the present road, and it can doso only when in full possession of the facts. In the words of Jean Rostand, “The obligation toendure gives us the right to know.Thinking Like a Mountainby Aldo LeopoldA deep chesty bawl echoes from rimrock to rimrock, rolls down the mountain, and fades into thefar blackness of the night. It is an outburst of wild defiant sorrow, and of contempt for all theadversities of the world. Every living thing (and perhaps many a dead one as well) pays heed tothat call. To the deer it is a reminder of the way of all flesh, to the pine a forecast of midnightscuffles and of blood upon the snow, to the coyote a promise of gleanings to come, to thecowman a threat of red ink at the bank, to the hunter a challenge of fang against bullet. Yetbehind these obvious and immediate hopes and fears there lies a deeper meaning, known only tothe mountain itself. Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl ofa wolf.Those unable to decipher the hidden meaning know nevertheless that it is there, for it is felt in allwolf country, and distinguishes that country from all other land. It tingles in the spine of all whohear wolves by night, or who scan their tracks by day. Even without sight or sound of wolf, it isimplicit in a hundred small events: the midnight whinny of a pack horse, the rattle of rollingrocks, the bound of a fleeing deer, the way shadows lie under the spruces. Only the ineducabletyro can fail to sense the presence or absence of wolves, or the fact that mountains have a secretopinion about them.My own conviction on this score dates from the day I saw a wolf die. We were eating lunch on ahigh rimrock, at the foot of which a turbulent river elbowed its way. We saw what we thoughtwas a doe fording the torrent, her breast awash in white water. When she climbed the banktoward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf. A halfdozen others,evidently grown pups, sprang from the willows and all joined in a welcoming mêlée of waggingtails and playful maulings. What was literally a pile of wolves writhed and tumbled in the centerof an open flat at the foot of our rimrock.In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we werepumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy: how to aim a steepdownhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and apup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks.We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then,and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes– somethingknown only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought thatbecause fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But afterseeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face ofmany a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of newdeer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, andthen to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn. Such amountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all otherexercise. In the end the starved bones of the hopedfor deer herd, dead of its own too-much,bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers.I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live inmortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolvescan be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail ofreplacement in as many decades.So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is takingover the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like amountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness. The deer strives with hissupple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us withmachines, votes, and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure ofsuccess in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too muchsafety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau’s dictum: Inwildness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf,long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men.EscudillaLife in Arizona was bounded under foot by grama grass, overhead by sky, and on the horizon byEscudilla. To the north of the mountain you rode on honey-colored plains. Look up anywhere,any time, and you saw Escudilla. To the east you rode over a confusion of wooded mesas. Eachhollow seemed its own small world, soaked in sun, fragrant with juniper, and cozy with thechatter of piñon jays. But top out on a ridge and you at once became a speck in an immensity. Onits edge hung Escudilla. To the south lay the tangled canyons of Blue River, full of whitetails,wild turkeys, and wilder cattle. When you missed a saucy buck waving his goodbye over theskyline, and looked down your sights to wonder why, you looked at a far blue mountain:Escudilla. To the west billowed the outliers of the Apache National Forest. We cruised timberthere, converting the tall pines, forty by forty, into notebook figures representing hypotheticallumber piles. Panting up a canyon, the cruiser felt a curious incongruity between the remotenessof his notebook symbols and the immediacy of sweaty fingers, locust thorns, deer-fly bites, andscolding squirrels. But on the next ridge a cold wind, roaring across a green sea of pines, blewhis doubts away. On the far shore hung Escudilla. The mountain bounded not only our work andour play, but even our attempts to get a good dinner.
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