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Margaret Atwood: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, 50 years on

Stashed in: Ecology!

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"But how can anyone keep track of them all? Our hi-tech civilisation is leaking, and it's leaking into us. The more inventive we become, the longer grows the list of chemical compounds we may be breathing, eating and rubbing on to our skin. PCBs, chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants and dioxins have been identified and somewhat controlled, but many harmful chemicals are still at large, and are joined every year by new ones we know little about.

But as long as they don't fall over, most people don't spend much time worrying about invisible toxicity. We're a short-view species: for most of our history we've had to be: we stuffed ourselves while we had the chance, like most hunters and foragers. However, unless we stop fouling our own nest, the Earth, we may be a short-term species as well."

It's easier to let someone else deal with it.

That's not necessarily a good thing.

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