New Directions for Pesticide Use

  • Hugh Lehman


In the final chapter of her book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson referred to Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.”1 She suggested there that human societies, through their extensive and intensive use of chemical pesticides, were following a road that, while attractive at the start, could lead to disaster. She recommended taking the other road. Frost suggested that he would have liked to travel on both roads but, being only one person; he could not do so. Frost’s traveler took “the one less traveled by.” Someone might say that, having explored one of the roads some distance, he could have returned to the other road and explored that also. Frost doubted that he ever would.


Integrate Pest Management Moral Virtue Chemical Pesticide Total Elimination Agricultural Production System 
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  1. 1.
    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (Cambridge, The Riverside Press, 1962), 277f. Frost’s poem is contained in The Poems of Robert Frost (New York, Modern Library, 1946).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Trends in pesticide use are discussed in a number of chapters in this volume. See chapters 2, 12, and 16. Also of interest is “Controlling Toxic Chemicals” by S. Postel, in State of the World 1988, ed. Lester Brown, et al. (New York, W.W. Norton and Company, 1988), p. 118f.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    R. Carson, Silent Spring, p. 12. Also see “Many Roads and Other Worlds” by G.J. Marco et al., in Silent Spring Revisited, ed. G.J. Marco et al. (Washington, D.C., American Chemical Society, 1987).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Carson suggested the objective of entomologists on the old road was “to create a chemically sterile, insect-free world,” Silent Spring, p. 12.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    See “A Summary of Silent Spring” by Gino Marco in Silent Spring Revisited, ed. G.J. Marco, et al. (Washington, American Chemical Society, 1987), p. xviii.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    The difficulties involved in determining undesirable health effects due to pesticide use are also discussed in chapter 5 of this volume. Also of interest in this regard are “Human Health Effects of Pesticides” by J.E. Davies and R. Doon in Silent Spring Revisited, (see footnote 8), and chapter 3 of this volume.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    The Greening of colleges of agriculture is one aspect of the Greening of America. See The Greening of America by Charles A. Reich (New York, Random House, 1970).Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Silent Spring, p. 9.Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    Silent Spring, p. 13.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Silent Spring, p. 12.Google Scholar
  11. 23.
    Silent Spring, p. 13.Google Scholar
  12. 28.
    See “The Not So Silent Spring” by J. Moore, in Silent Spring Revisited.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh Lehman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of GuelphGuelph

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