Environmentalism is a concept that has been long argued on many fronts. There is a large rift between those who scream for the need to protect our planet and those who could not care less. Now, with the planet moving closer and closer to possible biological peril, we find ourselves stopping to consider arguments we might have never heard before or perhaps we've heard them before but are just listening to them for the first time. We suddenly find ourselves taking Marge Piercy's poem, The Common Living Dirt, close to heart. But then we open our ears to ecological pessimists like Rachel Carson and Octavia Butler and wonder, is it too late? Unfortunately, it may be. There is no reason not to appreciate the gentle, optimistic approach that Piercy provides when she implores us to worship [ ] on our knees, the common living dirt (Piercy 372). However, it does not coincide with our current lifestyles as a nation or even a planet. I fear it may be too late for society to fix its previous errors and mistakes in environmental protection due to our gluttonous desire for selfishness and instant gratification
[...] She proclaims, public must decide whether it wishes to continue on the present road, and it can only do so only when in full possession of the facts.” (483). Within lines soaked in prior disappointment, Carson and Piercy urge the world to understand the situation and then to act upon it. Piercy, in the last stanza of her ode to Mother Earth, speaks with hopefulness when she encourages us to “again . worship you on our knees, the common living dirt” (Piercy 372). [...]
[...] did alright on earth until the war.” could. Your new world will be difficult. It will demand most of your attention, perhaps occupy your hierarchical tendencies safely for a while.” will be free us, our children, their children [ ] we'll be fully human and free. That's enough [ . (Butler 10). It is here where Butler casts her utter disdain and faithlessness in the human race to alleviate their environmental problems. She can already see through the façade of far-away danger that anti-eco people try to propagate. [...]
[...] the surface of the earth without making it unfit for life? They should not be called ‘insecticides' but ‘biocides' (Carson 479-80). With a frightening authority, Carson's words bring the implications of excessive chemical use to light. Chemicals and other human-made pharmaceuticals are a daily part of our lives and more and more are introduced and slipped into our habits daily. Carson begs us to answer the question of whether these products are still helping, or have they tread the line into harmful. [...]
[...] Carson completely agrees with Piercy when she says that human beings “have lost the simplest gratitude. We lack the knowledge we showed ten thousand years past, that you live a goddess but mortal, that what we take must be returned; that the poison we drop in you will stunt our children's growth” (Piercy 371). Both authors recognize that these frightening chemicals we use will forever alter our environment and slowly but stealthily weaken it with every spraying. They implore their audiences to become aware of this impending problem that grows every day. [...]
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