Carson probably knew at least some of this information, for several reasons. First, she was a trained scientist who also happened to suffer from breast cancer and probably researched the topic as thoroughly as possible. In addition, she demonstrated her knowledge by specifically writing about the effects of these poisons, the ecology of the human body and its permeable vulnerability. On the other hand, Science has probably learned a great deal more about chemicals and the body over the past 50 years and since Carson's death. Consequently, it seems fair to say that Carson knew some but not all of the special dangers posed to women by chemicals.
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring is considered by some to be the start of a revolution. When the book was published in 1962, attitudes about chemical companies, government officials and environmental activists were very different. At that time, an ignorant and gullible public was easily duped by the chemical industry and government officials while regarding activists as worse nuisances than the gypsy moth and fire ant. The harmful effects of that culture are shown by Carson's descriptions of the all-out chemical warfare waged against the gypsy moth and the fire ant in 1950's America. In fearlessly and carefully explaining those instances, and in showing the pervasiveness and dangers of poison in our everyday lives, Carson produced a work that is still deemed powerful and revealing half a century after its publication.
Carson based her passionate argument against pesticides on the desire to protect wildlife. Using evocative language, Carson told a powerful fable of a town whose people had been poisoned, and whose spring had been silenced of birdsong, because all life had been extinguished by pesticides.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. held back from speaking out against the Vietnam War for almost two years, as Lyndon Johnson was a friend of the civil rights movement, having signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. By the spring of 1967, he could remain silent no longer as “my conscience leaves me no other choice,” as he put it. He offered a clear exposition of his views in a sermon-like speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam” at the Riverside Church in New York on April 4, 1967, sponsored by the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam.
The phasing out of the American chemical war in Southeast Asia was the result of an expanding ecological awareness as well as specific studies of chemical agents. The insecticide DDT, which was widely used in American agriculture, was banned in 1972 after a ten-year movement that began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. In a similar way, reports of birth defects and other deleterious effects of Agents Orange, Blue, and White in Vietnam led to scientific studies that correlated these effects with toxic ingredients, particularly 2,4,5-T. Scientific experiments produced malformations and stillbirths in mice.
Such harsh penalties undoubtedly dissuaded many GIs from directly challenging military authority, but other ways were found to debate and protest the war. With the support of local peace groups, coffee houses sprang up near military bases where GIs could freely exchange ideas. GIs began publishing off-base newspapers, one of the first being Vietnam GI in late 1967. More newspapers followed. Cortright counts a total of 259 over the course of the war, although many lasted only a few issues due to personnel relocation. In December 1967, the American Servicemen’s Union (ASU) was founded by socialist Andy Stapp, who purposely entered the Army in order to organize among soldiers. ASU developed chapters in bases at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Fort Benning, Georgia, and offered legal assistance to servicemen in support of GI rights. An increasing number of GIs also applied for C.O. status while in the service. Even if denied, their applications backed up the military courts and sometimes delayed deployment orders. At the Oakland Army Base, a primary embarkation point for Vietnam, the Pacific Counseling Service aided GIs in filling out C.O. applications, resulting in 1,200 soldiers successfully delaying their deployment orders by March 1, 1970.
Diem’s repression reached a new low in the spring of 1963. On May 8, the 2,527th birthday of the Buddha, the GVN decided to enforce a law banning the display of any flag other than the national flag. It was clearly selective enforcement as Vatican flags blanketed the city of Hue where Diem’s brother, Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc, resided. As the Buddhist celebrated with their flags, Diem’s troops opened fire, killing nine people. Two days later, ten thousand Buddhists marched in protest. Diem responded by jailing leading Buddhist monks and placing armed guards around pagodas. On the morning of June 11, a sixty-six-year old Buddhist monk, Quang Duc, sat in the middle of a busy Saigon intersection and assumed a lotus posture. As other monks chanted nearby, two helpers doused the seated monk with gasoline. Quang Duc then lit a match and set himself on fire, sitting motionless and silent as the flames consumed him. The press had been alerted beforehand and photographs were taken. They appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world the following day.
An examination of actual data, however, thoroughly debunks Carson’s claim. This can be seen in Table 1, which compares the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count data for 1941 (before DDT) to that of 1960 (the height of DDT, shortly before the publication of Silent Spring).
According to Rachel Carson, DDT was so harmful to birds that someday America’s springs would be silent, as all the birds that might enliven them with song would be dead. Indeed, it was from this poignant image that she drew the title for her book. As evidence for this claim, Carson maintained that since the introduction of DDT to the United States shortly after World War II, the nation’s bird populations had fallen into rapid decline, with even the robin threatened with extinction.
Patricia Hynes, "The Recurring Silent Spring"  "[Because] corporations must have physically impossible 'endless growth' in order to survive, corporate social responsibility is a myth.