Monday, May 02, 2005

Environment Quotes

A virgin forest is where the hand of man has never set foot.  ~Author Unknown When a man says to me, "I have the intensest love of nature," at once I know that he has none.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1857 I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn.  ~Author Unknown When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.  ~David Orr We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.  ~Francis Bacon There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.  ~Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays Will urban sprawl spread so far that most people lose all touch with nature?  Will the day come when the only bird a typical American child ever sees is a canary in a pet shop window?  When the only wild animal he knows is a rat - glimpsed on a night drive through some city slum?  When the only tree he touches is the cleverly fabricated plastic evergreen that shades his gifts on Christmas morning?  ~Frank N. Ikard, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, Houston, March 1968 How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life?  ~Charles A. Lindbergh, Reader's Digest, November 1939 It is imperative to maintain portions of the wilderness untouched so that a tree will rot where it falls, a waterfall will pour its curve without generating electricity, a trumpeter swan may float on uncontaminated water - and moderns may at least see what their ancestors knew in their nerves and blood.  ~Bernand De Voto, Fortune, June 1947 Take care of the earth and she will take care of you.  ~Author Unknown We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.  ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste.  ~Wallace Stegner, letter to David E. Pesonen of the Wildland Research Center, 3 December 1960 (Thank you, Bekah.) Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity.  ~E. Knight Opie, you haven't finished your milk.  We can't put it back in the cow, you know.  ~Aunt Bee Taylor, The Andy Griffith Show The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty.  The activist is the man who cleans up the river.  ~Ross Perot Civilization... wrecks the planet from seafloor to stratosphere.  ~Richard Bach It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.  ~Ansel Adams We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them.  We say we love trees, yet we cut them down.  And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved.  ~Author Unknown Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time. ~Motto of the Baltimore Grotto, a caving society Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?  ~Pierre Troubetzkoy For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.  ~Richard P. Feynman Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.  ~Chief Seattle, 1855 When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.  ~John Muir You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.  ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes, 1755 Understanding the laws of nature does not mean that we are immune to their operations.  ~David Gerrold Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall.  He will end by destroying the earth.  ~Albert Schweitzer, quoted in James Brabazon, Albert Schweitzer The mother of the year should be a sterilized woman with two adopted children.  ~Paul R. Ehrlich Man is a blind, witless, low brow, anthropocentric clod who inflicts lesions upon the earth.  ~Ian McHarg Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values.... God made life simple.  It is man who complicates it.  ~Charles A. Lindbergh, Reader's Digest, July 1972 The control man has secured over nature has far outrun his control over himself.  ~Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, 1953 The old Lakota was wise.  He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.  ~Chief Luther Standing Bear The magnificence of mountains, the serenity of nature - nothing is safe from the idiot marks of man's passing.  ~Loudon Wainwright Remember when atmospheric contaminants were romantically called stardust?  ~Lane Olinghouse If you violate [Nature's] laws you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman.  ~Luther Burbank Dig a trench through a landfill and you will see layers of phone books like geographical strata or layers of cake.... During a recent landfill dig in Phoenix, I found newspapers dating from 1952 that looked so fresh you might read one over breakfast.  ~William Rathje, The Economist, 8 September 1990 Environmentalists have long been fond of saying that the sun is the only safe nuclear reactor, situated as it is some ninety-three million miles away.  ~Stephanie Mills, ed., In Praise of Nature, 1990 How can the spirit of the earth like the white man?... Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore.  ~Anonymous Wintu Woman Our environmental problems originate in the hubris of imagining ourselves as the central nervous system or the brain of nature.  We're not the brain, we are a cancer on nature.  ~Dave Foreman, Harper's, April 1990 The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.  ~Carl Sagan The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.  ~John Muir, letter to J.B. McChesney, 19 September 1871 Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.  ~Henry David Thoreau, "Chesuncook," The Maine Woods, 1848 Man maketh a death which Nature never made.  ~Edward Young It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life.  ~Rachel Carson God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west... keeping the world in chains.  If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.  ~Mahatma GandhiGod never made his work for man to mend. ~John Dryden It is the safest of times, it is the riskiest of times.... What the Dickens is going on here?  ~Denton Morrison, on chemicals, technology, and risk, quoted in National Academy of Sciences, Improving Risk Communication, 1989 Man is a complex being:  he makes deserts bloom - and lake


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