You go into a community and they

You go into a community and they will vote 80 percent to 20 percent in favor of a tougher Clean Air Act, but if you ask them to devote 20 minutes a year to having their car emissions inspected, they will vote 80 to 20 against it.  We are a long way in this country from taking individual responsibility for the environmental problem.  ~William D. Ruckelshaus, former EPA administrator, New York Times, 30 November 1988

To waste to destroy our natural resources

To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.  ~Theodore Roosevelt, seventh annual message, 3 December 1907

Christianity with its roots in judaism was

Christianity, with its roots in Judaism, was a major factor in the development of the Western worldview…. A basic Christian belief was that God gave humans dominion over creation, with the freedom to use the environment as they saw fit.  Another important Judeo-Christian belief predicted that God would bring a cataclysmic end to the Earth sometime in the future.  One interpretation of this belief is that the Earth is only a temporary way station on the soul’s journey to the afterlife.  Because these beliefs tended to devalue the natural world, they fostered attitudes and behaviors that had a negative effect on the environment.  ~Donald G. Kaufman and Cecilia M. Franz, Biosphere 2000:  Protecting Our Global Environment, 1996

We must not be forced to explore

We must not be forced to explore the universe in search of a new home because we have made the Earth inhospitable, even uninhabitable.  For if we do not solve the environmental and related social problems that beset us on Earth – pollution, toxic contamination, resource depletion, prejudice, poverty, hunger – those problems will surely accompany us to other worlds.  ~Donald G. Kaufman and Cecilia M. Franz, Biosphere 2000:  Protecting Our Global Environment, 1996

Human consciousness arose but a minute before

Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock.  Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history.  Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.  ~Stephen Jay Gould, "Our Allotted Lifetimes," The Panda’s Thumb, 1980

And man created the plastic bag and

And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use.  And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried:  "Look at this Godawful mess."  ~Art Buchwald, 1970

A human being is part of the

A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.  ~Albert Einstein, 1950, in a letter, 4 March 1950, SS

Primeval forests virgin sod that saxon has

Primeval forests! virgin sod!
That Saxon has not ravish’d yet,
Lo! peak on peak in stairways set?
In stepping stairs that reach to God!line space
Here we are free as sea or wind,
For here are set Time’s snowy tents
In everlasting battlements
Against the march of Saxon mind.
~Joaquin Miller, “Isles of the Amazons,” 1872TPVgb

Us consumers and industry dispose of enough

U.S. consumers and industry dispose of enough aluminum to rebuild the commercial air fleet every three months; enough iron and steel to continuously supply all automakers; enough glass to fill New York’s World Trade Center every two weeks.  ~Environmental Defense Fund advertisement, Christian Science Monitor, 1990

How long can men thrive between walls

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

As we watch the sun go down

As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us:  "With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas," or, "They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them."  ~U Thant, speech, 1970

Western society has accepted as unquestionable a

Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo:  not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences.  ~Lewis Mumford

Loyd 34it has to do with keeping

Loyd:  "It has to do with keeping things in balance.  It’s like the spirits have made a deal with us.  We’re on our own.  The spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we’re saying:  We know how nice you’re being.  We appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took.  Sorry if we messed up anything.  You’ve gone to a lot of trouble, and we’ll try to be good guests."
Codi:  "Like a note you’d send somebody after you’d stayed in their house?"
Loyd:  "Exactly like that.  ‘Thanks for letting me sleep on your couch.  I took some beer out of the refrigerator, and I broke a coffee cup.  Sorry, I hope it wasn’t your favorite one.’"
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Something will have gone out of us

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 (Thanks, Bekah)

I realized that eastern thought had somewhat

I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things.  Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer.  So a man of such a faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors.  In the East the wilderness has no evil connotation; it is thought of as an expression of the unity and harmony of the universe.  ~William O. Douglas, Go East, Young Man, 1974

One of the first laws against air

One of the first laws against air pollution came in 1300 when King Edward I decreed the death penalty for burning of coal.  At least one execution for that offense is recorded.  But economics triumphed over health considerations, and air pollution became an appalling problem in England.  ~Glenn T. Seaborg, Atomic Energy Commission chairman, speech, Argonne National Laboratory, 1969

It is imperative to maintain portions of

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