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Environmentalism is a concern for the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment, such as the conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and certain land use actions.


  • I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet.


  • We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.
    • Stephen Schneider(Discover magazine, Oct 1989)
  • Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.
  • Humanity is on the march, earth itself is left behind.
    • David Ehrenfeld, The Arrogance of Humanism, 1978
  • "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe around us, the less taste we shall have for destruction."
    • Rachel Carson, "Slient Spring", 1962
  • In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops.
    • Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness, 1971
  • 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. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.
    • Rachel Carson, (1907-1964) The Sea Around Us, 1951
  • It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little.
  • After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I want to see the manager".
  • All our efforts to defeat poverty and pursue sustainable development will be in vain if environmental degradation and natural resource depletion continue unabated.
    • Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all", 2005 report for the United Nations sixtieth anniversary summit
  • A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
  • Energy Policy will be and should be driven by environmental policy in the future.
    • Timothy Wirth, U.S. Senator, February 20, 1991
  • Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option...they will become a necessity.
    • Fujio Cho, President of Toyota Motors, North American International Auto Show, 2004
  • Every human has a fundamental right to an environment of quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being
    • United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm
  • Every American expects and deserves clean air, and then we act on that belief, then we will set an example for the rest of the world to follow.
    • George H. W. Bush, from "Remarks Announcing Proposed Legislation to Amend the Clean Air Act", June 12, 1989
  • Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called "rain".
    • Michael McClary
  • I want to make it clear, if there is ever a conflict (between environmental quality and economic growth), I will go for beauty, clean air, water, and landscape.
    • Jimmy Carter, quoted in the New York Times, September 19, 1976
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    • Margaret Mead (1901-1978) quoted in John M. RIchardson, ed. Making it Happen, 1982
  • Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
    • Cree Indian Proverb
  • Strict economy in the use of natural resources has not been practiced, but it must be henceforth unless we are immoral enough to impair conditions in which our children are to live
  • Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.
  • The Materials of wealth are in the earth, in the seas, and in their natural and unaided productions.
    • Daniel Webster, (1782-1852) remarks in the US Senate, March 12, 1838
  • The road to the future leads us smack into the wall. We simply ricochet off the alternatives that destiny offers: a demographic explosion that triggers social chaos and spreads death, nuclear delirium and the quasi-annihilation of the species… Our survival is no more than a question of 25, 50 or perhaps 100 years.
  • The Supreme Reality of Our Time is...the Vulnerability of our Planet
  • The Truly Healthy environment is not merely safe but stimulating.
    • William H. Stewart, Environmental Science and Technology, February 1968
  • The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
    • Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day
  • The weight of our civilization has become so great, it now ranks as a global force and a significant wild card in the human future along with the Ice Ages and other vicissitudes of a volatile and changeable planetary system
    • Dianne Dumanoski, Rethinking Environmentalism, December 13, 1998
  • The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof.
    • Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603)
  • This is the first age that’s ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.
  • We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
  • We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
    • Native American Proverb
  • We still have too much air and water pollution and we still need to work to reduce it. But we also need to put the problem of pollution into a historical as well as scientific perspective...
    • Ronald Reagan, quoted in Charles D. Hobbs' Ronald Reagan's Call to Action
  • We will look upon the earth and her sister planets as being with us, not for us.
    • Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father (1973)
  • What good is a house, if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?
  • When the well's dry, we know the worth of water.
    • Benjamin Franklin, (1706-1790), Poor Richard's Almanac
  • When you've spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment, it's exciting to have a real crisis on your hands.
  • While the farmer holds the title to the land, actually, it belongs to all the people because civilization itself rests upon the soil.
  • 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
  • Right now the environment movement is a perfect bogeyman for us. In order to get people to join and donate money [to us] we need opposition.
    • Alan Gottlieb, Centre for the Defence of Free Enterprise
  • The Environmental movement is, you might say, a movement of repressed Romantics.
    • Charles E. Little, A Town Is Saved, 1973
  • The environment no longer resembles a threatening monster but a beaten dog clinging to its life.
    • Klaus Nürnberger
  • As the ecological fabric of the natural world unravels around us, perhaps it is time that we begin to speak of the unspeakable, and to listen to that we have deemed unhearable.
    • Derrick Jensen

See also