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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Caring for Our Environment

   Caring for Our Environment             

There is hope
if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves,
that heartfelt knowledge
that we are caretakers of this planet.
~ Brooke Medicine Eagle ~

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,
from 'Chesuncook' The Maine Woods, 1848 ~

The struggle to save the global environment is in one way
much more difficult than the struggle to vanquish Hitler,
for this time the war is with ourselves.
We are the enemy, just as we have only ourselves as allies.
~ Al Gore ~

Our children may save us
if they are taught to care properly for the planet;
but if not, it may be back to the Ice Age or the caves
from where we first emerged.
Then we'll have to view the universe above
from a cold, dark place.
No more jet skis, nuclear weapons, plastic crap,
broken pay phones,
drugs, cars, waffle irons, or television.
Come to think of it, that might not be a bad idea.
~ Jimmy Buffet
from 'Mother Earth News' March-April 1990 ~

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 ~

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 ~

Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
~ George Carlin ~

Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create,
so that he can add to what he's been given.
But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer.
Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct,
the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.
~ Anton Chekhov
'Uncle Vanya' 1897 ~

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
from 'Biosphere 2000: Protecting Our Global Environment' 1996 ~

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 ~

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,
7th Annual Message, 3 December 1907 ~

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
~ Thomas Fuller
'Gnomologia' 1732 ~

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 ~

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill
will, in the end, take their revenge;
for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.
~ Marya Mannes 'More in Anger' 1958 ~

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 ~

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