On the Environment
Peace Quotes to Ponder
Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone's needs, but not everyone's greed.
- Mohandas Gandhi
Over increasingly large areas of the United States, spring now comes unheralded by the return of the birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of bird song.
- Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring”
Humanity is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature we risk destroying it and becoming in turn the victim of this degradation. Not only is the material environment becoming a permanent menace – pollution and refuse, new illness and absolute destructive capacity – but the human framework is no longer under our control, thus creating an environment for tomorrow which may well be intolerable. This is a wide-ranging social problem which concerns the entire human family.
- Pope Paul VI
The system of nature, of which humanity is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.
- E.F. Schumacher, “Small is Beautiful”
Love God’s young creation, love it as a whole, and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every plant and all things. If you do, the mystery of God will be revealed to you in created things. And finally you will love the whole universe with a comprehensive, all-embracing love.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
A spiritual voice is urgently needed to underline the fact that global warming is already causing human anguish and mortality in our nation and abroad, and much more will occur in the future without rapid action.
- Bill McKibben
The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation. In fact, the deterioration of the environment and of society affects the most vulnerable people on the planet … The impact of present imbalances is also seen in the premature death of many of the poor.
- Pope Francis, “Laudato Si”
The single non-negotiable thing life requires is water.
- Sylvia Earle
Every effort must be made to address the structural causes of the deep scars that humanity continues to inflict on the Earth and that contribute greatly to the suffering of the poor. Today there is a particular need to reduce the consumption of energy and the emission of pollutants that are sources of significant wounds to the most vulnerable of our society and the Earth as a whole.
- U.S. Catholic Bishops Frank Dewane and Oscar Cantú
If we surrendered to Earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted, like trees.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.
- Wendell Berry
There are so many ways in which we are destroying the planet. And once we understand, once we care, we have to do something.
- Jane Goodall
The world has been created for everyone’s use, but you few rich are trying to keep it for yourselves. For not merely the possession of the Earth, but the very sky, the air, and the sea are claimed for the use of the rich few. The Earth belongs to all, not just to the rich.
- St. Ambrose of Milan
I gave my word to this tree, the forest, and all the people that my feet would not touch the ground until I had done everything in my power to make the world aware of this problem and to stop the destruction.
- Julia Butterfly Hill
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
- Henry David Thoreau
We abuse land because we see 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.
- Aldo Leopold
But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and will tell you; ask the plants of the Earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
- Job 12:7-8
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.
- Edward Abbey
Teach your children what we have taught our children: that the Earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth. This we know, all things are connected like the blood that unites one family. So if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you take it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children and love it as God loves us all.
- Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Native American Tribe
At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees; then, I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.
- Chico Mendes
Keep close to Nature’s heart, and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
- John Muir
The heavens declare the glory of God. And the firmament shows God’s handiwork.
- Psalm 19:1
Praised be You, O Lord, through sister Earth our mother who sustains and governs us.
- St. Francis of Assisi
I want to do the right things - I want to plant trees, I want to make sure that the indigenous forests are protected because I know, whatever happens, these are the forests that contain biodiversity, these are the forests that help us retain water when it rains and keep our rivers flowing, these are the forests that many future generations will need.
- Wangari Maathai
Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.
- Gaylord Nelson
We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
- David Brower
Water is a commons to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around it.
- Maude Barlow
World-wide practice of conservation and the fair and continued access by all nations to the resources they need are the two indispensable foundations of continuous plenty and of permanent peace.
- Gifford Pinchot
Many people still believe that “green” solutions are too expensive, but they are actually much cheaper when all the costs to public health, social services, and waste handling are factored into the same equation.
- Majora Carter
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar and all that fills it; Let the field exult, and everything in it. Then let all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord!
- Psalm 96:11-13a
The primary problem is that people don’t think there is much of a problem. There is no agreement on the basic facts. For more than 20 years, the oil and coal industries have waged a PR campaign to stop any action on global warming. They have been able to discredit science, making it just one more special interest, and scientific results a matter of opinion, rather than of fact. They have also been able to maintain the public perception that the science of global warming is still unproven. And they have kept the focus on the economy, so that the argument becomes any attempt to lower the use of fossil fuels will “harm the economy.” They have been able to maintain the impression that we can choose between the current situation, or changes that will economically impact the fossil fuel industry. They ignore what will happen if we continue to do nothing.
- Web of Creation, Ecology Resources: Transforming Faith and Society
The Earth is Mother of all that is natural; Mother of all that is human.
- St. Hildegard of Bingen
Because our sense of the divine is so extensively derived from verbal sources, we seldom notice how extensively we have lost contact with the revelation of the divine in nature. Yet, our exalted sense of the divine itself comes from the grandeur of the universe.
- Fr. Thomas Berry
If I had been born in space, I would desire to visit the beautiful Earth more than I ever yearned to visit space.
- David Brown