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EARTH ENVIRONMENT


Some day the earth will weep, she will beg for her life, she will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or let her die, and when she dies, you will die too.

John Hollow Horn
Oglala Lakota
1932

The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected, like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Chief Seattle
{US} Divamish Indians

To survive, our minds must taste redwood, and agate, octopi, bat, and in the bat's mouth, insect. It's hard to think like a planet, but we've got to try.

James Bertolino
Poet

When the birds sing, do they call to the flowers in the fields, or are they speaking to the trees, or are they echoing the murmur of the brooks? For Man with his understanding cannot know what the bird is saying, nor what the brook is murmuring, nor what the waves whisper when they touch the beaches slowly and gently.

Man with his understanding cannot know what the rain is saying when it falls upon the leaves of the trees or when it taps at the window panes. He cannot know what the breeze is saying to the flowers in the fields.

But the Heart of Man can feel and grasp the meaning of these sounds that play upon his feelings. Eternal Wisdom often speaks to him in a mysterious language; Soul and Nature converse together, while Man stands speechless and bewildered.

Yet has not Man wept at the sounds? And are not his tears eloquent understanding?

Kahlil Gibran
mystic, poet and artist
(1883-1931)

Who knows the flower best? - the one who reads about it in a book, or the one who finds it wild on the mountainside?

Alexandra David-Neel

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A black crow sits on the top of a tall pine tree. It looks around proudly and lets out a cry of victory. The crow truly believes that the pine owes everything to it - the tree's being, its tall beauty, its evergreen splendor, its power in battling the winds. The great benefactor of the serene pine never stirs; it seems not to even notice the black crow. Lost in thought, it stretches the arms of its branches heavenward. It tolerates its noisy intruder calmly. Nothing can disturb its thoughts, its dignity. So many clouds have floated past its brow, so many migrant birds have perched upon its branches.

Sufan Wyszynski,
A Freedom Within

If people would only realize that if one leads a life in cooperation with Nature and not against it, then nobody in the world need die of starvation.

Sepp Holzer,
Austrian Organic Farmer

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

Unknown

Eagles never display wonder, or say, "Tis marvel of the age." For in nature we the children only hold the sane as strange.

Kahlil Gibran

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds, I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

Wendell Berry

Give me spots on the apples, but leave me the birds and the bees, please!

Joni Mitchell

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

Thomas Henry Huxley
English biologist
(1825-1895)

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal. The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.

Tao Te Ching

The treatment of the Earth by man the exploiter is not only imprudent, it is sacrilegious. We are unlikely to correct our hideous mistakes in this realm unless we recover the mystical sense of our oneness with nature. Many people think this is fantastic. I think it is fundamental to our Sanity.

Archbishop William Temple

One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.

Tashunka Witko
(Crazy Horse)

Men no longer love the soil. Landowners sell it, lease it, divide it into shares, prostitute it, bargain with it and treat it as an object of speculation. Farmers torture it, violate it, exhaust it and sacrifice it with their impatient desire for gain. They never become one with it.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

At the beginning of all things Mother Earth emerged from Chaos and bore her son Uranus as she slept. Gazing down fondly at her from the mountains, he showered fertile rain upon her secret clefts, and she bore grass, flowers, and trees, with the beasts and birds proper to each. This same rain made the rivers flow and filled the hollow places with water, so that lakes and seas came into being.

Olympian creation myth

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.

John Ruskin

In wilderness is the preservation of the world.

Henry David Thoreau

This bison herd is as important to this country as Old Faithful, as the Statue of Liberty, as the Grand Canyon. This particular bison herd is the most genetically pure bison herd we have in America today. They've not been interbred with cattle, they are exactly the way they were a thousand years ago.

Don Barry
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Interior,
referring to the bison in Yellowstone National Park

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

Chief Seattle
1854

When we see ourselves as greater than others, when we place humankind above other creatures, above and beyond the realms of the birds and the fishes, outside the world of stone and the colors, we give away our power. Only when we see we are part of everything, joined to creation, bound to all the realms and integrated into the web of life, do we begin to call on our full potential.

Barry Brailsford
from "Song of the Silence"

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

Frank Lloyd Wright
architect
(1867-1959)

The Wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned how to ask.

Nancy Newhall

Keep close to Nature's heart, yourself; 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
naturalist, explorer, and writer
(1838-1914)

The summit of the mountains could be said to play the role of antennae in that they pick up currents from space. When the snow and ice begin to melt, the water circulating on the surface of the earth and that soaking into the ground and passing through the various geological layers is impregnated with these energy-bearing currents.

Summits absorb and transform cosmic forces, and rivers and streams are the paths of communication that link them with the plains and valleys. When you look at a mountain, therefore, do so in the full realization that it is a transformer of cosmic energy. Think also that all the waters that flow from it are impregnated with this life and with this life they will then imbue the various realms of nature.

Omraam Mikha'l Avanhov

To be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.

William O. Douglas

The so-called random shooting at the Montana borders is actually eliminating or depleting entire maternal lineages, therefore this action will cause an irreversible crippling of the gene pool. Continued removal of genetic lineages will change the genetic makeup of the herd, thus it will not represent the animal of 1910 or earlier. It would be a travesty to have people look back and say we were "idiots" for not understanding the gene pool. Bison have developed a natural resistance genetically as long as thay have enough to eat, limited stress and are not consumed by other disease.

Dr. Joe Templeton, Texas A & M University,
Dept. of Veterinary Pathobiology, to the GYIBC on May 21, 1998

For more info on how the last wild buffalo
in America are being pushed to extinction by
government agencies, see: Buffalo Field Campaign
www.wildrockies.org/buffalo

To put the bounty and the health of our land, our only commonwealth, into the hands of people who do not live on it and share its fate will always be an error. For whatever determines the fortune of the land determines also the fortune of the people. If history teaches anything, it teaches that.

Wendell Berry

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

Emerson

True solitude is a ding of birdsong, seething leaves, whirling colors or a clamor of tracks in the snow.

Edward Hoagland

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.

Ancient proverb

The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth ... the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need -- if only we had the eyes to see.

Edward Abbey

Do not feed children on a maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion; give them nature. Let their souls drink in all that is pure and sweet. Rear them, if possible, amid pleasant surroundings ... Let nature teach them the lessons of good and proper living, combined with an abundance of well-balanced nourishment. Those children will grow to be the best men and women. Put the best in them by contact with the best outside. They will absorb it as a plant absorbs the sunshine and the dew.

Luther Burbank

Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of natures varied forms.

George Washington Carver

The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all.

Wendell Berry

We need the tonic of wildness - to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed . . . We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Henry David Thoreau
naturalist and author
(1817-1862)

If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.

Lao-tzu

Climb the Mountain and get the good tidings.
Natures peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy,
While cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.

John Muir

There are unknown forces within Nature; when we give ourselves wholly to her, without reserve, she leads them to us; she shows us those forms which our watching eyes do not see, which our intelligence does not understand or suspect.

Auguste Rodin

If having endured much, we at last asserted our 'right to know' and if, knowing, we have concluded that we are being asked to take senseless and frightening risks, then we should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals, we should look around and see what other course is open to us.

Rachel Carson
Silent Spring

It is impossible for man to evolve mentally unless s/he participates in the creation of the world. This is a very simple way to participate. Fruit trees and nut trees marry the earth and sky. They give shade and food. They are a powerful symbol. To plant a tree along a public road, that is an act of generosity. Lack of heart, lack of generosity, is the real disease of our world

Bernard Moitessier

One summer night, out on a flat headland all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages; otherwise, there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars; the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon.

It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead. And because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.

Rachel Carson

A grain of dust contains the whole universe. When a flower opens, the whole world appears.

Zen

The Earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same....

Hinmatan Yalatkit
(Chief Joseph)

All art, all education, can be merely a supplement to nature.

Aristotle
(B.C. 384-322)

When we try to pick anything out by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

John Muir

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

John Muir

Here is a calm so deep, grasses cease waving...
wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits in to us,
as if truly part and parents of us.
The sun shines not on us but in us.
The rivers flow not past us, but through us,
thrilling tingling vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance
of our bodies making them glide and sing.

John Muir

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions and the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations.

Henry Betson

The same stream of life
that runs through my veins
runs through the world
and dances in rhythmic measure.

It is the same life that shoots in joy
through the dust of the earth
into numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves
of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life
that is rocked in the ocean
cradle of birth and death
in ebb and flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious
by the touch of this world of life
and my pride is from the life throb of ages
dancing in my blood this moment.

Rabindranath Tagore
poet, philosopher, author,
songwriter, painter, educator
Former Poet Laureate of India
Nobel Prize 1928
1861-1941

Spring is a natural resurrection, an experience in immortality.

Henry David Thoreau

Every dewdrop and raindrop has a whole heaven within it.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
poet
(1807-1882)

No natural phenomenon can be adequately studied in itself alone, but to be understood must be considered as it stands connected with all Nature.

Francis Bacon
English writer
(1561-1626)

Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favorable comparison with the products of Nature, the living cell of a plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.

Thomas Alva Edison
American inventor
(1847-1931)

The 'control of nature' is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists solely for the convenience of man.

Rachel Carson

My soul can find no staircase to heaven unless it be through earth's loveliness.

Michelangelo

Nature is an infinite sphere
whose centre is everywhere,
whose circumference is nowhere.

Blaise Pascal
borrowing from the
Corpus Hermeticum of the 3rd Century

(1623-1662)

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

William Blake
poet, engraver and painter
(1757-1827)

Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.

John Muir

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will we realise that we cannot eat money.

19th Century Cree Indian

Ravaged, infertile lands, famine and drought are a reflection of impoverished petty minds and a demoralized spirit.

Paulo Lugari

The glory of the human has become the desolation of the earth. This I would consider an appropriate way to summarize the twentieth century.

Thomas Berry
theologian

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice for your soul is alive.

Eleanora Duse

Do no dishonour to the earth lest you dishonour the spirit of man.

Henry Beston
The Outermost House

As well expect Nature to answer to your human values as to come into your house and sit in a chair. The economy of nature, its checks and balances, its measurements of competing life - all this is its great marvel and has an ethic of its own.

Henry Beston
The Outermost House

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.

Francis Bacon
Novum Organum

Driven by the force of love, the fragments of the world seek each other that the world may come into being.

Teilhard de Chardin

Nature uses as little as possible of anything.

Johannes Kepler
astronomer
(1571-1630)

If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.

Henry David Thoreau

Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous.

Leonardo da Vinci
painter, engineer, musician & scientist
(1452-1519)

Apparently there is a great discovery or insight which our culture is deliberately designed to supress, distort and ignore. That is that Nature is some kind of minded entity. That Nature is not simply the random flight of atoms through electromagnetic fields. Nature is not the empty, despiritualized lumpen matter that we inherit from modern physics. But it is instead a kind of intelligence, a kind of mind.

Terrence McKenna

Touch the earth, love the earth, honor the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places.

Ernest Dimnet

If you run out of water, you pray for rain. If you run out of soil, you pray for forgiveness.

Gov. Bob Kerrey

All good things are wild and free.

Henry David Thoreau

God does not play favorites. The difference between a flower or wildflower or weed is only a matter of human judgment.

John Joseph Price

When the planes still swoop down and aerial spray a field in order to kill a predator insect with pesticides, we are in the Dark Ages of commerce. Maybe one thousandth of this aerial insecticide actually prevents the infestation. The balance goes to the leaves, into the soil, into the water, into all forms of wildlife, into ourselves. What is good for the balance sheet is wasteful of resources and harmful to life.

Paul Hawken
The Ecology of Commerce
(1993)

Pest Control Chain Reaction

To treat a malaria outbreak in Borneo in the 1950s, the World Health Organization (WHO) sprayed DDT to kill mosquitoes. But the DDT also killed parasitic wasps which were controlling thatch-eating caterpillars. As a result, the thatched roofs of many homes fell down, and the DDT-poisoned insects were eaten by geckoes, which were in turn eaten by cats. The cats perished, which led to the multiplication of rats, and then outbreaks of sylvatic plague and typhus.

To put an end to this destructive chain of events, WHO had to parachute 145,000 live cats into the area to control the rats.

****

The whole world is, to me, very much "alive" - all the little growing things, even the rocks. I can't look at a swell bit of grass and earth, for instance, without feeling the essential life - the things going on within them. The same goes for a mountain, or a bit of the ocean, or a magnificent piece of old wood.

Ansel Adams
1941

Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone's need, but not enough to satisfy everyone's greed.

Mahatma Gandhi

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.

Stanley Horowitz

I have no doubt at the present time that the greatest polluting element in the earth's environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic radiation.

Robert O. Becker, M. D.

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.

Robert H. Schuller

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
naturalist and author
(1817-1862)

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

Edward Abbey
naturalist and author
(1927-1989)

What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse.

Edward Abbey

Earth laughs in flowers.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
writer and philosopher
(1803-1882)

The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past but through us. Nature was made not just for us, but for itself and its own happiness, and is the very smile of the Divine.

John Muir

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the shades of night to you
Moon and stars ever giving light to you

Traditional Gaelic Blessing

There is pleasure in the pathless woods
There is rapture in the lonely shore
There is society where none intrudes
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more

Lord Byron
poet
(1788-1824)

I suddenly realized that what I was feeling was the love of the Earth, the love of Creation. Every day we, as a species, do so much to destroy Creation's ability to give us life. But that Creation continues to do everything in its power to give us life anyway. And that's true love.

Julia Butterfly Hill
Legacy of Luna

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir

For the Lord thy God brings thee into a good land, a land of brooks, of water, of fountains with depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates: a land of oil, of olives and honey.

Deuteronomy 8.8

All know that the drop merges into the ocean but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.

Kabir
reformer, poet
(late 15th century)

Rain! whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains.

Henry Ward Beecher
preacher and writer
(1813-1887)

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul.

Luther Burbank
American naturalist and plant breeder

This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere: the dew is never all dried at once: a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

John Muir

I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.

John Muir

Nature is slow, but sure; she works no faster than need be; she is the tortoise that wins the race by her perseverance.

Henry David Thoreau

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

William Blake
poet, engraver, and painter
(1757-1827)

To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in your hand and eternity in an hour

William Blake
Auguries of Innocence

Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.

John Muir

The very spot where grew the bread that formed my bones I see
How strange old field, on thee to tread and feel I'm part of thee.

Abraham Lincoln

Destroying species is like tearing pages out of an unread book, written in a language humans hardly know how to read, about the place where they live.

Holmes Rolston III
professor of philosophy (1932- )

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet,
And the wind longs to play with your hair!

Khalil Gibran

Every natural form -- palm leaves and acorns, oak leaves and sumach and dodder -- are untranslatable aphorisms.

Henry David Thoreau
naturalist and author (1817-1862)

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social
reformer (1819-1900)

Going to the woods is going home.

John Muir

He that plants a tree loves others besides himself.

Thomas Fuller

Quotes for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

112

 

EARTH ENVIRONMENT
AND ITS DETRACTORS

 

If you've seen one redwood, you've seen them all.

Ronald Reagan

It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.

J. Danforth "Dan" Quayle

If you set aside Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the safety record of nuclear power really is good.

Paul O'Neill
Secretary of Treasury (Bush II)
as told to The Wall Street Journal

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