‘Part I’ is the newer collection. Where I will gradually, over time, augment. ‘Part II,’ is an edited version of how this Quotations page originally looked.

Here is a link to a site I discovered years ago. It’s changed a bit. But still has lots of nice quotations: philharding.net

In addition to the quotations below, some of my past blog posts have featured quotations. Such as these blog posts in particular:  Drawing inspiration from My ‘Saved Quotations’ DrawerWhen ‘Saving the Planet’ Is Your ‘Spouse’Free Will Belief May Someday Go PoofHigh Energy Use & Consumption HabitsSome Election Day Food for ThoughtHow Many of Us Possess a High Degree of Eco-Consciousness?Politics of Climate ChangeSome Quotations for You to Enjoy.

Part I

A human being is a 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

Land is not merely soil, it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals.  —  Aldo Leopold

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a commodity to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.  —  Aldo Leopold

There are two things that interest me:  the relation of people to each other, and the relation of people to land.  —  Aldo Leopold

Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend, you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.  —  Aldo Leopold

Schopenhauer’s saying — “A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine what he wills” — impressed itself upon me in youth and has always consoled me when I have witnessed or suffered life’s hardships. This conviction is a perpetual breeder of tolerance, for it does not allow us to take ourselves or others too seriously;  it makes rather for a sense of humor.  —  Albert Einstein

Man worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshipping. — Hubert Reeves

If we have done extremely well as a species, it is only at the expense of other species at present, and of our own species in the future. — Boris Zeide  [Note: I haven’t been able to trace this back to its original source.]

We were told that social justice and environmental justice go hand in hand — a suggestion of such bizarre inaccuracy that it could surely only be wishful thinking. — Paul Kingsnorth

It makes far better sense to reshape ourselves to fit a finite planet than to attempt to reshape the planet to fit our infinite wants. — David W. Orr

Dave [Brower] was an idealist and I’m not. I’m a cynical realist. I think Dave expected more of people.  …  Whereas I don’t really expect a whole lot from other people. In that way I’m never really disappointed — and sometimes I’m very pleasantly surprised. — Dave Foreman

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. — Arthur C. Clarke

One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise. — Aldo Leopold

The modern dogma is comfort at any cost.  —  Aldo Leopold

I wonder how things would be different if all the CO2 we produce by driving, heating, and air conditioning were purple instead of transparent. — Tony Federer

Saving the planet — it’s a global citizenship project. We cannot do it by ourselves.  …  I don’t know whether we can do it, but we need everybody in the world to recognize [that] this is our biggest problem. — Harold Kroto, shared 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The first requisite for success is to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.  —  Thomas Edison

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. — Isaac Asimov

We have stone age emotions … and god-like technology. —  E. O. Wilson

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.  —  George Carlin

The deer isn’t crossing the road, the road is crossing the forest. — Author Unknown

I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding. — John O’Donohue

In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being. — Eckart Tolle

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.  —  Benjamin Franklin

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. — John Lennon

Imagine you’re on a bucking bronco. Put that bronco on a ship at sea, in the middle of a storm. Then put that 180 feet in the air. — Julia Butterfly Hill, describing life atop a Giant Sequoia on a night with 90 mph winds

The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. — I. F. Stone, journalist

I don’t understand why when we destroy something created by man we call it vandalism, but when we destroy something created by nature we call it progress. — Ed Begley Jr.

I do not oppose progress. I oppose blind progress. — David Brower

Our tools are better than we are, and grow better faster than we do. They suffice to crack the atom, to command the tides, but they do not suffice for the oldest task in human history, to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.  —  Aldo Leopold

We stand guard over works of art, but species representing the work of aeons are stolen from under our noses. — Aldo Leopold

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones. — John Cage

The job of a journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. — Finley Peter Dunne

Pioneers take the most arrows. — Doug Casey


The man who follows the crowd will get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has been before.

Creativity in living is not without its attendant difficulties, for peculiarity breeds contempt. And the unfortunate thing of being ahead of your time is that when people finally realize you were right they’ll say it was obvious all along. You have two choices in life. You can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different, and you must strive to be what no one else but you can be. — Alan Ashley-Pitt (pseudonym for Francis Phillip Wernig)


Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought. — Ludwig von Mises

We are going to have full success for the reason that we have attacked the problem in an entirely different way than did those who have failed. — Ottmar Mergenthaler, 1885 [Thomas Edison called Mergenthaler’s invention “the Eighth Wonder of the World.”]

Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. — Bradley Millar

Walk softly and hurt the landscape hardly more than the birds and squirrels. — John Muir

I don’t want to protect the environment, I want to create a world where the environment doesn’t need protecting. — Unknown


People always tell me not to be extreme. ‘Be reasonable!’ they say. But I never felt it did any good to be reasonable about anything in conservation, because what you give away will never come back — ever.

When it comes to saving the wilderness, we can’t be extreme enough. To compromise is to lose. —  Martin Litton


In our attempt to make conservation easy, we have made it trivial. — Aldo Leopold

We don’t say that every living being has the same value as a human, but that it has an intrinsic value which is not quantifiable. It is not equal or unequal. It has a right to live and blossom. I may kill a mosquito if it is on the face of my baby but I will never say I have a higher right to life than a mosquito.  —  Arne Naess

When we look down at the Earth from space we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet; it looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile. — Ron Garan, NASA astronaut

Terry Tempest Williams, the nature essayist, says she heard it best put 24 years ago, at a Congressional hearing on Alaska lands. A man in his 20’s, a blind piano tuner from Texas, stood up. “Gentlemen,” he said, “I may never get up to the Arctic and I certainly will never see Wild Alaska, but in those days when my own world seems dark and small, just to know such places exist will fill my soul with hope.” —  Sam Howe Verhovek, New York Times op-ed “The Nation: Ah, Wilderness;  The Void Without the ‘Great Beyond’ ” [Based upon fact-checking, these might be the actual words spoken:  “I will never see wild Alaska. I will never see those parks. But when I’m in Texas tuning those pianos, it will touch my heart knowing they are there.”]

Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The means of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumption patterns. … We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever accelerating pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption. — Victor Lebow

The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe. — Albert Einstein

Never underestimate the human capacity for denial. — Gail Zawacki

We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight. — John Lennon

When a subject becomes totally obsolete, we make it a required course.  —  Peter F. Drucker

Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. — Richard Feynman

The best that most of us can hope to achieve in physics is simply to misunderstand at a deeper level. — Wolfgang Pauli

The loss of a keystone species is like a drill accidentally striking a power line. It causes lights to go out all over. — E. O. Wilson

In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it is perched. — Paul Ehrlich

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs. — Unknown

I always tell students, “Go ahead and write directly to the person you want to study with; you just never know.” That’s what I did, and I’m always surprised to hear how seldom it happens. I met the Nobel laureate Torsten Wiesel, and went up to him and said, “Gee, you must get people writing to you all the time, wanting to work with you.” He says “Nope, hasn’t happened.” — Michael S. Gazzaniga [Benedict Carey interview]

This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. — Paul Hawken, entrepreneur, environmental activist, author

Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet. — Alice Walker

If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons distributed either by private individuals or by public officials, it is surely only because our forefathers, despite their considerable wisdom and foresight, could conceive of no such problem.” — Rachel Carson

As a human family, we must decide: will we be selfish and short-sighted or cooperative and visionary? — Severn Suzuki [Note: Still fact-checking this one.]

We’re faced with the need for an enormous amount of change in a very short period of time. — Lester Brown, (1990 interview with Bill Moyers)

Climate is an angry beast and we are poking at it with sticks. — Wallace Smith Broecker, climatologist

There are very few youths today who will pause, coming from a biology class, to finger a yellow flower or poke in friendly fashion at a sunning turtle on the edge of the campus pond, and who are capable of saying to themselves, ‘We are all one — all melted together.’ ” — Loren Eiseley

Revealing my deepest thoughts to a visitor one evening, I was accused of being against civilization, against science, against humanity. Naturally, I was flattered … With his help I discovered that I was not opposed to mankind but only to mancenteredness, anthropocentricity, the opinion that the world exists for the sake of man. — Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Each one of us is a statistical impossibility around which hover a million other lives that were never destined to be born. — Loren Eiseley

Bats can hear shapes. Plants can eat light. Bees can dance maps. We can hold all these ideas at once and feel both heavy and weightless with the absurd beauty of it all. — Jarod K. Anderson

People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading. — Logan Pearsall Smith

Books are where things are explained to you, life is where things aren’t, and I’m not surprised that some people prefer books.  —  Julian Barnes, critic

Utopias have a way of curdling into frightening dystopias. Ask anyone who saw the egalitarian dreams of Marxism metastasize into the nightmare of totalitarianism. — Adrian Peracchio

I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness. — Aldo Leopold

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.  —  Aldo Leopold

It’s kind of like being forced to take an ax to a house that you’ve spent your entire career building. — Sharon Lerner (concerning EPA staff, during Donald Trump’s presidency)

There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better. — Elon Musk

I asked a passing teamster, for want of something to say, what land was worth there. He pointed to some cows grazing so far off that they looked like mice, and said, “I don’t know exactly, but there is a man over there who will sell some land for a thousand dollars an acre.” Like a flash it came over me that there was the reason of advancing poverty with advancing wealth. With the growth of population, land grows in value, and the men who work it must pay more for the privilege. — Henry George

Homelessness exists not because the housing system is not working, but because this is the way it works.  —  Peter Marcuse

I remember when asbestos was man’s best friend, when tobacco was harmless, when thalidomide was a great drug, and Three Mile Island could never happen. We don’t want to get a letter in 10 or 20 years saying, ‘Sorry about that. There are some long-term health consequences after all.’ — Don Mallonee, 1990, raising concerns about prolonged exposure to non-ionizing radiation from high-tech weather radar installations

I wonder what Israel might have been like had it had a normal history, if it had not been Sparta but Athens, if all the money and blood and ingenuity it put into the military and war had instead been put into the nation. — Rich Cohen, Israel Is Real


The two children were fighting over one ball;  this is the old bad math that has plagued the universe since the beginning of time. “Share,” shouted the father of the smaller boy. “Share.”

The father looked like he was about to manhandle his child into sharing. Normally mild, a professor of history, he seemed to listen when someone turned to him and said:  “Sharing’s not easy. Isn’t that what history is all about?”  —  Madeleine Blaise (Newsday, op-ed)


Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.  —  Abraham Lincoln

Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children … — Dwight D. Eisenhower

The American Right and Left reacted to 9/11 differently. Their respective responses were, to oversimplify a bit: ‘kill the terrorists’ and ‘kill the terrorism meme.’ — Robert Wright, journalist

You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders. — Jesse Ventura

The book draws heavily on the work of the social psychologist Bob Altemeyer, the creator of a scale for measuring “right-wing authoritarian (R.W.A.) tendencies.” Dean writes that Altemeyer is “not given to hyperbole in his scholarly work,” yet quotes him as saying that many “High R.W.A.’s would “attack France, Massachusetts or the moon if the president said it was necessary ‘for freedom.’ ” Altemeyer says its “a scientifically established fact” that political, religious and economic conservatives are High R.W.A.’s, and Dean concludes that our government “is run by an array of authoritarian personalities” who are “dominating, opposed to equality, desirous of personal power, amoral, intimidating … vengeful, pitiless, exploitative, manipulative, dishonest, cheaters, prejudiced, meanspirited, militant, nationalistic and two-faced.” The estimated 20 to 25 percent of High R.W.A.’s among us, he warns, “will take American democracy where no freedom-loving person would want it to go.” — Nick Gilespie, New York Times Book Review (writing about John W. Dean’s The Hard Right)

To my eye, he [Donald J. Trump] lacks nearly every virtue for which we have a word: Wisdom, curiosity, compassion, generosity, discipline, courage — whatever you list, he’s got none of those things.  (…)  And he’s a paragon of greed, and narcissism, and pettiness, and malice — real malice.  —  Sam Harris (For the full context, this link contains the transcript and a Listen button at top.)

I used to want to be president. Now I want to make my daughter pancakes. — Alec Baldwin

I have found a paper of mine among some others in which I call architecture ‘petrified music.’ Really there is something in this; the tone of mind produced by architecture approaches the effect of music.  —  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned. — Antonio Gramsci

Wildlife management is comparatively easy; human management is difficult. — Aldo Leopold

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. — Kurt Vonnegut

Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it. — Jerry A. Coyne

The word ‘consciousness’ is a clever trick that we use to keep from thinking about how thinking works. We take a lot of different phenomena and we give them all the same name, and then you think you’ve got it. — Marvin Minsky

Perhaps the best cure for the fear of death is to reflect that life has a beginning as well as an end. There was a time when we were not: this gives us not concern — why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be? To die is only to be as we were before we were born. — William Hazlitt

You can think of death bitterly and with resignation … and take every possible measure to postpone it. Or, more realistically, you can think of life as an interruption of an eternity of personal nonexistence, and see it as a brief opportunity to observe and interact with the living, ever-surprising world around us. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Humanity is nature becoming self-conscious.  —  Elisee Reclus

Nearly half of the 250 schools in the Nairobi slum of Kibera are religious schools, teaching one brand of Christianity or another. Why isn’t there even one environmentalist school?  —  Erik Assadourian

Almost every cell in your body is a potential human being, given our recent advances in genetic engineering. Every time you scratch your nose, you have committed a Holocaust of potential human beings. — Sam Harris

Getting a vasectomy lowers carbon footprint 28 times more than a lifetime of recycling, reducing and reusing. — Prof. Paul Murtaugh, Oregon State University

The mother of the year should be a sterilized woman with two adopted children. — Paul Ehrlich


I listen to all these complaints about rudeness and intemperateness, and the opinion that I come to is that there is no polite way of asking someone:

“Have you considered the possibility that your entire life has been devoted to a delusion?”

But that’s a good question to ask. Of course we should ask that question and of course it’s going to offend people. Tough. — Daniel Dennett, philosopher


Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. — John F. Kennedy

Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides peoples. Controls people. Deludes people.  —  Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney

When you consider that God could have commanded anything he wanted — anything — the Ten Commandments have got to rank as one of the great missed opportunities of all time. How different history would have been had he clearly and unmistakably forbidden war, tyranny, taking over other people’s countries, slavery, exploitation of workers, cruelty to children, wife-beating, stoning, treating women-or anyone-as chattel or inferior beings. — Katha Pollitt

When I hear from people that religion doesn’t hurt anything, I say, really? Well besides wars, the Crusades, the inquisitions, 9/11, the suppression of women, the suppression of homosexuals, fatwas, honor killings, suicide bombings, arranged marriages to minors, human sacrifices, burning witches, and systemic sex with children, I have a few quibbles. — Bill Maher

I’m sorry if my insensitivity towards your beliefs offends you. But guess what — your religious wars, jihads, crusades, inquisitions, censoring of free speech, brainwashing of children, murdering of albinos, forcing girls into underage marriages, female genital mutilation, stoning, pederasty, homophobia and rejection of science and reason offend me. So I guess we’re even. — Unknown

We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.  —  Gene Roddenberry

The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all species are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference. — Richard Dawkins


If I made a million tiny robots and programmed them to love me, to worship me, to sing songs praising me and to weep at the sight of my perfection, you’d call me, at least, twisted.

If, however, I made a million tiny robots with free will, and then demanded they love me, worship me, sing songs about me, weep at the sight of my perfection, and threatened them with eternal torment if they chose not to, you’d call me God. —  Anonymous


Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching — even when doing the wrong thing is legal.  —  Aldo Leopold

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.  —  Thomas Paine

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion.  —  Abraham Lincoln

Not a misanthrope, but a defender of Earth against the excesses of anthropes.  —  Stan Rowe

I love not man the less, but nature more. — George Monbiot

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock. — Orson Welles, The Third Man (Note: Cuckoo clocks actually came from Bavaria — now part of Germany.)

I’ll conclude with this link: Robert Brault / Quotes. I haven’t used any of his quotations here. But he has some really good ones. He has published five books. And you can find him on Twitter:  @RobertBrault1

[To be continued.]


Part II

The single most amazing phenomenon is the discrediting of idealism. – Susan Sontag

We have it in our power to begin the world over again. – Thomas Paine

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. – Margaret Mead

One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average man’s familiarity with the word “impossible.” – Napoleon Hill

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. – Albert Einstein

Today’s problems cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

We must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle of civilization. – Al Gore

We are the bullies of the earth: strong, foul, coarse, greedy, careless, indifferent to others, laying waste as we proceed, leaving wounds, welts, lesions, suppurations on the earth body, increasingly engulfed by our own ordure and, finally, abysmally ignorant of the way the world works, crowing our superiority over all life.” – Ian McHarg (A Quest For Life: An Autobiography)

The multiple threats to the Earth are so complex that in most cases they seem beyond the reach of an average citizen’s influence. Yet we can all launch a personal campaign to reduce consumption – though perhaps only after a change of mind-set, to overcome the fear of seeming poor, parsimonious or eccentric. This does not mean being deprived or uncomfortable. It simply means stopping to think, before each purchase, ‘Do I really need this?’ For years a small minority has been living and thinking thus. If a large majority did likewise – if frugality and shabbiness could become trendy – then the Earth, though not saved, would be measurably less endangered. – Dervla Murphy, Irish author

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. – James Oppenheim

That’s the way it is in life. You let go of what is beautiful and unique. You pursue something new and don’t even know that the wind of your own running is a thief. – Sena Jeter Naslund

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is being happy with what you have. – Author Unknown

There are two way to get enough – one way is to accumulate more, and the other way is to desire less. – G. K. Chesterton

We make ourselves rich by making our wants few. – Henry David Thoreau

Remember this – that very little is needed to make a happy life. – Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Give up the drop, and gain the whole ocean. – Swami Satchidananda

It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly. – Bertrand Russell

Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake. … For it is spiritual poverty, not material lack, that lies at the core of all human suffering. – Paramahansa Yogananda

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. – Bertrand Russell

The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes. – Leo Tolstoy

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. – Author Unknown

If we love our children, we must love our earth with tender care and pass it on, diverse and beautiful, so that on a warm spring day 10,000 years hence they can feel peace in a sea of grass, can watch a bee visit a flower, can hear a sandpiper call in the sky, and can find joy in being alive. – Hugh H. Iltis

We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road – the one less traveled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth. – Rachel Carson

If you believe that human beings should dominate and control the earth and that plants, animals, and minerals are resources for human use, you have an anthropocentric world view. If you believe that humans are but one component of an incredibly complex earth and that humans must learn to live within a stable, sustainable, self-renewing ecosphere, you have an ecocentric world view.  –  Tony Federer, USDA Forest Service (retired)  www.ecoshift.net

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal. – Edward O.Wilson

Most, it would seem to me, do not care for nature and would sell their share. – Henry David Thoreau

There are never victories in conservation. If you want to save a species or a habitat, it’s a fight forevermore. You can never turn your back. – George Schaller, American naturalist

In wilderness is the preservation of the world. – Henry David Thoreau

I feel that nothing can befall me in life – no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes) – that nature cannot repair. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Regardless of how overcivilized (man) becomes, he still needs the tonic of the wilderness. – Robert Cushman Murphy

Nature’s peace will flow into you as the sunshine into the trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. – John Muir

Don’t ever let the opposition portray you as “radical.” Preservationists are not radical. We are conservative. “Radicals” are those who do radical things like bulldoze mountains away, strip mine the earth, destroy forests by clearcutting and conversion, pump poisons into the air and water. Radicals are responsible for extinction, cancer, and misery -–and the destruction of wilderness. – Lamar Marshall

A sharp distinction between human beings and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them -–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. With untroubled consciences, we can render whole species extinct – as we do today to the tune of 100 species a day. Their loss is of little import: Those beings, we tell ourselves, are not like us. (…) Remember those macaques who would rather go hungry than profit from harming their fellows; might we have a more optimistic view of the human future if we were sure our ethics were up to their standards? – Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

If animals could speak, they would state a case against mankind that would stagger the imagination. — Author Unknown

It does the things we’re also most concerned about. It tries very hard to stay alive. It’s motivated to reproduce. It gets hungry and goes to look for food. It gets frightened. Compared to other things in the universe, we and the albatrosses are almost identical. – Carl Safina

When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.  – Ingrid Newkirk, animal rights activist

It is so basic. A human being is an innocent part of nature. Our civilization has distorted this universal quality that allows us to feel at home in our skin. Other animals have coats that they accept, but the human race has yet to come to terms with being nude.  –  Ruth Bernhard

We’re the only species on the planet that can’t walk around the way we were created.  –  John Moyer

Be a loner.  That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth.  Have holy curiosity.  Make your life worth living.  —  Albert Einstein

I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance for survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially. – E.B.White

The more civilization progresses, the greater the violence of nature’s wrath. – physicist Torahiko Terada, 1934

The scandal isn’t what’s illegal; it’s what’s legal. – Michael Kinsley

A child’s education should begin at least one hundred years before he was born. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Reading is to the Mind, what Exercise is to the Body. – Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

Iron rusts from disuse … even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge. – Daniel J. Boorstin

Clothe an idea in words and it loses its freedom of movement. – Egon Friedell

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. – Marcel Proust

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. – Albert Einstein

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. – Albert Einstein

Talent is what you possess; genius is what possesses you. – Malcolm Cowley

A dream is not what you see in sleep; a dream is what does not let you sleep. – Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India

The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new. – William Makepeace Thackeray

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle

When permitted to listen to alternative opinions and engage in substantive debate, people have been known to change their minds. It can happen. – Carl Sagan

I hate those movies where hundreds of people get blown up and there are jokes afterward. They poison the soul. – Rob Reiner, director

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. – Bertrand Russell

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. – William Butler Yeats

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. – Bertrand Russell

Only the wise possess ideas; the greater part of mankind are possessed by them. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. – Jonathan Swift

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. – Albert Einstein

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – from Apple computer’s 1997 “Think Different” televised ad

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. – Arthur Schopenhauer

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. – Plato

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence. This explains why we have so many stupid leaders. – Sloan Wilson

If one were loyal to one’s nation only because it was good and true … one would not be loyal to any nation but to truth and goodness. The idea of patriotism would have no place either in our dictionaries or our lives. – Max Eastman, 1906

Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on his own dunghill. – Richard Aldington

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. – Socrates

We are a feelingless people. If we could really feel, the pain would be so great that we would stop all the suffering. If we could feel that one person every six seconds dies of starvation … we would stop it. … If we could really feel it in the bowels, the groin, in the throat, in the breast, we would go into the streets and stop the war, stop slavery, stop the prisons, stop the killing, stop destruction. – Julian Beck

The difference between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems. – Mahatma Gandhi

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. – Albert Einstein

Every generation is confronted anew with the task not to look the other way when injustice occurs.  … Everyone is responsible for what he does and co-responsible for what he lets happen. – Richard von Weizsacker, Federal Republic of Germany, president 

If you’re getting married today, it’s the equivalent of joining a country club that doesn’t allow blacks or Jews. – Sarah Silverman, on the issue of gay marriage (March, 2010)

The reward for a thing well done is to have done it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

No tree has branches, so foolish, as to fight among themselves. – Ojibwa Indian saying

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist. – Dom Helder Camara

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. – Aristotle

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. — Reinhold Niebuhr

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are basically good at heart. – Anne Frank

I have always a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess, just as I would pity the man who has remained ignorant of love. Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make man happy. – Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has achieved, but what he aspires to. – Kahil Gibran

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out – it’s the grain of sand in your shoe. – Robert W. Service

So often times it happens, that we spend our lives in chains, and never even know we have the key! – Jack Tempchin

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self. – Benjamin Franklin

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another. – Katherine Paterson

The only death you die is the death you die every day by not living. Dream big and dare to fail. – Norman Vaughan

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anais Nin

What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard for throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal. – John Howe

Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size. – Mark Twain

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it. – Cullen Hightower

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. – Mark Twain

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it. – Ellen Goodman

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. – Aristotle

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

Men make counterfeit money; but in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men. – Sidney J. Harris

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? – Epicurus

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal god and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. – Albert Einstein

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time. – Issac Asimov

As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God. On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think that I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because, when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods. – Bertrand Russell

A friend, an intelligent lapsed Jew who observes the Sabbath for reasons of cultural solidarity, describes himself as a Tooth Fairy Agnostic. He will not call himself an atheist because it is in principle impossible to prove a negative. But “agnostic” on its own might suggest that he thought God’s existence or non-existence equally likely. In fact, though strictly agnostic about God, he considers God’s existence no more probable than the Tooth Fairy’s. — Richard Dawkins

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. – Stephen Roberts

The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. – Carl Sagan

I’d rather live with a good question than a bad answer. – Aryeh Frimer

Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy. – Carl Sagan

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. – Carl Sagan

I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young, and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is none the less true because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting. – Bertrand Russell

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in our place but will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. – Richard Dawkins

One of my favorite fantasies is that next Sunday not one single woman, in any country of the world, will go to church. If women simply stop giving our time and energy to the institutions that oppress, they could cease to be. – Sonia Johnson

The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion. – Arthur Clarke

The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan. Many people don’t like that statement, but few can argue with it. – Carl Sagan

Society bends over backward to be accommodating to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities. If I say something offensive to religious people, I’ll be universally censured, including by many atheists. But if I say something insulting about Democrats or Republicans or the Green Party, one is allowed to get away with that. Hiding behind the smoke screen of untouchability is something religions have been allowed to get away with for too long. – Richard Dawkins

[Stephen Jay] Gould carried the art of bending over backward to positively supine lengths. Why shouldn’t we comment on God, as scientists? … A universe with a creative superintendent would be a very different kind of universe from one without. Why is that not a scientific matter? – Richard Dawkins

One of the most frightening things in the Western world, and in this country in particular, is the number of people who believe in things that are scientifically false. – Francis Crick

If you believe in the existence of fairies at the bottom of the garden you are deemed fit for the bin. If you believe in parthenogenesis, ascension, transubstantiation and all the rest of it you are deemed fit to govern the country. – Jonathan Meades

Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out. – Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. – Umberto Eco

Man is certainly stark mad: he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen. – Michel de Montaigne

Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed. – Blaise Pascal

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he feels he has to solve. – Erich Fromm

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed. — Soren Kierkegaard

Man is a plant which bears thoughts, just as a rose-tree bears roses and an apple-tree bears apples. – Antoine Fabre D’Olivet

I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue. – Bertrand Russell

The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly, teaches me to suspect that my own is also. – Mark Twain

There are all sorts of things that would be comforting. I expect an injection of morphine would be comforting – it might even be more comforting, for all I know. But to say that something is comforting is not to say that it’s true. – Richard Dawkins

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. – Seneca the Younger, 4 BC – AD 65

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. – Author Unknown

Such is the breathtaking speciesism of our Christian-inspired attitudes, the abortion of a single human zygote (most of them are destined to be spontaneously aborted anyway) can arouse more moral solicitude and righteous indignation than the vivasection of any number of intelligent adult chimpanzees! (…) The only reason we can be comfortable with such a double standard is that the intermediates between humans and chimps are all dead. – Richard Dawkins

We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realize that we are apes. … There is no natural category that includes chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans but excludes humans. – Richard Dawkins

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. – Carl Sagan

[And perhaps there is no better demonstration of the folly of our saeculumcentric myopia than the distant image of this infinitesimally tiny epoch.]