“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh,
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life's continuity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are.” ― Stephen Jay Gould, The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History
“The Holy Land is everywhere” ― Black Elk
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ― Rachel Carson
“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. ” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Morning sir, or madam, or neuter," the thing said. "This your planet, is it?" "Well, er. I suppose so," Newt said. "Had it long, have we sir?" "Not personally. I mean, as a species, about half a million years. I think." The alien exchanged glances with its colleague. "Been letting the old acid rain build up, haven't we sir," it said. "Been letting ourselves go a bit with the old hydrocarbons, perhaps?" "I'm sorry?" "Well, I'm sorry to have to tell you, sir, but your polar ice caps are below regulation size for a planet of this category, sir." "Oh, dear," said Newt. "We'll overlook it on this occasion, sir." The smaller alien walked past the car. "CO2 level up nought point five percent," it rasped, giving him a meaningful look. "You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?” ― Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (Good Omens)
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” ― Albert Einstein
“You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.” ― Edward Abbey, The Best of Edward Abbey
“Don't you find it a beautiful clean thought, a world empty of people, just uninterrupted grass, and a hare sitting up?” ― D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love
“There is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but is a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are also the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale has no abode or place of beind except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. Of the telling there is no end. And . . . in whatever . . . place by whatever . . . name or by no name at all . . . all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.” ― Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
“To reverse the effects of civilization would destroy the dreams of a lot of people. There's no way around it. We can talk all we want about sustainability, but there's a sense in which it doesn't matter that these people's dreams are based on, embedded in, intertwined with, and formed by an inherently destructive economic and social system. Their dreams are still their dreams. What right do I -- or does anyone else -- have to destroy them.
At the same time, what right do they have to destroy the world?” ― Derrick Jensen, Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization
“On a grander scale, when a society segregates itself, the consequences affect the economy, the emotions, and the ecology. That's one reason why it's easy for pro-lifers to eat factory-raised animals that disrespect everything sacred about creation. And that is why it's easy for rabid environmentalists to hate chainsaws even though they snuggle into a mattress supported by a black walnut bedstead.” ― Joel Salatin, Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
“Any species that exempts itself from the rules of competition ends up destroying the community in order to support its own expansion.” ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
No one could understand the secret of this weaver who, coming into existence, spread the warp as the world; He fixed the earth and the sky as the pillars, and he used the sun and the moon as two shuttles; He took thousands of stars and perfected the cloth; but even today he weaves, and the end is difficult to fathom.
Kabir says that the weaver, getting good or bad yarn and connecting karmas with it, weaves beautifully. ” ― Kabir, The Bijak of Kabir
“We are the intelligent elite among animal life on earth and whatever our mistakes, [Earth] needs us. This may seem an odd statement after all that I have said about the way 20th century humans became almost a planetary disease organism. But it has taken [Earth] 2.5 billion years to evolve an animal that can think and communicate its thoughts. If we become extinct she has little chance of evolving another.” ― James E. Lovelock, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning
“All have their worth and each contributes to the worth of the others.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion
“Human use, population, and technolog have reached that certain stage where mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
“The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface.
The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust.
The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being.
Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water.
Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life.
The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage.
Dare to breach the surface and sink.” ― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
“Diversity is a survival factor for the community itself. A community of a hundred million species can survive anything short of total global catastrophe. Within that hundred million will be thousands that could survive a global temperature drop of twenty degrees—which would be a lot more devastating than it sounds. Within that hundred million will be thousands that could survive a global temperature rise of twenty degrees. But a community of a hundred species or a thousand species has almost no survival value at all.” ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
“Out yonder they may curse, revile, and torture one another, defile all the human instincts, make a shambles of creation (if it were in their power), but here, no, here, it is unthinkable, here there is abiding peace, the peace of God, and the serene security created by a handful of good neighbors living at one with the creature world.” ― Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch
“Saving the world requires saving democracy. That requires well-informed citizens. Conservation, environment, poverty, community, education, family, health, economy- these combine to make one quest: liberty and justice for all. Whether one's special emphasis is global warming or child welfare, the cause is the same cause. And justice comes from the same place being human comes from: compassion.” ― Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World
“The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
“Tell me of what plant-birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his vocation, his hobbies, his hay fever, and the general level of his ecological education.” ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
“It is ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray.” ― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“Having a place means that you know what a place means...what it means in a storied sense of myth, character and presence but also in an ecological sense...Integrating native consciousness with mythic consciousness” ― Gary Snyder
“This law … defines the limits of competition in the community of life. You may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down your competitors or destroy their food or deny them access to food. In other words, you may compete but you may not wage war.” ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
“I thus found that the student who wishes for a shelter can obtain one for a lifetime at an expense not greater than the rent which he now pays annually. If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself; and my shortcomings and inconsistencies do not affect the truth of my statement.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods
“Labels bias our perceptions, thinking, and behavior. A label or story can either separate us from, or connect us to, nature. For our health and happiness, we must critically evaluate our labels and stories by their effects.” ― Michael J. Cohen, Reconnecting with Nature: Finding Wellness Through Rebuilding Your Bond with the Earth
“We need myths that will help us to identify with all our fellow-beings, not simply with those who belong to our ethnic, national or ideological tribe. We need myths that help us to realize the importance of compassion, which is not always regarded as sufficiently productive or efficient in our pragmatic, rational world. We need myths that help us to create a spiritual attitude, to see beyond our immediate requirements, and enable us to experience a transcendent value that challenges our solipsistic selfishness. We need myths that help us to venerate the earth as sacred once again, instead of merely using it as a 'resource.' This is crucial, because unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that is able to keep abreast of our technological genius, we will not save our planet.” ― Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth
“Ethics that focus on human interactions, morals that focus on humanity's relationship to a Creator, fall short of these things we've learned. They fail to encompass the big take-home message, so far, of a century and a half of biology and ecology: life is- more than anything else- a process; it creates, and depends on, relationships among energy, land, water, air, time and various living things. It's not just about human-to-human interaction; it's not just about spiritual interaction. It's about all interaction. We're bound with the rest of life in a network, a network including not just all living things but the energy and nonliving matter that flows through the living, making and keeping all of us alive as we make it alive. We can keep debating ideologies and sending entreaties toward heaven. But unless we embrace the fuller reality we're in- and reality's implications- we'll face big problems.” ― Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World
“Progress is measured by the speed at which we destroy the conditions that sustain life.” ― George Monbiot
“It shouldn't be the consumer's responsibility to figure out what's cruel and what's kind, what's environmentally destructive and what's sustainable. Cruel and destructive food products should be illegal. We don't need the option of buying children's toys made with lead paint, or aerosols with chlorofluorocarbons, or medicines with unlabeled side effects. And we don't need the option of buying factory-farmed animals.” ― Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
“No one species shall make the life of the world its own.' … That's one expression of the law. Here's another: 'The world was not made for any one species.” ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
tags: civilization, ecology, philosophy
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“I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. Who made them serfs of the soil? Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt? Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born?” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods
“And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay" "Well, I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away.” ― John Denver
“Many conscientious environmentalists are repelled by the word "abundance," automatically associating it with irresponsible consumerism and plundering of Earth's resources. In the context of grassroots frustration, insensitive enthusing about the potential for energy abundance usually elicits an annoyed retort. "We have to conserve." The authors believe the human family also has to _choose_. The people we speak with at the recycling depot or organic juice bar are for the most part not looking at the _difference_ between harmony-with-nature technologies and exploitative practices such as mountaintop coal mining. "Destructive" was yesterday's technology of choice. As a result, the words "science and technology" are repugnant to many of the people who passionately care about health, peace, justice and the biosphere. Usually these acquaintances haven't heard about the variety of constructive yet powerful clean energy technologies that have the potential to gradually replace oil and nuclear industries if allowed. Wastewater-into-energy technologies could clean up waterways and other variations solve the problem of polluting feedlots and landfills.” ― Jeane Manning and Joel Garbon, Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-Leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World
“It was not enough that food aplenty was within Man’s grasp: he wanted more.
It was not enough that prey surrendered themselves to Man according to the natural order: Man wanted to cook his prey.
Man had discovered fire when lightning stuck and set a tree or two alight, but he was clumsy and greedy and stupid and could not keep the flame alive” ― David Bowles, Along the River: An Anthology of Voices from the Rio Grande Valley
“More grass means less forest; more forest less grass. But either-or is a construction more deeply woven into our culture than into nature, where even antagonists depend on one another and the liveliest places are the edges, the in-betweens or both-ands..... Relations are what matter most.” ― Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“Now observe that in all the propaganda of the ecologists—amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for “harmony with nature”—there is no discussion of man’s needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision—i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears....
In order to survive, man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter his background and adapt it to his needs. Nature has not equipped him for adapting himself to his background in the manner of animals. From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire.” ― Ayn Rand, The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution
“Many collectors died in process of searching for new species, and despite persistent reports that the men died from drowning, gunshot and knife wounds, snakebite, trampling by cattle, or blows in the head with blunt instruments, it is generally accepted that in each case the primary cause of death was orchid fever.” ― Eric Hansen, Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy
“We travel together as passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and I'll say the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of man, half free in liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.” ― Adlai Stevenson
“...It's not that the worm forgives the plough; it gives it no mind. (Pain occurs, in passing.) (lines 37-39 in the poem 'Fantasia on a Theme from IKEA')” ― Philip Gross, The Water Table
“Perhaps the central question about [Eliot] Porter's work is about the relationship between science, aesthetics, and environmental politics. His brother, the painter and critic Fairfield Porter, wrote in a 1960 review of [Porter's] colour photographs: 'There is no subject and background, every corner is alive,' and this suggests what an ecological aesthetic might look like. ” ― Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics
“I love it when people yell at me about the environment and then I tell 'em I'm burning 90% cleaner than them.” ― Neil Young
“Listen, O lord of the meeting rivers, things standing shall fall, but the moving ever shall stay.” ― Basava, The Lord of the Meeting Rivers: Devotional Poems of Basavanna
“Men say they know many things; But lo! they have taken wings, — The arts and sciences, And a thousand appliances; The wind that blows Is all that any body knows” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods
“Ecology is beginning to slowly shift focus with tentative explorations of what the world would look like if process, rather than matter were the basis for reality What if we defined a species in terms of its life processes? We might seriously doubt whether the California condor or the tall grass prairie can be 'saved' or even 'restored.' Perhaps we can re-create some local conditions that foster a few nests of condors or a few acres of prairie. But the life process of the condor ended with the urbanization of the California foothills and the living ebb and flow of the tall grass prairies died with the plowing of the Great Plains. What if we suggested that a thing is what it does? In this light, the Rocky Mountain locust was a immense aperiodic energy flow that linked life processes on a continental scale.
This notion of life-as-process might seem unusual in a society in which material existence is primary. But such a perception informs our deepest understanding of life. Indeed, life-as-process underlies our notion of euthanasia. When loved ones are simply bodies, devoid of the capacity to care, respond, or relate again a away that we can recognize as being "them," we understand that they are gone even before they are dead.” ― Jeffrey A. Lockwood
“But as the Everglades continued to wither, a few of their colleagues began to wonder if conservation really should mean development more than preservation. These heretics did not believe that God had created man in order to 'improve' or 'redeem' nature; they found God's grace in nature itself.” ― Michael Gunwald
“This is considered almost holy work by farmers and ranchers. Kill off everything you can't eat. Kill off anything that eats what you eat. Kill off anything that doesn't feed what you eat."
"It IS holy work, in Taker culture. The more competitors you destroy, the more humans you can bring into the world, and that makes it just about the holiest work there is. Once you exempt yourself from the law of limited competition, everything in the world except your food and the food of your food becomes an enemy to be exterminated.” ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
“A forest ecology is a delicate one. If the forest perishes, its fauna may go with it. The Athshean word for world is also the word for forest.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest
“The race is now on between the technoscientific and scientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. . . . If the race is won, humanity can emerge in far better condition than when it entered, and with most of the diversity of life still intact.” ― Edward O. Wilson, The Future Of Life
“When we must pay the true price for the depletion of nature’s gifts, materials will become more precious to us, and economic logic will reinforce, and not contradict, our heart’s desire to treat the world with reverence and, when we receive nature’s gifts, to use them well.” ― Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“Durante centenares de miles de años, el hombre luchó para abrirse un lugar en la naturaleza. Por primera vez en la historia de nuestra especie, la situación se ha invertido y hoy es indispensable hacerle un lugar a la naturaleza en el mundo del hombre.” ― Santiago Kovadloff
“The social phenomenon of economic growth is, thanks to the principle of the conservation of matter, nothing other than the physical phenomenon of increasing resource depletion.” ― Craig Dilworth, Too Smart for Our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Humankind
“Death is nature's way of making things continually interesting. Death is the possibility of change. Every individual gets its allotted lifespan, its chance to try something new on the world. But time is called and the molecules which make up leaf and limb, heart and eye are disassembled and redistributed to other tenants.” ― Peter Steinhart, The Company of Wolves
“There is a saying that 'the psychotic drowns in the waters that the mystic swims in.' The health and structural integrity of the ego means the difference between spiritual emergence, the unfolding of a transpersonal identity; and a spiritual emergency a crisis brought on by the same unfolding, during which the foundations of sanity can be shaken.” ― Jason Kirkey, The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality
“This is where the will to grapple with our hard and pressing environmental problems begins: in relationship to something other that you love beyond any utility, beyond any logic.” ― Susan Freinkel, American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree
tags: ecology, empathy, environment
“Wolves directly affect the entire ecosystem, not just moose populations, their main prey, because less moose equals more tree growth” ― Rolf Peterson
“Buy a smaller car? Conserve? I have spent quite a bit of time in Russia and China, and that's the first stage. You go from having your own car to carpooling to riding the bus to mass transit. You eventually get to where you're going by walking. That's what socialism and the elimination of capitalism and free enterprise is all about.” ― Don Blankenship
“Sustainability is now a big baggy sack in which people throw all kinds of old ideas, hot air and dodgy activities in order to be able to greenwash their products and feel good.” ― Kevin McCloud, Kevin McCloud's 43 Principles of Home: Enjoying Life in the 21st Century
“Il faut regarder la configuration ensemble pour déterminer le comportement des parties et non l'inverse.” ― Paul Weiss
“Compared to forest or aquatic ecosystems, grassland is unstable. It requires rather precise geological and climatic conditions, and if these conditions are not maintained--if too much rain falls, or too little--it quickly turns into forest or desert, both of which are dominated by woody plants. This instability is reflected in the spectacular but brief careers of various grassland faunas. Humanity, with its dazzling symbioses, preadaptations, and neoteny, is the most spectacular of these--and may well be the briefest.” ― David Rains Wallace, The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution
“...we need to remind ourselves that natural systems are much more finely tuned than we think, and if we like the way they currently work, then we should try very, very hard to not screw with them.” ― Rowan Jacobsen, Shadows on the Gulf: A Journey through Our Last Great Wetland
“Il nous faut partir d'une conception d'ensemble de l'organisme en tant qu'une entité fondamentale de la biologie, puis comprendre comment celui-ci se divise en parties qui respectent son ordre intrinsèque - pour donner un organisme harmonieusement intégré en dépit de sa complexité.” ― Brian Goodwin
“Si l'organisme vivant est un system hiérarchisé dont le niveau d'organisation est au-dessus du niveau chimique, il est alors évident qu'il doit être étudié à tous les niveaux et qu'une recherche limitée à l'un d'entre eux (niveaux chimique par exemple) ne peut remplacer celle effectuée aux niveau supérieurs.” ― J.H. Woodger
“The ears were large, flaring forward, the eyes limpid amber, in which the pupil floated like a glittering jewel, changing color with shifts of the light: obsidian, emerald, ruby, opal, amethyst, diamond.” ― William S. Burroughs, Ghost of Chance
“If I could go back to a point in history to try to get things to come out differently, I would go back and tell moses to go up the mountain again and get the other tablet. Because the Ten Commandments just tell us what we are supped to do with one another, not a word about our relationship to the earth. Genesis starts with these commands: multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it. We have multiplied very well, we have replenished our populations very well, we have subdued it all too well, and we don’t have any other instruction.” ― David Brower
“That's it on the maps; nature doesn't acknowledge frontiers. Neither can ecology... Where to begin to understand what we've only got a computerspeak label for, ecosystem? Where to decide it begins.” ― Nadine Gordimer, Get a Life
“The evolution revolution is here. Global sense makes common sense.” ― Judah Freed, GLOBAL SENSE: The 2012 Edition: A spiritual handbook on the nature of society and how to change the world by changing ourselves
“The dominant culture eats entire biomes. No, that is too generous, because eating implies a natural biological relationship. This culture doesn't just consume ecosystems, it obliterates them, it murders them, one after another. This culture is an ecological serial killer, and it's long past time for us to recognize the pattern.” ― Aric McBay, Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
“The great challenge of the twenty-first century is to raise people everywhere to a decent standard of living while preserving as much of the rest of life as possible.” ― Edward O. Wilson
“Luxury as beauty" has nothing to do with a particular place or an object's price tag. It is seeing with eyes for beauty. Once we cut the automatic but learned connection between buying stuff and pleasure, we can actively cultivate new connections - a sense of freedom as we shed draining habits and discover new pleasures in seeing and creating beauty all around us.” ― Frances Moore Lappé
“Man has the lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end up destroying the earth.” ― Albert Schweitzer
“It has been proved that the land can exist without the country - and be better for it; it has not been proved that the country can live without the land.” ― Alice Walker
“Le regard analytique et le regard intuitif sur la vie ne peuvent s'harmoniser dans un même être que dans la mesure où le premier est subordonné au second. C'est du second, et notamment du sentiment de beauté et de compassion qu'il enferme, que découle le sens de la totalité de même que celui des équilibres et de la limite. Le regard intuitif est la condition de la sagesse sans laquelle le regard analytique peut conduire à des excès suicidaires. L'analyse des phénomènes donne de la puissance sur eux, elle permet de dominer la nature, mais elle n'enferme aucune indication quant aux limites qu'il convient d'assigner à cette puissance.” ― James E. Lovelock
“We are as gods and might as well get good at it.” ― Stewart Brand
“Man wants to see nature and evolution as separate from human activities. There is a natural world, and there is man. But man also belongs to the natural world. If he is a ferocious predator, that too is part of evolution. If cod and haddock and other species cannot survive because man kills them, something more adaptable will take their place. Nature, the ultimate pragmatist, doggedly searches for something that works. But as the cockroach demonstrates, what works best in nature does not always appeal to us.” ― Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World