Pollution Quotes

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Quote Author Cited
We already have the statistics for the future: the growth percentages of pollution, overpopulation, desertification. The future is already in place. Gunter Grass
The most important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by the technology of yesterday. Dennis Gabor
Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth. Albert Schweitzer
Ultimately, here is the choice we face: we can either make the solution to the climate crisis the central organizing principle of civilization–or the hostile conditions we are creating will grow rapidly worse, thickening the smothering blanket of global warming pollution surrounding our planet and destroy the viability of civilization as we know it. Al Gore
A cap and trade system would put some kind of price on the carbon footprint. John Sarbanes
[Coal is] a 19th-century fuel very badly suited for the 21st century. There's no way you can wash or scrub coal to make that essential fact go away. Jeff Goodell
Were the workers who sweated to put food on my table paid at least minimum wage? Did they get health benefits? Overtime? Were they unionized? Protected from pesticide exposure? Mark Bittman
We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment. We must hand it over to our children in as near pristine condition as we were lent it from our parents. Richard Branson
Man is complex—he makes deserts bloom and lakes die. Laurence J. Peter
Climate Change Is No Joke Fossil Fuels Are Soooo Prehistoric Anonymous
If I have learned nothing else …, I have thoroughly learned to keep hands off the processes of nature. Laura Lee Davidson
Hell No, We Won't Glow Anonymous
The way to reduce pollution in Detroit is to make automobile company executives drive in non-air-conditioned cars during summer rush hours. The way to get business to join the war on poverty is to make corporate executives drive through Harlem every day instead of going home on air-conditioned trains drinking martinis. Lyndon B. Johnson
Man is a complex animal; he makes deserts bloom and lakes die. Gil Stern
Man will survive as a species for one reason: He can adapt to the destructive effects of our power-intoxicated technology and of our ungoverned population growth, to the dirt, pollution and noise of a New York or Tokyo. And that is the tragedy. It is not man the ecological crisis threatens to destroy but the quality of human life. Rene Dubos
One of the first laws against air pollution came in 1300 when King Edward I decreed the death penalty for burning of coal. At least one execution for that offense is recorded. But economics triumphed over health considerations, and air pollution became an appalling problem in England. Glenn T. Seaborg
Runaway technology, whose only law is profit, has for years poisoned our air, ravaged our soil, stripped our forests bare, and corrupted our water resources Vance Hartke
The affluent society has become an effluent society. The 6 percent of the world's population in the United States produces 70 percent or more of the world's solid wastes Walter S. Howard
Polluter pork is thriving in Washington. Lexi Shultz
In order to produce enough gold to create a wedding band, … a mine would have to extract tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds of ore. … each mine produces thousands of tons of waste rock and other materials. The end result is that mines across the West create millions of tons of waste. This waste is usually stored on the earth's surface in vast piles that may be hundreds of feet high and cover an area the size of several football fields. Lexi Shultz
Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds, and mammals—not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. Theodore Roosevelt
The relation of the conservation of natural resources to the problems of National welfare and National efficiency had not yet dawned on the public mind. The reclamation of arid public lands in the West was still a matter for private enterprise alone; and our magnificent river system, with its superb possibilities for public usefulness, was dealt with by the National Government not as a unit, but as a disconnected series of pork-barrel problems, whose only real interest was in their effect on the re-election or defeat of a Congressman here and there—a theory which, I regret to say, still obtains. Theodore Roosevelt
We can eliminate gasoline in this country in 25 years. Vinod Khosla
We will run out of air long before we run out of oil. Vinod Khosla
Even if smog were a risk to human life, we must remember that life in nature, without technology, is wholesale death. Ayn Rand
Nearly everywhere there is crushing poverty, religious and ethnic enmity, and exploitation of people, other species, and the earth. Sometimes it may even seem that we have passed the point of no return -- that we cannot limit population, harmonize differences, and decontaminate the planet in time. But in a time of crisis, the only philosophically tenable position for a pessimist is optimism. Ashley Montague
People who can turn on a tap and have safe and clean water to drink, to cook with and to bathe in often take it for granted — and yet more than one billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to use potentially harmful sources of water Lee Jong-Wook
There are no national strategies any longer. There's only national poverty. With the global economy there are only global strategies. We're moving from a world of enemies that are national to a world of global dangers. Can you place boundaries on pollution? Shimon Peres
Stop pollution or the future will be a thing of the past. Anonymous
The solution to pollution is dilution. Anonymous
The frog does not drink in the pond in which he lives. American Indian proverb
Your armed struggles for profit Have left collars of waste upon My shore,, Currents of debris upon my breast. Maya Angelou
It's a bit like the search for witches. You can always find them. Colin Berry
The human race has today the means for annihilating itself—either in a fit of complete lunacy ... or by a careless handling of atomic technology, through the slow poisoning and of deterioration in its genetic structure. Max Born
Our beaches should not be garbage dumps. Our oceans must not be cesspools. George W. Bush
We can no longer throw our waste away because there is no away. William Cahill
Every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death. Rachel Carson
As cruel a weapon as the cave man's club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life. Rachel Carson
The very survival of the human species depends upon the maintenance of an ocean clean and alive.... The ocean is our planet's life belt. Jacques Cousteau
There is a risk between toxicity and hazard. Just because it is a risk doesn't mean you are in danger. Dow Chemical Corp.
Pollution knows no boundaries; it moves across borders. Andrea Durbin
Nobody yet knows how to improve working conditions and environmental quality without imposing heavy costs somewhere. Ethan B. Epstein
The biggest polluters have a back door into the policy making process of the White House. Al Gore
Handing money back to the private sector in tax cuts and starving the public sector is a formula for producing richer and richer consumers in filthier and filthier communities. If we stick to that formula we will end up in affluent misery. John W. Gardner
We have done extraordinary things to destroy our waters. We can never do enough to research and coordinate cleaning these waters up. George J. Hochbrueckner
This is a turning point in human history. William J. Hughes
I do believe this period of the 1980's will be remembered as the time the planet struck back. The planet is telling us we can't treat it this way anymore. Stephen C. Joseph
It really depends on how thirsty I was. Ian Macdonald
This is not a disposable planet. It is the only one we have. Robert Maynard
The free market should not include the right to pollute our environment. George McGovern
Pollution and the exhaustion of natural resources depend and will depend in the future on the absolute level of total economic activity. This means that is necessary to restrain both the rate of growth of population and, at least in the developed countries, the rate of growth of consumption per head. James Meade
Everyone realizes that we have to clean up the environment, but no one likes the cost. Carlos Moorhead
We ought to move toward the objective of allowing our state to become number one, not in the protection of toxic substances, but in the prosecution of those who are polluting our environment. Dan Morales
20 centuries of progress have brought the average citizen a vote, a national anthem, a Ford, a bank account and a high opinion of himself but not the capacity to live in high density without befouling and denuding his environment. Aldo Leopold
Consumers cannot enjoy the prices and variety we farmers produce without embracing the technologies we use. Blake Hurst
We are funding the rope for the hanging of ourselves. James Woolsey
If you’re a Chinese mayor and have to choose between growing jobs and cutting pollution, you will invariably choose jobs: Coughing workers are much less politically dangerous than unemployed workers. Thomas Friedman
It must be pointed out that climate change has been caused by the long-term historic emissions of developed countries and their high per-capita emissions. Developed countries bear an unshirkable responsibility. Jiang Yu
The cheapest, cleanest, nonemitting power plant in the world is the one you don’t build. Thomas Friedman
The market does not work in energy...Carbon has to have a value. Today in the U.S. and China it has no value Jeffrey R. Immelt
Nobody wants nuclear waste in their back yards. In a democracy where everyone has a say, most people say NO!. David Kastenbaum
America is schizophrenic, a land of equal opportunity where a white culture sits upon a black …. A nation filled with patriots with a detestation of obscenity who pollute their rivers. Norman Mailer
You only have to ask yourself, "What would happen if the entire population of India and China had two-car garages and were living at the technological and the economic standard that the American middle class is today?" The planet would become very rapidly uninhabitable. Perry Anderson
No-one wants polluted air, water or land, denuded forests or extinct animal species. But the error most people make is to trust the legislature to prevent these tragedies. What they don’t realize is how big a role the legislature has played historically in causing environmental destruction. Karen Selick
We'll never know the worth of water till the well goes dry. Scottish Proverb
Hygiene is two thirds of health. Lebanese Proverb
If the water is too clear, there is nothing for the fish to eat. Chinese Proverb
There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are only consequences. Robert G. Ingersoll
To live with integrity in an unjust society we must work for justice. To walk with integrity through a landscape strewn with beer cans, we must stop and pick them up Miriam Simos; Starhawk
If one looks with a cold eye at the mess man has made of history, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he has been afflicted by some built-in mental disorder which drives him towards self-destruction. Arthur Koestler
This is the greatest liberty that has ever been taken with nature Anonymous
The oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.. Aldo Leopold
In most slums and cities in developing states, population growth is outpacing the ability of the growth in pollution and sewage. Such unmet expectations in over-crowded cities can be the catalyst for civil conflict. Jennifer Dabbs Sciubba
When people are involved, accidents will happen…. You don’t want to drink frack fluid. Aubrey McClendon
Strip mining is man’s thorough and total assault upon his planet. Harry M. Caudill
The coal industry held the title deed to the future and devoured the land, people, and culture with a Satanic appetite. Harry M. Caudill
We just can't afford to sit back and watch all that land be destroyed so a few people can get rich now. One of these days the dear old federal government is going to have to come in and spend billions of dollars just to repair the damage that's already been done. And guess who will have the machines and the workmen to do the job? The same coal operators who made the mess in the first place will be hired to fix it back, and the taxpayers will bear the cost Harry M. Caudill
The people of West Virginia deserve jobs. But the people of West Virginia also deserve clean water. Lisa Jackson
White males are most responsible for the destruction of human life and environment on the planet today. Yet who is controlling the supposed revolution to change all that? White males. Robin Morgan
Solution to pollution by dilution is fallacious. Helen Caldicott
Peace begins in the womb. The newborn reflects this truth. Order is transferred from cell to tissue, to organs, to organisms, to families, communities, and nations. Unfortunately, when development is violated in the womb by man-made chemicals, the newborn is compromised. For animals in the wild, their survival is threatened. They can disappear without our ever knowing why. For humans, such exposure can lead to reduced intelligence, discontent, failure, and the inability to socially integrate. Man-made chemicals deprive societies of responsible leaders and thinkers. The social and economic impacts are incalculable. Widespread loss of security in the womb can lead to loss of stability at the national and international level. Theo Colburn
Pollution is nothing but resources we're not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value. R. Buckminster Fuller
All taxes discourage something. Why not discourage bad things like pollution rather than good things like working or investment? Lawrence Summers
It is in another world. In the midst of so much wealth there seems to nothing but chimneys and flaring furnaces with wretched cottages around them. Add to this a thick and black atmosphere and you have but a first impression of the life a third of my subjects are forced to live. Queen Victoria
If we don't change, our species will not survive... Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse. Maurice Strong
I am not a U. S. company and I don’t make decisions on what is good for the United States. Lee R. Raymond
Environmental degradation and pollution constrain economic growth, contribute to large-scale migration, harm public health, and engender social unrest. Elizabeth Economy
The time has passed when nations should be allowed to do as they individually wish with regard to global matters, each striving solely in its own interests, with the more powerful now able to destroy all humanity and more. For the common good, we need to frame and abide by a higher system of law and justice, designed with less national, more godlike, perspectives for the preservation and welfare of the biosphere as a whole. Roger Wolcott Sperry
The only solution to pollution is a people's humane revolution. Bobby Seale
There are fewer chemical pollutants in the air. Our drinking water is safer. Our food standards have been raised. We've cleaned up more toxic waste sites in three years than the previous administrations did in twelve. The environment is cleaner, and we have fought off the most vigorous assault on environmental protection since we began to protect the environment in 1970. We are moving in the right direction to the 21st century. Bill Clinton
Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option...they will become a necessity. Fujio Cho
I do not think there should be a limit on the rig's liability, because they are sitting on top of unlimited amounts of oil, and thus, there could be an explosion occur that could do untold damage. ... The amount of damage that an offshore oil rig can do is infinite. John Chafee
You cannot affirm the power plant and condemn the smokestack, or affirm the smoke and condemn the cough. Wendell Berry
Everything is poisonous, nothing is poisonous, it is all a matter of dose. Claude Bernard
… human population growth within the ecosystem was closely analogous to the growth of malignant tumor cells within an organism: that man was acting like a cancer on the biosphere. The multiplication of human numbers certainly seems wild and uncontrolled... Four million a month - the equivalent of the population of Chicago... We seem to be doing all right at the moment; but if you could ask cancer cells, I suspect they would think they were doing fine. But when the organism dies, so do they; and for our own, selfish, practical, utilitarian reasons, I think we should be careful about how we influence the rest of the ecosystem. Marston Bates
It is not enough to celebrate the earth and all its inhabitants, we must restore what we have destroyed. Ismail Serageldin
Will your children be active or radioactive? Anonymous
We may well blow each other up with atomic weapons before we wipe out all species of life including our own with more gradual means. Robert N. Bellah
No one has the right to use America's rivers and America's Waterways, that belong to all the people, as a sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one State, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people. Lyndon B. Johnson
I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it, if it creates radiation. Hyman Rickover
Until about two billion years ago, it was impossible to have any life on earth; that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn't have any life — fish or anything. Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet—and probably in the entire system—reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin... Now when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible... Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years. I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it. Hyman Rickover
It's never been proven that air toxics are hazardous to people. Tom DeLay
We are introducing compounds into the environment that did not exist only a few decades ago. James Salzman
Historically, countries have made big energy shifts only when confronted with acute fossil-fuel crises: oil embargoes, debilitating pollution, or wars. Jeffrey Bell
The current challenge facing the environmental authorities is how to properly deal with the environmental problems caused by economic development. Zhou Shengxian
China’s air quality is grim, and the amount of pollution emissions far exceeds the environment’s capacity. Zhou Shengxian
More people have smart phones than clean water Max Levchin
In theory, recycling poop is the perfect solution to the one truly unavoidable byproduct of human civilization. Josh Harkinson
It's amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease. When the poor share some of the power that the affluent now monopolize, we will give a damn. Cesar Chavez
Call me a converted skeptic. Prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct … humans are almost entirely the cause. Richard A. Muller
Doing everything the scientists wanted us to do [to protect the environment] would be ruinous. Richard V. Allen
Technology will save us if it doesn't wipe us out first. Pete Seeger
The danger of collective catastrophe … is so great as to be in part a certainty. George F. Kennan
Pollution Prevention, Not Polluter Protection Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress. Sierra Club
Coal is our country’s dirtiest energy source, from mining to burning to disposing of coal waste…. Coal is an outdated, backward, and dirty 19th-century technology…. Not only is coal burning responsible for one third of US carbon emissions—the main contributor to climate disruption—but it is also making us sick, leading to as many as 13,000 premature deaths every year and more than $100 billion in annual health costs. Mary Anne Hitt
I rise today to commemorate one of the most fateful days in the history of the State of Colorado, the day the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant outside of Boulder nearly became America's own Chernobyl, some 30 years before that terrible accident in the Ukraine. Jared Polis
Pollution, overfishing, the destruction of habitats, and climate change are emptying the oceans and enabling the lowest forms of life to regain their dominance. Alan B. Sielen
Over the last several decades, human activity have so altered the basic chemistry of the seas that they are now experiencing evolution in reverse to the barren primeval waters of hundreds of millions of years ago. Alan B. Sielen
You can’t imagine what it’s like to live in one of the nine counties effected in West Virginia …what it’s like to not have any water except to flush commodes and put out fires….It has devastated this area … everything is closing … no restaurant is allowed to open…, the people are in their homes, the schools are closed. You’re not supposed to take showers and certainly not supposed to drink the tap water…. I smelled it and tasted it, and I knew something was very wrong. Danny Jones
Our children should not have to draw the breath of life in a city awash in pollution. Al Gore
No nation has ever aggressively and intensely exploited national resources over such a great area as has the United States. Josiah Edward Spurr
Why would we frack our countrysides and our watersheds when we know that energy efficiency would save more energy that natural gas can provide. Michael Brune
Why would we build a thousand mile pipeline taking almost a million barrels of oil from the most carbon intensive fuel source on the planet when wind energy is a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot cleaner. Michael Brune
Clearly there’s going to be an impact. So I’m not disputing that increasing CO2 emissions are in the atmosphere is going to have an impact. It will have a warming impact. It’s an engineering problem and it has engineering solutions. Rex Tillerson
Why did they pick the [Indian] Reservations to lay down their pipeline? They were probably thinking the indigenous people were not going to stand up. Michaelynn Hawk
The only way we can hope to combat climate change, protect our precious land and water, and prevent future extreme weather disasters is to cut the carbon pollution that’s warming our planet, and replace dirty energy sources with clean, renewable sources. Robert Redford
I have always seen pollution as theft. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Governor Nelson Rockefeller spent more money in New York to assure clean water than did the entire Federal Government. Richard Norton Smith
Agriculture is the largest source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, and is also the cheapest to reduce by far. Many farmers deserve credit for their efforts to stem pollution from their barn yards and fields. But just as those who live in our cities and suburbs are doing more to clean the Bay, so must farmers. Alison Prost
... We've laid the groundwork to protect our planet. But the resulting opportunities can be seized only if the next president follows the science, recognizes the dangers of doing nothing, and musters the political will to address the threat. Joe Biden
When prices [for recycled material] are high, we’ll pay you to recycle. When prices are high, we have to charge you. David P. Steiner
The central political problem of our time is how to adapt our venerable democracy to the acceleration of the information age. Modern technology creates a supply of new tools for improved governance, but it also creates an urgent demand for putting these tools to use. We need better policies to obtain the benefits of innovation as quickly as possible and to manage the social problems that speedier innovation will inevitably create—from pollution to weapons of mass destruction. John McGinnis
The US coal industry is in terminal decline. Though it is flailing about desperately for subsidies, and regulatory loopholes — the kinds of political favors that have kept it afloat for so long — at this point it is merely delaying the inevitable.... Loyalty to coal is declining even where it most concentrated: Between 2016 and 2017, strong support for a phaseout rose by 13 percent, and overall support by 9 percent, in states with active coal mines. Strong opposition among Republicans fell by 14 percent. Meanwhile, strong support among Democrats rose by the same amount. Majorities of Democrats (56 percent) and independents (54 percent) now support a coal phaseout. While Americans still seem lukewarm on reducing fossil fuel production in general, and they are ambivalent and uncertain about natural gas, they are rapidly turning against coal.... David Roverts (Writer)

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