We'll go down in history as the first society that wouldn't save itself because it wasn't cost-effective
— Kurt Vonnegut Jnr
When I consider that the nobler animals have been exterminated here - the cougar, the panther, the lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, the deer, the beaver, the turkey, etc., etc., - I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed an emasculated country. I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of spring, for instance, thinking that I have the entire poem, and then to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places.
— Henry David Thoreau
A love of nature keeps no factories busy
— Aldous Huxley
Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race
— HG Wells
Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky. We fell them down and turn them into paper that we may record our emptiness
— Kahil Gibran
Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day
— Anton Chekhov
That mammals larger than dinosaurs and roamers of the seas for millions of years were threatened with extinction by something as transitory as the sunk costs for a whaling fleet says much about human economics, consumption and technological power
— Peter J. Stoett, The International Politics of Whaling
The earth does not argue, Is not pathetic, has no arrangements, Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise, Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures, Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out
— Walt Whitman
As cruel a weapon as the cave man's club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life
— Rachel Carson
He that plants a tree, loves others besides himself
— English Proverb
...used declassified Soviet Ministry of Fishing reports to find that one Soviet factory ship had told the International Whaling Commission during the 1960s that it [sic] had killed 152 humpback and 156 blue whales. In fact the ship had taken 7,207 humpbacks and 1,433 blue whales and illegally killed 717 right whales, a species protected by the whaling commission since the 1930s
— Associated Press Article
..in the early 1930s, most people living in cities got around on electric streetcars. Concerned that this wasn't the kind of environment in which they could sell a lot of buses, General Motors, using a series of front companies, began buying streetcar systems, tearing out the tracks and then selling the new, polluting bus systems back to the cities - usually with contracts that prohibited purchase of "any new equipment using fuel or means of propulsion other than gas."...GM was soon joined by Greyhound, Firestone Tire and Rubber, Standard Oil of California (also called Chevrom) and Mack Trucks. In 1949 - after these companies had destroyed more than 100 streetcar systems in more than 45 cities...GM, Chevron and Firestone were convicted of a criminal conspiracy...They were fined $5000 each and the executives who organised the scheme were fined $1 each
— Mark Zepezauer and Arthur Naiman, Take the Rich Off Welfare
At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, "thus far and no further." If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, "If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour"
— Ed Abbey
When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves
— David Orr
It is said that the darkest hour comes just before dawn. I hope so, since in environmental terms the 20th century has certainly been a long, dark night
— Dr Claude Martin