Quotes for Earth Week Discussion:

In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.
~Baba Dioum, Senegalese poet
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.
~Anne Frank
Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.
~Antoinette Brown Blackwell
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 [Uncle Vanya, 1897]
The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
~ Blaise Pascal
The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.
~ Claude Monet
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.
~ Helen Keller
Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
~ Henry David Thoreau
I was determined to know beans.
~ Henry David Thoreau
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
~ Henry David Thoreau
A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
~ James Russell Lowell
Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.
~John Burroughs
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you...
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~ John Muir
Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.
~ John Muir
There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.
~ Linda Hogan
To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
~ Mohandas K. Gandhi
Today the network of relationships linking the human race to itself and to the rest of the biosphere is so complex that all aspects affect all others to an extraordinary degree. Someone should be studying the whole system, however crudely that has to be done, because no gluing together of partial studies of a complex nonlinear system can give a good idea of the behavior of the whole.
~ Murray Gell-Mann
On every stem, on every leaf ... and at the root of everything that grew, was a professional specialist in the shape of grub, caterpillar, aphis, or other expert, whose business it was to devour that particular part.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
I am comforted by life's stability, by earth's unchangeableness. What has seemed new and frightening assumes its place in the unfolding of knowledge. It is good to know our universe. What is new is only new to us.
~Pearl S. Buck
Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -man -acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.
~ Rachel Carson
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
~ Rachel Carson
It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.
~ Rachel Carson
Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
~ Rachel Carson
Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Birth, life, and death -~each took place on the hidden side of a leaf.
~ Toni Morrison
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
~ Walt Whitman
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.
~ Zeno
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
~Rachel Carson
For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.
~ Martin Luther
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
~Sir John Lubbock
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~John Muir
Nine planets round the sun, only one does the sun embrace. Upon this watered one, so much we take for granted; So let us sleep outside tonight, lay down in our mother's arms, for here we can rest safely … One sweet world around a star is spinning ~One sweet world ~And in her breath I'm swimming, and here we will rest in peace.
~Dave Matthews, musician and activist
Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'
~Robin Williams
The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.
~ Tennessee Williams
If we human beings learn to see the intricacies that bind one part of a natural system to another and then to us, we will no longer argue about the importance of wilderness protection, or over the question of saving endangered species, or how human communities must base their economic futures – not on short-term exploitation – but on long-term, sustainable development.
~Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day
If we learn, finally, that what we need to manage is not the land so much as ourselves in the land, we will have turned the history of American land-use on its head.
~ Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day
I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use our natural resources, but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.
~Theodore Roosevelt, speech, Washington, D.C., 1900
So bleak is the picture... that the bulldozer and not the atomic bomb may turn out to be the most destructive invention of the 20th century.
~Philip Shabecoff, New York Times Magazine
The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves.
~Rachel Carson
The scarcest resource is not oil, metals, clean air, capital, labour, or technology. It is our willingness to listen to each other and learn from each other and to seek the truth rather than seek to be right.
~Donella Meadows, environmental scientist, teacher and writer (1941-2001)
We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy.
~Wallace Stegner
We do need a 'new economy,' but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.
~Wendell Berry, Thoughts in the Presence of Fear.
God bless America. Let's save some of it.
~Edward Abbey
It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.
~Ansel Adams
A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children.
No beast has ever conquered the earth; and the natural world has never been conquered by muscular force.
~Liberty Hyde Bailey
What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.
~Mollie Beattie, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1993-1996
To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.
~Wendell Berry
The most unhappy thing about conservation is that it is never permanent. Save a priceless woodland or an irreplaceable mountain today, and tomorrow it is threatened from another quarter.
~Hal Borland, New York Times Book Review, 25 February 1964
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
~Rachel Carson, naturalist and author
Man shapes himself through the decisions that shape his environment.
~Rene Dubos
We are cutting out our kidneys to enlarge our stomachs.
~Eric Freyfogle, Illinois law professor, on the destruction of wetlands, Baltimore Evening Sun, 12 September 1991
Till now man has been up against nature, from now on he will be up against his own nature.
~Dennis Gabor
We know ourselves to be made from this earth. We know this earth is made from our bodies. For we see ourselves and we are nature. We are nature, seeing nature. Nature weeping. Nature speaking of nature to nature.
~Susan Griffin, Women and Nature
It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.
~John F. Kennedy
If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.
~Joseph Wood Krutch
Having to squeeze the last drop of utility out of the land has the same desperate finality as having to chop up the furniture to keep warm.
~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949
Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.
~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949
For 200 years we've been conquering nature. Now we're beating it to death.
~Tom McMillan
Let us... permit nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.
~Michel de Montaigne
There is growing awareness of the beauty of country ... a sincere desire to keep some of it for all time. People are beginning to value highly the fact that a river runs unimpeded for a distance... They are beginning to obtain deep satisfaction from the fact that a herd of elk may be observed in back country, on ancestral ranges, where the Indians once hunted them. They are beginning to seek the healing relaxation that is possible in wild country. In short, they want it.
~Olaus J. Murie, naturalist, writer and co-founder of The Wilderness Society
The purpose of conservation: The greatest good to the greatest number of people for the longest time.
~Gifford Pinchot, first Director of the U.S. Forest Service
Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.
~Theodore Roosevelt, 1903
The magnificence of mountains, the serenity of nature - nothing is safe from the idiot marks of man's passing.
~Loudon Wainwright
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 change of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.
~E.B. White
For even more environmental quotes, visit the environment section of the Brainy Quote website.
*Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/celebrate-earth-week-eco-quotes-get-high-school-students-thinking-and-talking