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The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Conservation is the act of preserving, guarding, or protecting; wise use.

CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links


Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F[edit]

  • More than a billion women around the world want to emulate western women’s lifestyles and are rapidly acquiring the material ability to do so. It is therefore vital that in our leadership we display some reserve and responsibility in our spending so that the world’s finite resources will be available for our children, their children and their children’s children.
  • I take courage, however, in the fact that the conservation effort has a broader base than ever before. There is more organized effort; there are many more individuals who are conscious of conservation problems and who are striving, in their own communities or on the national scene, to solve these problems.
  • The most unhappy thing about conservation is that it is never permanent. If we save a priceless woodland today, it is threatened from another quarter tomorrow.
  • Indeed, to develop agriculture is essentially to declare war on ecosystems — converting land to produce one or two food crops, with all other native plant species all now classified as unwanted 'weeds' — and all but a few domesticated species of animals now considered as pests.
  • There is little doubt left in the minds of professional biologists that Earth is currently faced with a mounting loss of species that threatens to rival the five great mass extinctions of the geological past.
  • This explosion of human population, especially in the post-Industrial Revolution years of the past two centuries, coupled with the unequal distribution and consumption of wealth on the planet, is the underlying cause of the Sixth Extinction.

G - L[edit]

  • All life is impermanent. We are all children of the Earth, and, at some time, she will take us back to herself again. We are continually arising from Mother Earth, being nurtured by her, and then returning to her. Like us, plants are born, live for a period of time, and then return to the Earth. When they decompose, they fertilize our gardens. Living vegetables and decomposing vegetables are part of the same reality. Without one, the other cannot be. After six months, compost becomes fresh vegetables again. Plants and the Earth rely on each other. Whether the Earth is fresh, beautiful, and green, or arid and parched depends on the plants. It also depends on us.
    • Thích Nhất Hạnh The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology (2008), Ch. 1 : The Bells of Mindfulness, p. 3
  • Our way of walking on the Earth has a great influence on animals and plants. We have killed so many animals and plants and destroyed their environments. Many are now extinct. In turn, our environment is now harming us. We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps.
    • Thích Nhất Hạnh The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology (2008), Ch. 1 : The Bells of Mindfulness, p. 3
  • We may not appreciate the fact; but a fact nevertheless it remains: we are living in a Golden Age, the most gilded Golden Age of human history—not only of past history, but of future history. For, as Sir Charles Darwin and many others before him have pointed out, we are living like drunken sailors, like the irresponsible heirs of a millionaire uncle. At an ever accelerating rate we are now squandering the capital of metallic ores and fossil fuels accumulated in the earth’s crust during hundreds of millions of years. How long can this spending spree go on? Estimates vary. But all are agreed that within a few centuries or at most a few millennia, Man will have run through his capital and will be compelled to live, for the remaining nine thousand nine hundred and seventy or eighty centuries of his career as Homo sapiens, strictly on income. Sir Charles is of the opinion that Man will successfully make the transition from rich ores to poor ores and even sea water, from coal, oil, uranium and thorium to solar energy and alcohol derived from plants. About as much energy as is now available can be derived from the new sources—but with a far greater expense in man hours, a much larger capital investment in machinery. And the same holds true of the raw materials on which industrial civilization depends. By doing a great deal more work than they are doing now, men will contrive to extract the diluted dregs of the planet’s metallic wealth or will fabricate non-metallic substitutes for the elements they have completely used up. In such an event, some human beings will still live fairly well, but not in the style to which we, the squanderers of planetary capital, are accustomed.
    • Aldous Huxley, "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow", Collected Essays (1959), pp. 293–94 (1959); first published in Adonis and the Alphabet in 1956.
  • An ecological civilization is both a new and ancient idea. While the notion of structuring human society on an ecological basis might seem radical, Indigenous peoples around the world have organized themselves from time immemorial on life-affirming principles....Every year that we head closer to catastrophe—as greater climate-related disasters rear up, as the outrages of racial and economic injustice become even more egregious, and as life for most people becomes increasingly intolerable—the old narrative loses its hold on the collective consciousness. Waves of young people are looking for a new worldview—one that makes sense of the current unraveling, one that offers them a future they can believe in. It’s a bold idea to transform the very basis of our civilization to one that’s life-affirming. But when the alternative is unthinkable, a vision of a flourishing future shines a light of hope that can become a self-fulfilling reality. Dare to imagine it. Dare to make it possible by the actions you take, both individually and collectively—and it might just happen sooner than you expect.
  • Conservation is not merely a thing to be enshrined in outdoor museums, but a way of living on land.

M - R[edit]

  • Civilization began around wetlands; today's civilization has every reason to leave them wet and wild.
    • Edward Maltby, Waterlogged Wealth, 1986.

Jane Spencer: Oh, Frank, we were no good together. All you ever lived for was your police work.
Lieutenant Frank Drebin: And you were always busy trying to save the end zone layer.
Jane Spencer: Ozone layer. Frank, you never tried to understand.
Lt. Frank Drebin: How can you say that? I sank every penny I had into buying that 1,000 acres of Brazilian rainforest. Then I had it slashed and burned so we could build our dream house.
Jane Spencer: Frank! How could you be so insensitive?
Lt. Frank Drebin: Insensitive? You think it's easy displacing an entire tribe? You try it sometime.

  • By 2050, at bio-extinction's current rate, between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of all species will have disappeared or be too few in numbers to survive. There'll be a few over-visited parks, the coral reefs will be beaten up, grasslands overgrazed. Vast areas of the tropics that have lost their forests will have the same damn weeds, bushes and scrawny eucalyptus trees so that you don't know if you're in Africa or the Americas.
  • Conservation and rural-life policies are really two sides of the same policy; and down at bottom this policy rests upon the fundamental law that neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken for the future.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, "Rural Life", in The Outlook (August 27, 1910), republished in American Problems (vol. 16 of The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, national ed., 1926), chapter 20, p. 146.
  • The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, speech before the Colorado Live Stock Association, Denver, Colorado (August 29, 1910); in The New Nationalism (1910), p. 52; inscribed on Cox Corridor II, a first floor House corridor, U.S. Capitol.
  • 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. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening. Many leading men, Americans and Canadians, are doing all they can for the Conservation movement.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, "Our Vanishing Wildlife", in The Outlook (January 25, 1913); republished in Literary Essays (vol. 12 of The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, national ed., 1926), chapter 46, p. 420.
  • The idea that our natural resources were inexhaustible still obtained, and there was as yet no real knowledge of their extent and condition. 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 reëlection or defeat of a Congressman here and there—a theory which, I regret to say, still obtains.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt — An Autobiography (1913), Chapter XI : The Natural Resources of the Nation, p. 386.
  • The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others.

S - Z[edit]

  • The conservationist's most Important task, if we are to save the earth, is to educate.
    • Peter Scott, founder chairman of the World Wildlife Federation, quoted in the Sunday Telegraph, November 6, 1986.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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