Conservation

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  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Niles Eldredge, "The Sixth Extinction", 2001
  • 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.
    • Niles Eldredge, "The Sixth Extinction", 2001
  • 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.
    • Niles Eldredge, "The Sixth Extinction", 2001
  • 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.
  • Civilization began around wetlands; today's civilization has every reason to leave them wet and wild.
    • Edward Maltby, Waterlogged Wealth, 1986.
  • 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 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.


Misattributed[edit]

  • I, as Governor, declare the Endangered Species Act is no longer in force in Wyoming. […] I, as Governor, declare, effective immediately, any animal classified as a "predator" under Wyoming law has no protection. This specifically applies to the wolf. Wyoming statute also says that dogs harassing wildlife shall be shot. Wyoming now considers the wolf as a federal dog.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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