Maurice Strong

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Maurice Strong in 2010

Maurice F. Strong (April 29, 1929 – November 27, 2015) was a Canadian entrepreneur, environmentalist, and proponent of United Nations involvement in world affairs.


  • Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class - involving high meat intake, the use of fossil fuels, electrical appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing - are not sustainable.
  • 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, September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine
  • What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? The group's conclusion is 'no'. The rich countries won't do it. They won't change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?
    • Maurice Strong, Interview 1992, concerning the plot of a book he would like to write[2][3]
  • It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation-states, however powerful. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the imperatives of global environmental cooperation.[4]
  • "Our concepts of ballot-box democracy may need to be modified to produce strong governments capable of making difficult decisions." [5]
  • “We are victims of ‘the struggle between ecosystems and egosystems’. It is the egos of people, governments, businesses that prevent solutions and generate a terrible lack of political will.” (2005)[6]
  • “We know what we should do; science and technology can help us to do it. We know the solutions and we know what to do in the future. But we are not doing it. We are not able to make the transition to a sustainable way of life. Moral, ethical and spiritual responsibility hangs on today’s generation and emerging generations. We must reach into the hearts and souls of all people, and work with them for what we all want: a healthy whole community, happy children, and a secure life on Earth.” (2005)[7]
  • In 2009, he summarized his approach as, “never to confront, but to co-opt, never to bully but to equivocate, and never to yield”.[8]

Quotes about Strong


Yet Strong's diplomatic ability was not universally appreciated. Many in the energy industry saw him as a closet 'green'; to environmental groups he represented Big Oil. The right, meanwhile, attacked him as the embodiment of Big Government. It is true that UNEP and the environment conventions have made little progress in slowing climate change or reducing the rate of biodiversity loss.[9]

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  2. Gibson, Donald. Environmentalism: ideology and power. pg. 95
  3. Looking behind the scenes of the well-orchestrated climate hysteria, The Times of India, August 25, 2019
  5. "Facing Down Armageddon: Environment at a Crossroads," essay by Maurice Strong in World Policy Journal, Summer, 2009 "Successful management of today's traumatic processes of change will not be easy to achieve. Our concepts of ballot-box democracy may need to be modified to produce strong governments capable of making difficult decisions, particularly in terms of safeguarding the global environment that this transition will require and whose results are often not immediately apparent."