"What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"
The above quote comes from Henry David Thoreau, an American transcendentalist and poet. Along with activists like John Muir and Rachel Carson, Thoreau's devotion to nature set the stage for today's environmental movement. More recently, Bill McKibben, Kate Sheppard and Lisa Jackson are just a few of the prominent figures now speaking out in the environmental community.
Thanks to the actions and published works of many men and women, advancements have been made in the struggle for environmental protection. Federal agencies and international organizations have been created to improve the air, water, and land around us, and environmental awareness is now an issue embedded in the political and social fabric of America.
But unfortunately, the math is only getting scarier: In his Rolling Stone article "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math," McKibben mentions that Americans experienced the warmest spring ever recorded this year. The heat spread into June, during which time thousands of United States weather records were broken or tied. Regarding global warming, McKibben wrote, "I can say with some confidence that we're losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in."
Environmental struggles are recounted in our books, movies and daily conversation. From John Keats to “The Lorax”, environmental concern and love is deep within our culture.
Below are a few of our favorite quotes about the environment. They relate to political and social struggles, as well as general appreciation for Mother Earth. Do you have a favorite environmental quote we didn’t mention? Let us know by tweeting your favorite #greenquote to us!