Quotes Corner
The natural environment

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Sustainability, climate change, population

The natural environment

Business, management & economics


Wisdom & wit

Nature's value & beauty

In times of crisis the natural world is a source of joy and solace. It produces the comfort that can come from nothing else - Sir David Attenborough (during the Covid-19 crisis), 2020

An ecosystem works best when it has all its component parts - Sir David Attenborough (Earthshot Prize, 2021)

A thriving natural world provides a long list of services for us for free - Sir David Attenborough (Earthshot Prize, 2021)

No one organism lives in isolation; they work with others in communities called "ecosystems" held together by countless intimate relationships - Sir David Attenborough (Earthshot Prize, 2021)

We are embedded in Nature. It is our home, and it provides us with a multitude of services we take for granted. So, even while we have enjoyed the fruits of economic growth, the demands we have made of Nature's goods and services have for some decades exceeded her ability to supply them on a sustainable basis - Prof. Partha Dasgupta, Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge, quoted in Environment Agency report "Working with nature" (July 2022)

Our countryside and coastal waters are the means by which we sustain our existence in these islands - Prime Minister Theresa May (speech on the environment 11.1.2018)

A living countryside is not a luxury but a necessity for the human population; if you let conservation go hang until your pockets are jingling there will be a lot less to conserve - Simon Barnes, columnist, The Times (27.4.2013)

The truly healthy environment is not merely safe but stimulating - William H Stewart

No water, no life. No blue, no green - Sylvia Earle

Cherish the natural world because you're part of it and you depend on it - Sir David Attenborough

If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world's ecosystems would collapse - Sir David Attenborough

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man - Albert Einstein

We have lost sight of the dependence we have on nature in economics
- Tony Juniper, sustainability and environment adviser (2013)

Nature is our biggest ally in poverty reduction and achieving human welfare - Tony Juniper, sustainability and environment adviser (2013)

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin - William Shakespeare

More than half of the world's GDP is at risk due to nature loss. We need biodiversity just as much as it needs us - World Economic Forum (2020)

Economy without ecology means managing the human nature relationship without knowing the delicate balance between humankind and the natural world - Satish Kumar, ecological campaigner (2008)

Without the land, the rivers, the oceans, the forests, the sunshine, the minerals and thousands of natural resources we would have no economy whatsoever - Satish Kumar, ecological campaigner (2008)

Nature is not a drag on growth. Its protection is an unavoidable prerequisite for sustaining economic development - Tony Juniper, sustainability and environment adviser (2013)

An agricultural landscape produces food but it also provides water, requires biodiversity to underpin soil function, pollination and other useful services, and also has value to society in terms of aesthetics and recreation - Tim Benton, UK Global Food Security programme (2012)

Rather than think about fields producing food, and the rest of the land producing everything else, we need to think about managing integrated, multifunctional, landscapes - Tim Benton, UK Global Food Security programme (2012)

From Indian vultures to Chinese bees, Nature provides the 'natural services' that keep the economy going - Tony Juniper, sustainability and environment adviser, 'What has nature ever done for us?' (2013)

From the recycling miracles in the soil; an army of predators ridding us of unwanted pests; an abundance of life creating a genetic codebook that underpins our food, pharmaceutical industries and much more, it has been estimated that these and other services are each year worth about double global GDP - Tony Juniper, sustainability and environment adviser, 'What has nature ever done for us?' (2013)

Let the clean air blow the cobwebs from your body. Air is medicine - Lillian Russell (1862-1922)

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth - Rachel Carson, Our Ever-Changing Shore

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Nature can do more than physicians
- Oliver Cromwell

Everyone stands to benefit if the oceans are better protected, better managed and better understood for the important ecosystem services they provide - Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development (June 2012)

To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together - Barry Lopez, author

Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower - Hans Christian Anderson

When you do something beautiful and nobody notices, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps - John Lennon

In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia - Charles Lindbergh

In wilderness is the preservation of the world - Henry David Thoreau, American writer (1817-1862)

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake
- Wallace Stevens

A walk amongst nature, whether by the sea, river, hill, valley, meadow or wood, works wonders for the human spirit - unattributable

The mountains are calling and I must go - John Muir

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir

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Earth: You need it more than it needs you - Earth day (22 April) message from Climate Action (2013)

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises - Pedro Calderon de la Barca

The natural environment is the great outpatient department where we can go for healing - William Bird, GP, Berkshire West Primary Care Trust (quoted in Sustainable Development Commission 'Healthy Futures' publication, March 2007)

What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for beauty, and never see the dawn! - Logan Pearsall Smith

Nature's rhythms are a constant source of inspiration - unattributable

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul - John Muir

I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me - William Hazlitt

Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries - Jimmy Carter

Discovering the natural world is a never ending delight
- Sir David Attenborough (2017)

A lot of work and money has been spent on astronomy and yet we have not found life. So we are rare, and rare things tend to be fragile and you have to be careful about them - Rt Hon John Gummer MP (writing in Water, Energy & Environment magazine, June 2007)

We all tend to feel better in the natural environment - so why are we working so hard to destroy it? - Dr Michael Dixon, Chairman, NHS Alliance (quoted in Sustainable Development Commission 'Healthy Futures' publication, March 2007)

It is the marriage of the soul with nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination - Henry David Thoreau, American writer (1817-1862)

By starting from the ground and tapping into the absolute, uncheatable truth of nature we can make ourselves better - Monty Don, TV gardener (profiled in The Sunday Times, 29.10.2006)

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From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.
From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,
it's the voice of every man
- from the lyrics for 'From A Distance' (Bette Midler)

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul - Wyland, marine life artist

Water is the driving force of all nature - Leonardo da Vinci

Clean water is an investment in the future of our country - Bob Shuster, US Congressman

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry - Thomas Fuller

We know that when we protect our oceans we're protecting our future - Bill Clinton

There's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away - Sarah Kay

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace - Kate Chopin

The ocean is a mighty harmonist
- William Wordsworth

Our health relies entirely on the vitality of our fellow species on Earth - Harrison Ford

A healthy natural environment allows each new generation to prosper - unattributable

All my life through, the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child - Marie Curie, twice Nobel Prize winning scientist (1867-1934)

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An understanding of the natural world and what's in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment - Sir David Attenborough

It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living - David Attenborough

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

You are always rich when you can see and feel the beauty of this world
- Aine Belton

Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values... God made life simple. It is man who complicates it - Charles A Lindbergh

The laws of nature are... thoughts of God - Heinrich Zschokke (1771-1848)

The wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask - Nancy Newhall

Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion - Lorraine Anderson

Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions - Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825 - 1921)

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

Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd - Baruch Spinoza

Nature has placed nothing so high that virtue can not reach it - Curtius-Rufus (100 AD)

Nature does not compromise; a pelican is not a compromise between a crow and otter, it is just a pelican. Nature makes no compromises; any inefficient products are recalled to the manufacturer! - Amory Lovins

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better - Albert Einstein

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own
- Charles Dickens

If you live according to nature, you never will be poor; if according to the world's caprice, you will never be rich - Publilius Syrus (42 BC)

Nature uses as little as possible of anything - Johannes Kepler

Nature does nothing uselessly - Aristotle

It turns out that all life is interconnected with all other life - Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

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If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way - Aristotle

Nature did all things well - Michelangelo

The law of nature is the strictest expression of necessity - Molescholte

Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind - Hans Hofmann

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Lose yourself in nature and find peace - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Nature is the most thrifty thing in the world; she never wastes anything, she undergoes change, but there's no annihilation, the essence remains - matter is eternal - Horace Binney

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed - Sir Francis Bacon (16th Century philospher)

We cannot command nature except by obeying her - Sir Francis Bacon (16th Century philospher)

A thing of beauty is a joy forever - John Keats

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From dawn to dusk, winter to spring, summer & autumn; the contrasts of nature refresh the mind & renew our sense of balance - Phil Harding (2011)

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face - John Donne

In autumn, don't go to jewellers to see gold; go to the parks!
- Mehmet Murat ildan

Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end - Remy de Gourmont

Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons - Jim Bishop

Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits - Samuel Butler

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic - Stanley Horowitz

Winter is dead; spring is crazy; summer is cheerful and autumn is wise! - Mehmet Murat ildan

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?
- John Steinbeck, American writer (1902 - 1968)

Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language - Henry James, American author (1843 - 1916)

One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter - Henry David Thoreau, American writer (1817-1862)

For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature's finest balm - Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980)

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it - Jules Renard

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Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art - Louisa May Alcott

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature - August Rodin

Nature is the art of God - Dante Alighieri

The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration - Claude Monet

Things perfected by nature are better than those finished by art - Cicero

For art may err, but nature cannot miss - John Dryden

Art is a harmony parallel with nature - Paul Cézanne

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty, if only we have the eyes to see them - John Ruskin (1819-1900)

After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world
- Pam Shaw

Sounds of the wind or sounds of the sea, make me happy just to be - June Polis

In every walk with nature, you receive far more than you seek - unattributable

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast - Paul Scott Mowrer

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth - Thich Nhat Hanh

One can never study nature too much and too hard - Vincent van Gogh

Study nature not books - Jean Louis Agassiz

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures - Vincent van Gogh

Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more - Vincent van Gogh

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance - Aristotle

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Land really is the best art
- Andy Warhol

We must put a proper value on the natural world: it would be odd to cherish a Constable but not the landscape he depicted - 'This Common Inheritance' Britain's (first) Environmental Strategy (1990)

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you - Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)

Spring is nature's way of saying "Let's party!" - Robin Williams (American actor and comedian)

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day - W Earl Hall

Love comforteth like sunshine after rain - William Shakespeare

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The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man - unattributable

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift - Albert Einstein

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it
- Confucius

This curious world which we inhabit is more wonderful than it is convenient, more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used - Henry David Thoreau, American writer (1817-1862)

If we once, and for so long, lived in balance with nature and each other, we should be able to do so again - John Zerzan

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost - Gilbert Keith Chesterton

If you are missing out on the natural joy and wisdom of life, it is because you have been taught to ignore it....Reconnecting with nature consists of bringing into your consciousness a sensory way of thinking and relating with which you are born - Michael J. Cohen

Nature never says one thing and wisdom another - Decimus Junius Juvenalis

In the United Kingdom no one lives more than 75 miles from the sea. For us, as an island nation, the sea has an all-embracing presence. Spiritually and physically we are intimately connected with our shores. The sea has immense power, which we ignore at our peril - National Trust 'Shifting Shores - Living with a changing coastline' (2005)

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore;
There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but nature more - George Gordon Byron, 1788-1824

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything - William Shakespeare

The earth has music for those who listen - William Shakespeare

Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher - William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

The poetry of the earth is never dead - John Keats

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order - John Burroughs

When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves
- David Orr

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world - John Muir

The beauty of mother nature is her ability to make complex things appear simple - Loius E Samuels, M.D.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts - Rachel Carson

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Nature always tends to act in the simplest way - Bernoulli

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am two with nature - Woody Allen

The value of nature: On many levels, physical, mental and spiritual, our life is dependent on the natural environment. That is to say, our existence and well-being require the maintenance of that which has its being irrespective of ourselves and our efforts - Keith Innes

In nature, there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences - R Ingersoll

If we care about the countyside we must eat the view. Most wonderful landscapes are the product of many years of farming. By buying the products of that farming we can all do our part to sustain our beautiful scenery - Richard Wakeford, Chief Executive, Countryside Agency (2002)

People everywhere depend upon biodiversity for their livelihoods, their quality of life, and to provide basic ecological services on which all life depends - The Business and Biodiversity Resource Centre (

The spirit of a country, if it is to be true to itself, needs continually to draw great breaths of inspiration from the simple realities of the country; from the smell of its soil, the pattern of its fields, the beauty of its scenery and from the men and women who dwell and toil in the rural areas - Sir George Stapledon in 'Make Fruitful the Land'

A fertile living soil means healthy crops, animals and human beings - unattributable

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard - Standing Bear

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

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair - Kahlil Gibran

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather - John Ruskin

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night - Steve Martin

Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while - Kin Hubbard

If people sat outside at night and looked at the stars each night I bet they would live a lot differently - Bill Watterson, cartoonist

Every child is born a naturalist. His eyes are, by nature, open to the glories of the stars, the beauty of the flowers, and the mystery of life - R Search

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Trees, flora and fauna

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now - Dambisa Moyo, Zambian economist

Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking - Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011), environmental activist, first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004

He that plants trees loves others besides himself - English proverb

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

I plant a lot of trees. I am a great believer in planting things for future generations. I loathe the now culture where you just live for today - Penelope Keith, actress

Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind the stronger the trees - John Willard Marriott

The world's forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children's future - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Our global forests are the lungs of the world, and protecting them is fundamental for our survival. When we hand these forests over to future generations, we must be able to say we exercised our stewardship wisely and responsibly - Ed Davey, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (2013)

We can only truly be civilised people when we have regular and meaningful contact with the wild world - Simon Barnes, Wild Notebook, The Times (31.12.2011)

As each tree falls so does the earth's ability to heal itself and to adapt to the effects of our changing climate - Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs addressing Copenhagen COP15 UN conference (13 December 2009)

The best friend of earth and of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on the earth - Frank Lloyd Wright

Trees are your best antiques
- Alexander Smith

Come to the woods, for here is rest - John Muir

Trees give peace to the souls of men - Nora Waln (1895-1964)

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful - Alice Walker

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence - Hal Borland

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, reformer and teacher (1483 - 1546)

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Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade - Arabian proverb

The tree bestows its shade on all, even the woodcutter - Indian proverb

The Amazon is a canary in a coal mine for the Earth - Dan Nepstadt, Ecologist (October 2005)

Every object is beautiful in motion; a ship under sail, trees gently agitated with the wind, and a fine woman dancing, are three instances in point - Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the USA

We celebrate the cherry tree not for its efficiency but for its effectiveness - and for its beauty. Its materials are in constant flow, and all those thousands of useless cherry blossoms look gorgeous. Then they fall to the ground and become soil again, so there's no problem - William McDonough, architect

No man manages his affairs as well as a tree does - George Bernard Shaw

I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree - (Alfred) Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

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, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn - John Muir

I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you. And I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night. And I think to myself what a wonderful world - What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong (1901-1970)

Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes - every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man - Orison Swett Marten

We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea - Paul Tillich

How oft a summer shower has started me; to seek the shelter of a hollow tree - "The Hollow Tree" by John Clare

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Animals are such agreeable friends; they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms - George Eliot

I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o'er vales and hills. When all at once I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodil; beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze - William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

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Nature: a place where birds fly around uncooked - Oscar Wilde

There is however, a true music of nature; the song of the birds, the whisper of leaves, the ripple of waters upon a sandy shore, the wail of wind or sea - Lubbock

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song - Lou Holz

Everybody loves birdsong. It's a human need... the sound of birds gives a deep, if sometimes almost unnoticed, pleasure - Simon Barnes, Wild Notebook, The Times (31.12.2011)

Acquiring the trick of listening to birds will teach you how better to enjoy life and how better to endure it - Simon Barnes, Wild Notebook, The Times (31.12.2011)

The Earth laughs in flowers - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower - Albert Camus

If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment - O'Keefe

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change - Buddha

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Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul
- Luther Burbank

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul - Prophet Muhammad

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers - Claude Monet

There are always flowers for those who want to see them - Henri Matisse

Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out-values all the utilities of the world - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug - Helen Keller

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars - Walt Whitman

A rose must remain with the sun and the rain or its lovely promise won't come true - Ray Evans

Take the time to smell a rose
- unattributable

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

If you are thinking one year ahead, sow seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking 100 years ahead, educate the people - Chinese proverb

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything - William Shakespeare

A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine - Anne Bronte

I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free - Charles Dickens

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Natural environment at risk

We won't have a society if we destroy the environment - Margaret Mead

The truth is, every one of us, no matter where we live, can and must play a part in restoring nature to our isles. Never has it been more important to do this for ourselves and for our wildlife
- Sir David Attenborough, BBC TV Series "Wild Isles" (Spring 2023)

We just have to learn to live as part of nature, not apart from it. And the first step is to start looking after the insects, the little creatures that make our shared world go round... Insects are essential for life as we know it. As they become more scarce, our world will slowly grind to a halt, for it cannot function without them - Professor David Goulson, "Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse" (2022)

Last year, I had a life-changing experience at 90 years old. I went to space, after decades of playing an iconic science-fiction character who was exploring the universe. I thought I would experience a deep connection with the immensity around us, a deep call for endless exploration. I was absolutely wrong. The strongest feeling, that dominated everything else by far, was the deepest grief that I had ever experienced. I understood, in the clearest possible way, that we were living on a tiny oasis of life, surrounded by an immensity of death. I didn't see infinite possibilities of worlds to explore, of adventures to have, or living creatures to connect with. I saw the deepest darkness I could have ever imagined, contrasting so starkly with the welcoming warmth of our nurturing home planet. This was an immensely powerful awakening for me. It filled me with sadness. I realised that we had spent decades, if not centuries, being obsessed with looking away, with looking outside. I did my share in popularising the idea that space was the final frontier. But I had to get to space to understand that Earth is and will stay our only home. And that we have been ravaging it, relentlessly, making it uninhabitable - William Shatner, actor (played Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek) (2022)

A less wild world is a less stable world, less able to support all species including ourselves - Sir David Attenborough (Earthshot Prize, 2021)

We pay little value on nature even though it is our essential life support system - Sir David Attenborough (Earthshot Prize, 2021)

Everything that humanity has achieved is built on the foundation of a healthy natural world. Without it life as we enjoy it could not happen, and yet the life we now enjoy is threatening biodiversity - Sir David Attenborough (Earthshot Prize, 2021)

The truth is, the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it - Sir David Attenborough (2021)

Right now, we don't have a very good relation with creation - Pope Francis I (2013)

What we call 'economic growth' is in fact a growth in waste and a decline in the health of natural habitat - Satish Kumar, ecological campaigner (2008)

The first law of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts - Aldo Leopold

To care for the natural world is the most effective insurance policy we can have
- Phil Harding (2011)

By failing to recognise the reality of our absolute reliance on ecosystem services, many do not realise that it is in our self-interest to preserve them - Executive Summary 'Valuing our life support systems', Natural Capital Initiative (2009)

Whatever we do to nature, we do to ourselves - Kurt Heidinger

We are very fond of blaming the poor for destroying the environment. But often it is the powerful, including governments, that are responsible - Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011), environmental activist, first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004

The British countryside is threatened by people and interests who really do not care for it
- Simon Jenkins, Chair, National Trust (January 2013)

To halt the decline of an ecosystem, it is necessary to think like an ecosystem - Douglas Wheeler

...we depend on the gifts of nature, but these gifts must be received with gratitude and not exploited or abused - Satish Kumar (ecological campaigner, writing in National Trust Magazine, Spring 2010)

...the future of mankind can be assured only if we rediscover ways in which to live as a part of nature, not apart from her - HRH The Prince of Wales addressing UN climate conference COP15, Copenhagen (December 2009)

Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle - Pope John Paul II

Wildlife of the world is disappearing... simply because of a general and widespread ignorance and neglect - HRH Prince Philip

If it's unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature - Mollie Beattie, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service 1993-1996

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Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites
- William Ruckelshaus

Modern man talks of a battle with nature, forgetting that, if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side - E F Schumacher

Just as our banking sector is struggling with its debts - and paradoxically also facing calls for a return to so-called "old-fashioned," traditional banking - so Nature's life-support systems are failing to cope with the debts we have built up there too. So, if we don't face up to this, then Nature, the biggest bank of all, could go bust - HRH The Prince of Wales, The Richard Dimbleby Lecture "Facing the Future" (8 July 2009)

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defence of our resources is just as important as defence abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend? - Robert Redford

The conservation of nature, the proper care for the human environment and a general concern for the long-term future of the whole of our planet are absolutely vital if future generations are to have a chance to enjoy their existence on this earth - HRH Prince Philip

It is the range of biodiversity that we must care for, the whole thing, rather than just one or two stars
- David Attenborough

At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realise I am fighting for humanity - Chico Mendes, Rubber tappers' leader

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap - Kurt Vonnegut Jnr

...our culture's frenzied and mindless assault on the last shreds of nature may not be the wisest course... We're melting the ice caps, ripping up the rainforest, and vacuuming the oceans of everything that wriggles - George Meyer, writer for The Simpsons (BBC Green Room, 3 August 2006)

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal - Edward Wilson

Forests precede civilizations, deserts follow - unattributable

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As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love and compassion - Richard Gere

Civilization... wrecks the planet from seafloor to stratosphere - Richard Bach

We define our landscapes as much as they define us - unattributable

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes - Marcel Proust, French Novelist (1871-1922)

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, American writer (1817-1862)

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect - Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Man is a complex being; he makes the deserts bloom and lakes die - Gil Stern

If we do not permit the Earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food either
- Joseph Woodkrutch

Activities that destroy ecosystems always destroy jobs - unattributable

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment - Ansel Adams, US photographer and environmentalist (1902 - 1984)

The preservation of biodiversity is not just a job for governments. International and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and each and every individual have a role to play in changing entrenched outlooks and ending destructive patterns of behaviour - Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General on the 2003 International Day of Biological Diversity

Our environment is like a patchwork quilt. Each "patch" is dependent on those around it. If one part unravels, it affects the rest - Hemeon

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative - H G Wells

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If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse - Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Till now man has been up against nature, from now on he will be up against his own nature - Dennis Gabor

The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives - Indian proverb

We all live downstream
- David Suzuki

Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find - Quoted in Time magazine

Modern technology owes ecology an apology - Alan M Eddison

The highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences - Frank Herbert

Once destroyed, nature's beauty cannot be repurchased at any price - Ansel Adams, US photographer and environmentalist (1902 - 1984)

The environment is not as 'cheap as chips', it's priceless and we all have a part to play in protecting it - David Dickinson (TV celebrity)

Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realise that you can't eat money - Native American proverb

Let us a little permit nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we - Michel de Montaigne

But while nature has considerable resilience, there is a limit to how far that resilience can be stretched. No one knows how close to the limit we are getting. The darker it gets, the faster we're driving - Douglas Adams (author)

Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially - E B White

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 (US President 1901-1909)

Organic agriculture is more about fairness and respect than it is about parts-per-billion of pesticide residues - Jim Hightower, organic campaigner (USA)

In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught - Baba Dioum

To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase it's usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed - Theodore Roosevelt

And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: "Look at this Godawful mess!"
- Art Buchwald

Beauty dies where litter lies - unattributable

When you defile the pleasant streams,
And the wild bird's abiding place,
You massacre a million dreams,
And cast your spittle in God's face
- John Drinkwater

If you mess with something long enough, it will break - Schmidt's Law

Nature is what wins in the end - Abby Adams (1902-1984)

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Those who love and free nature are never alone - Rachel Carson

But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself- Rachel Carson

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river - Ross Perot

Our relationship with Nature... best way of forging this relationship... be a pilgrim and not a tourist on Planet Earth - Satish Kumar, ecological campaigner (2008)

The surrounding environment is the best erudite master to teach us the fundamental laws of nature and the basics of living life - Anuj Somany

Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street - William Blake

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them - Mark Twain

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe - Carl Sagan

Don't count the seeds in an apple, count the apples in a seed! - Aine Belton

Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem
- Winnie the Pooh

Your descendants shall gather your fruits - Virgil

I've always regarded nature as the clothing of God - Alan Hovhaness

Men argue; nature acts - Voltaire

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished - Lao Tzu

It seems to me that we all look at nature too much, and live with her too little - Oscar Wilde

Uniformity is not nature's way; diversity is nature's way - Vandana Shiva

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

When you realise how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky - Buddha

Anywhere is paradise; it's up to you
- unattributable


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