Cool Quotes

I scoured the World-wide Web to find inspiring, informative and innovative quotes about how people relate to their environments – particularly water!!   I boiled down over 20 “pages” of quotes to six pages – eliminating duplicates and irrelevant ideas.  After making formats consistent I organized my favorites for your entertainment, enlightenment and education.  The  “keepers” are presented in four main categories:

  • CELEBRITY QUOTES  (artists, actors, activists, authors)
  • POLITICAL QUOTES  (presidents, politicians, bureaucrats)
  • SCHOLARLY QUOTES  (scientists, scholars, experts)
  • THOUGHTFUL QUOTES  (philosophers, gurus, guides)

You will find over 100 quotes.  For some I have dates, but not for most.  That is why we have Google if you want to learn more about who said what – and when!!

Please leave comments about your favorites; and suggest any additional quotes about water, nature and environment.


CELEBRITY QUOTES
(artists, actors, activists, authors)


It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. – Ansel Adams

Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths. – Muhammad Ali

Our children may save us if they are taught to care properly for the planet; but if not, it may be back to the Ice Age or the caves from where we first emerged.  Then we’ll have to view the universe above from a cold, dark place.  No more jet skis, nuclear weapons, plastic crap, broken pay phones, drugs, cars, waffle irons, or television.  Come to think of it, that might not be a bad idea. – Jimmy Buffet, 1990

Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
~ George Carlin (Tune of “America the Beautiful.”)

It terrifies me that we seem to have lost touch with our connection to the earth. I am concerned that we have risen to such heights of arrogance in our refusal to acknowledge that our earth is rapidly changing in ways that might affect us catastrophically but instead, we hold steadfast to our belief that nothing can happen to us as a people. – Sheryl Crow

We all have an obligation as citizens of this earth to leave the world a healthier, cleaner, and better place for our children and future generations. – Blythe Danner

No one person has to do it all but if each one of us follow our heart and our own inclinations we will find the small things that we can do to create a sustainable future and a healthy environment. – John Denver

We’ve been given this gift, our planet, and we’ve found no other place in the universe that we can inhabit. I want to do something to create radical change to help save it. It’s our responsibility. – Leonardo DiCaprio

Our connection to nature grounds us, it makes us more spiritually aware. We must keep the legacy of nature materially alive for future generations. –  Nelly Furtado

It’s really important to me to show the interconnectedness of things. I always try to illustrate how environmentalism, humanitarianism, animal rights — all those things — are one and the same. – Daryl Hannah

I wake up in the morning asking myself what can I do today, how can I help the world today. – Julia Butterfly Hill

Out of all those millions and millions of planets floating around there in space, this is our planet, this is our little one, so we just got to be aware of it and take care of it. – Paul McCartney

Water is very forgiving. Everything lifts in water. – Sarah McLachlan

What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down
Jim Morrison (The Doors)

All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. – Toni Morrison

We’ve poisoned the air, the water, and the land. In our passion to control nature, things have gone out of control. Progress from now on has to mean something different. We’re running out of resources and we are running out of time. – Robert Redford

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security.  Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad.  Otherwise what is there to defend? – Robert Redford, 1985

We must go through a natural revolution if we are to survive on earth. We need to change people’s perceptions. If there’s no environment, there’s no human race. We are in a state of global denial. – Ted Turner

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap. – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Somehow I kept my head above water. I relied on the discipline, character, and strength that I had started to develop as that little girl in her first swimming pool.  … It appeared as if I had invited the audience into the water with me, and it conveyed the sensation that being in there was absolutely delicious. – Esther Williams

POLITICAL QUOTES
(presidents, politicians, pundits,  bureaucrats)

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water. – Benjamin Franklin, 1746

While the farmer holds the title to the land, actually, it belongs to all the people because civilization itself rests upon the soil. – Thomas Jefferson

To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its 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, 1907

A nation that destroys it’s soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

The supreme reality of our time is…the vulnerability of our planet. … It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours. – John F. Kennedy

The American people have a right to air that they and their children can breathe without fear. … If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it. – Lyndon B. Johnson

No one has the right to use America’s rivers and America’s Waterways, that belong to all the people. as a sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one State, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people. – Lyndon B. Johnson

High quality water is more than the dream of the conservationists, more than a political slogan; high quality water, in the right quantity at the right place at the right time, is essential to health, recreation, and economic growth. – Edmund S. Muskie, 1966

Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man. – Stewart Udall

Nothing less than the fate of the planet is at stake… No place on the planet can remain an island of affluence in a sea of misery. – Maurice Strong

I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer. So a man of such a faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors. In the East the wilderness has no evil connotation; it is thought of as an expression of the unity and harmony of the universe. – Justice William O. Douglas

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

I want to make it clear, if there is ever a conflict (between environmental quality and economic growth), I will go for beauty, clean air, water, and landscape. – Jimmy Carter

We need a new environmental consciousness on a global basis. To do this, we need to educate people. – Mikhail Gorbachev

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

I have never believed we had to choose between either a clean and safe environment or a growing economy. Protecting the health and safety of all Americans doesn’t have to come at the expense of our economy’s bottom line. And creating thriving companies and new jobs doesn’t have to come at the expense of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or the natural landscape in which we live. We can, and indeed must, have both. – Bill Clinton

Let us be good stewards of the Earth we inherited. All of us have to share the Earth’s fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it. – Kofi Annan

We protect nature not for nature’s sake but for our own sake because it’s the infrastructure of our communities… The most patriotic thing you can do is to take care of the environment and try to live sustainably. – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. – Barack Obama

All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster. – Barack Obama

The issue of climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril. There may still be disputes about exactly how much we’re contributing to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere and how much is naturally occurring, but what we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe. – Barack Obama

SCHOLARLY QUOTES
(scientists, scholars, experts)

Children of a culture born in a water-rich environment, we have never really learned how important water is to us. We understand it, but we do not respect it. – William Ashworth, 1982

Life originated in the sea, and about eighty percent of it is still there. – Isaac Asimov, 1988

The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence. – Thomas Berry

The earth is what we all have in common. – Wendell Berry

We do need a ‘new economy,’ but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy. – Wendell Berry

Are we to regard the world of nature simply as a storehouse to be robbed for the immediate benefit of man? … Does man have any responsibility for the preservation of a decent balance in nature, for the preservation of rare species, or even for the indefinite continuance of his race? – Kenneth E. Boulding

We can use our scientific knowledge to improve and beautify the earth, or we can use it to …poison the air, corrupt the waters, blacken the face of the country, and harass our souls with loud and discordant noises, [or]…we can use it to mitigate or abolish all these things. – John Burroughs

The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life. – Rachel Carson

For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death. – Rachel Carson, 1962

Everything is connected to everything else. Everything must go somewhere. Nature knows best. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you don’t put something in the ecology, it’s not there. – Barry Commoner

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans. … We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Water is the driving force of all nature. … Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci

In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time. – Leonardo da Vinci

I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that. – Thomas Edison

We are all together in this  single living ecosystem called planet earth. As we learn how we fit into the greater scheme of things, and begin to understand how the system works, we can plan ahead, we can use the resources responsibly, to show some respect for this inheritance that goes back 4.6 billion years. – Sylvia Earle

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. – Albert Einstein

Understanding the laws of nature does not mean that we are immune to their operations. – David Gerrold

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall

The future belongs to those who understand that doing more with less is compassionate, prosperous, and enduring, and thus more intelligent, even competitive. – Paul Hawken

I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer. – Denis Hayes

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.  … 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

We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment. – Margaret Mead

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.  We are all crew. – Marshall McLuhan, 1964

For many of us, water simply flows from a faucet, and we think little about it beyond this point of contact. We have lost a sense of respect for the wild river, for the complex workings of a wetland, for the intricate web of life that water supports. … Water is finite and we have not done a great job of managing it in the past. – Sandra Postel

The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing.  Not so with technology. – E.F. Schumacher, 1973

We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do. – Barbara Ward

THOUGHTFUL QUOTES
(philosophers, gurus, spirit guides)


Filthy water cannot be washed. – Anon. West African Proverb

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. – Anon. Native American Proverb

By polluting clear water with slime you will never find good drinking water. – Aeschylus

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. – W. H. Auden

To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance. – Buddha

When the soil disappears, the soul disappears. – Ymber Delecto

Man shapes himself through decisions that shape his environment. – René Dubos

There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet. – Brooke Medicine Eagle

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. – Loran Eisely, 1957

There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed. – Mohandas K. Gandhi

Why do we love the sea?  It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. – Robert Henri

Modern man no longer regards Nature as in any sense divine and feels perfectly free to behave toward her as an overweening conqueror and tyrant. – Aldous Huxley

It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live. – Dalai Lama

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.  … These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar. – John Muir

Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go. – Blaise Pascal

Water is the best of all things. – Pindar (438 B.C.)

Until mankind can extend the circle of his compassion to include all living things, he will never, himself, know peace. – Albert Schweitzer

Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect. – Chief Seattle, 1855

After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world. – Pam Shaw

I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use. – Mother Teresa

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. – Henry David Thoreau

Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us. – Henrik Tikkanen

In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it. … Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. –  Lao Tzu

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. – Alan Watts

You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here. – Alan Watts

I awake each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to save our the world. This makes it hard to plan my day. – E. B. White

This is what you should do; love the Earth and sun and the animals. – Walt Whitman

One Response to “Cool Quotes”

  1. Dalia Lama Enthusiast Says:

    WOW!!!
    This is like the best frosting on an already great cake—Thanks!!


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