In Thinking About Earth Day

March 29th, 2013 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on In Thinking About Earth Day

farmImageWith Earth Day just about three weeks away, as a lead into this holiday I wanted to share some very thoughtful and powerful quotes on climate change. I’m particularly taken with what Al Gore suggests – we just can’t imagine what hasn’t yet happened to us. And in every situation we tend to underestimate nature… and that is a tremendous mistake.

“As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the exceptions can kill you and climate change is one of those exceptions.”

– AL GORE

“People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.”

– ELIZABETH KOLBERT

“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, speech, Apr. 3, 2006

“There will always be those who challenge disturbing facts no matter how good the science. Many Americans don’t believe in evolution; some geologists don’t accept plate tectonics, and some think the NASA Moon missions were a hoax. Self-interest can also create cogitative dissonance between what one wants to believe and what is. Some smokers kept insisting smoking doesn’t cause cancer or heart disease after the Surgeon General’s Report. An African leader who perhaps can’t afford proper drugs holds that the HIV virus doesn’t cause AIDS. Should people die from disinformation and delusions? So what if some don’t believe in global warming? They’re wrong. Survival of high tech civilization is at stake. Time to stop dithering and get serious about policies that could make a difference.”

– MARTIN HOFFERT

“Having an energy conversation without talking about climate is like talking about smoking and not talking about cancer.”

– CHRIS HAYES

“We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this. I’m tired of Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t really care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.”*

– GEORGE CARLIN

*Some language changed to make this quote acceptable for all audiences.