Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BEN - Special Passages and Quotes

George Washington Carver Statue at Tuskegee University

Below are some of my favorite environmental quotes and passages - Pat Byington, BEN Publisher

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free

~Wendell Berry


"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." ~ George Washington Carver


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


"By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet." ~ Thomas Merton


"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes." ~ e.e.cummings


"The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: What good is it?.... if biotic, in the course of aeons has built something that we like but do not understand, then but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering. ~Aldo Leopold


"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." -~Baba Dioum


"Conservation has captured the Nation. Its progress during the last twelve months is amazing. Official opposition to the Conservation movement, whatever damage it has done or still threatens to the public interest, has vastly strengthened the grasp of Conservation upon the minds and consciences of our people. Efforts to observe or belittle the issue have only served to make it larger and clearer in the public estimation. The Conservation movement cannot be checked by the baseless charge that it will prevent development, or that every man who tells the plain truth is either a muck-raker or demagogue. It has taken firm hold on our national, moral sense and when an issue does that it has won..." ~The Fight for Conservation, a book written in 1901 by Gifford Pinchot


The turning point of the fight came when Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt crossed paths in 1903. The two outdoorsmen camped under the sequoias of the Mariposa Grove, rode horseback on the long trail to Glacier Point overlook, and talked late into the night around the fire. For once the ebullient Roosevelt met his match in conversation. Like all others who encountered Muir, Roosevelt was spellbound by the eloquence and enthusiasm of this bearded zealot who preached a mountain gospel with John the Baptist fervor. The mountaineer did nearly all the talking and the President listened, fascinated, while Muir denounced the damage being done in the Sierra by the loggers and the stockmen and expounded at length about nature and wilderness.

One night the two men rolled up in their blankets and went to sleep on the ground. Next morning they found themselves covered with four inches of snow, and when they rode down to the valley, the President rejoined his party shouting, "This has been the grandest day of my life!"

~Excerpt from The Quiet Crisis and The Next Generation, by Stewart Udall

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