The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers;
the heavens languish together with the earth.
The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed laws, violated the statutes
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt.
-the prophet Isaiah (c.760-690 B.C.)
Isaiah 24:4-6 in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible
Who would have predicted a century ago that the richest civilizations in history would be made up of polluted tracts of suburban development dominated by the private automobile, shopping malls, and a throwaway economy? Surely, this is not the ultimate fulfillment of our destiny.
-Alan Durning, How Much Is Enough?, 1992
Suburbs...have become the heirs to their cities' problems. They have pollution, high taxes, crime. People thought they would escape all those things in the suburbs. But like the people in Boccaccio's Decameron, they ran away from the plague and took it with them.
-Charles Haar, New York Times, 16 Mar 80
Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
-Ezekiel 33:18-19 NIV Bible
We are told that we cannot afford clean air and water and health for our children. Yet in the first few months of 2001, you and I spent over $2 billion buying videos. Brides-to-be will spend over $35 billion on weddings this year, and Americans will spend a staggering $550 billion on gambling. Corporations will spend untold billions on advertising.
-Jackie Alan Giuliano, 'Earth Day 2001 - A Celebration or a Wake?'
Environmental News Service, 20 Apr 01
The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that more than half of all freshwater fish it sampled from America's lakes could be unsafe for women of childbearing age to eat twice a week, according to data disclosed by environmental groups. More than three-quarters of the fish sampled also had mercury levels that may be unhealthy for children younger than 3. The data, collected between 1999 and 2001 on 2,547 fish from 260 lakes, are part of the first-ever nationwide study the EPA has conducted on freshwater fish in an ongoing four-year project.
- Juliet Eilperin, “Most Fish From Lakes Is Too High In Mercury,”
Washington Post, 4 Aug 04
If we are really serious about protecting the environment, the discharge pipes and stacks of industry would all plug directly into their intake side, and costs would not be externalized to a voiceless environment.
-Wes Jackson, 'Farm Debt,' Altars of Unhewn Stone, 1987
Little Boy Blue
Come blow your horn—
They’ve sprayed extra chemicals
On the corn
The soil is dying
The rivers could weep
And the people to stop it
Are fast asleep
-Barbara Jurgensen & Murray Goodwin, A Polluter’s Garden of Verses, 1975
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