8 Inspiring Earth Quotes to Get Anyone Thinking
Earth Day is coming up – we will celebrate it on April 22, 2017 – and what better way to do that than with some thoughtful quotes. Many conservationists and naturalists have shared their ideas on the natural world, from John Muir and John James Audobon to the unexpected Albert Einstein. Get in the right mood for honoring Mother Nature by remembering these powerful Earth quotes.
#1 “The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” —Lady Bird Johnson
The wife of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson was more than just the First Lady. She also supported the “war on poverty,” the Headstart Program, initiated the beautification of Washington, D.C., and fought for women’s rights. In the 1960s, Lady Bird called attention to the urgent crisis of biodiversity loss by planting bulbs and trees along roadsides. She founded the First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital, and she often discussed a conservation that encouraged the entire community to participate in solving the problems of growing urbanization.
#2 “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” —John Muir
John Muir was more than a conservationist. He was also a writer, farmer, inventor, sheepherder, naturalist, and explorer. Starting in 1874, Muir wrote a series of articles entitled “Studies in the Sierra,” which launched his successful career as a writer. In later years, he also published 300 articles and 10 major books that recounted his travels all over the world, explained his naturalist philosophy, and urged everyone to explore Nature’s beauty. Muir’s enthusiasm and unbounded love for nature inspired all of his readers, whether they be presidents or plain people.
#3 “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” —John James Audubon
Even though he was not the first person to attempt to paint and describe all the birds native to the U.S., John James Audubon was the young nation’s most famous wildlife artist for half a century. His seminal Birds of America – a collection of 435 life-size prints – is still a standard against which 20th and 21st century bird artists are measured. In 1819, Audubon set off on an epic quest to paint America’s avifauna. He had nothing but a gun, his artist’s materials, and an assistant. His highly dramatic bird portraits, as well as his superb descriptions of wilderness life, fall perfectly in line with the height of the Continent’s Romantic era.
#4 “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.” —Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, and historian. For much of latter years, he lived in his parents’ home, making a living as a worker at the pencil factory. He also lectured occasionally, and published essays in journals. His main concerns, however, were his daily afternoon walks in the Concord woods. Thoreau also kept a private journal of his nature observations and ideas.
#5 “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” —Albert Einstein
Surprisingly, Albert Einstein did not do very well in school. He was more interested in discovering things on his own, learning what he wanted to know. The more he read, the more curious he was about the order of the universe and the scientists who didn’t agree on its origins. When he read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Einstein began to question his previous ideas, starting to believe in a mysterious God that expresses Himself in nature. Much of his physics work was inspired by the idea that there is a pattern in creation. He talked about trees, flowers, and bees that all dance to a mysterious tune. The ‘piper’ who plays the melody—the Creative Force or God—is more than book knowledge, he said.
#6 “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.” —David Attenborough
For more than fifty years, David Attenborough has written, produced, and narrated many of the most breathtaking nature shows of all time. His teams of filmmakers and scientists have overcome unbelievable environmental challenges. Without them, we wouldn’t have seen nature’s most hidden spectacles right on our TVs. That’s how we could spy on polar-bear families emerging from hibernation, as well as witness nature’s inherent brutality. Attenborough’s whole career teaches us to embrace the world’s marvels, as well as its harsh inevitabilities.
#7 “I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” —Mother Teresa
Well-known for her work among the people of Calcutta, Mother Theresa has left us with many memorable quotes on people’s relationship with God and nature alike. In order to find God, she said, we have to get away from this world’s noise and restlessness. God is so easily found in silence, just as nature grows in silence. We could all take a page out of the book of nature and use silence to get in touch with ourselves.
#8 “Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option…they will become a necessity.” – Fujio Cho
Former head of Toyota, Fujio Cho is a fervent activist for the implementation of green cars. He started a movement inside the popular Japanese carmaker, advocating for more hybrid cars on the American streets. According to him (and his successor, Takeshi Uchiyamada), the US market is their focus at the moment. Both strongly believe hybrid vehicles will play an important role in reducing the U.S.’ overall carbon footprint.
There were many other memorable people in history who spoke in favor of a less destructive relationship with nature. Humanity needs to take a step back and reassess its impact as a species on this planet. Otherwise, not many decades will pass before humans become a plague that sucks the life out of Earth. Hopefully, these thoughtful Earth quotes have inspired you to become more environmentally aware.