Sooner or later, wittingly or unwittingly, we must pay for every intrusion on the natural environment.

— Barry Commoner

The most staggering Barry Commoner quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

The first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else.

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The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it.

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Everything is connected to everything else.

Everything must go somewhere. Nature knows best. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Air pollution is not merely a nuisance and a threat to health.

It is a reminder that our most celebrated technological achievements-the automobile, the jet plane, the power plant, industry in general, and indeed the modern city itself-are, in the environment, failures.

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Seen that way, the wholesale transformation of production technologies that is mandated by pollution prevention creates a new surge of economic development.

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The environmental crisis arises from a fundamental fault: our systems of production - in industry, agriculture, energy and transportation - essential as they are, make people sick and die.

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After all, despite the economic advantage to firms that employed child labor, it was in the social interest, as a national policy, to abolish it - removing that advantage for all firms.

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Recycling is a good thing to do. It makes people feel good to do it. The thing I want to emphasize is the vast difference between recycling for the purpose of feeling good and recycling for the purpose of solving the trash problem.

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The favorite statistic is that the U.

S. contains 6 to 7% of the world population but consumes more than half the world's resources and is responsible for that fraction of the total environmental pollution. But this statistic hides another vital fact: that not everyone in the U.S. is so affluent.

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If environmentalism is a fad, it will be the last one.

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If you ask what you are going to do about global warming, the only rational answer is to change the way in which we do transportation, energy production, agriculture and a good deal of manufacturing. The problem originates in human activity in the form of the production of goods.

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Environmental concern is now firmly embedded in public life: in education, medicine and law; in journalism, literature and art.

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About Barry Commoner

Quotes 56 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

In every case, the environmental hazards were made known only by independent scientists, who were often bitterly opposed by the corporations responsible for the hazards.

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The environmental crisis is a global problem, and only global action will resolve it.

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The AEC had at its command an army of highly skilled scientists.

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Environmental quality was drastically improved while economic activity grew by the simple expedient of removing lead from gasoline - which prevented it from entering the environment.

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The modern assault on the environment began about 50 years ago, during and immediately after World War II.

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It reflects a prevailing myth that production technology is no more amenable to human judgment or social interests than the laws of thermodynamics, atomic structure or biological inheritance.

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As the earth spins through space, a view from above the North Pole would encompass most of the wealth of the world - most of its food, productive machines, doctors, engineers and teachers. A view from the opposite pole would encompass most of the world's poor.

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By adopting the control strategy, the nation's environmental program has created a built-in antagonism between environmental quality and economic growth.

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The environmental crisis is a signal of this approaching catastrophe.

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Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it.

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It is simply economically impossible to require controls that even approach zero emissions.

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My entry into the environmental arena was through the issue that so dramatically - and destructively - demonstrates the link between science and social action: nuclear weapons.

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In general, any productive activity which introduces substances foreign to the natural environment runs a considerable risk of polluting it.

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What is new is that environmentalism intensely illuminates the need to confront the corporate domain at its most powerful and guarded point - the exclusive right to govern the systems of production.

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What is needed now is a transformation of the major systems of production more profound than even the sweeping post-World War II changes in production technology.

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We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.

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Nothing can survive on the planet unless it is a cooperative part of larger global life.

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The methods that EPA introduced after 1970 to reduce air-pollutant emissions worked for a while, but over time have become progressively less effective.

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Because the global ecosystem is a connected whole, in which nothing can be gained or lost and which is not subject to over-all improvement, anything extracted from it by human effort must be replaced. Payment of this price cannot be avoided; it can only be delayed. The present environmental crisis is a warning that we have delayed nearly too long.

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The environmental crisis is a sign that the ecosphere is now so heavily strained that its continued stability is threatened. It is a warning that we must discover the source of this suicidal drive and master it before it destroys the environment-and ourselves.

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The most meaningful engine of change, powerful enough to confront corporate power, may be not so much environmental quality, as the economic development and growth associated with the effort to improve it.

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No action is without its side effects.

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For that reason the simple test of the slogan 'Consume Less' as a basis for social action on the environment would be to tell it to the blacks in the ghetto. The message will not be very well received for there are many people in this country who consume less than is needed to sustain a decent life.

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The wave of new productive enterprises would provide opportunities to remedy the unjust distribution of environmental hazards among economic classes and racial and ethnic communities.

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Science is triumphant with far-ranging success, but its triumph is somehow clouded by growing difficulties in providing for the simple necessities of human life on earth.

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Everything is connected to everything else.

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The environmental crisis is somber evidence of an insidious fraud hidden in the vaunted productivity and wealth of modern, technology-based society. This wealth has been gained by rapid short-term exploitation of the environmental system, but it has blindly accumulated a debt to nature-a debt so large and so pervasive that in the next generation it may, if unpaid, wipe out most of the wealth it has gained us.

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Finally, since human beings are uniquely capable of producing materials not found in nature, environmental degradation may be due to the resultant intrusion into an ecosystem of a substance wholly foreign to it.

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The weapons were conceived and created by a small band of physicists and chemists; they remain a cataclysmic threat to the whole of human society and the natural environment.

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All of the clean technologies are known, it's a question of simply applying them.

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Nothing ever dies, nothing ever goes away.

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When you fully understand the situation, it is worse than you think.

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Despite the dazzling successes of modern technology and the unprecedented power of modern military systems, they suffer from a common and catastrophic fault. While providing us with a bountiful supply of food, with great industrial plants, with high-speed transportation, and with military weapons of unprecedented power, they threaten our very survival.

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The AEC scientists were so narrowly focused on arming the United States for nuclear war that they failed to perceive facts - even widely known ones - that were outside their limited field of vision.

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The first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else.

---->I dont believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together.

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The modern technologist is less 'sorcerer' and more 'sorcerer's apprentice'.

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Perhaps the simplest example is a synthetic plastic, which unlike natural materials, is not degraded by biological decay. It therefore persists as rubbish or is burned-in both cases causing pollution. In the same way, a substance such as DDT or lead, which plays no role in the chemistry of life and interferes with the actions of substances that do, is bound to cause ecological damage if sufficiently concentrated.

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