The more we pour the big machines, the fuel, the pesticides, the herbicides, the fertilizer and chemicals into farming, the more we knock out the mechanism that made it all work in the first place.— David R. Brower
The most jittery David R. Brower quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
All technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent
All I know about thermal pollution is that if we continue our present rate of growth in electrical energy consumption it will simply take, by the year 2000, all our freshwater streams to cool the generators and reactors.
At that time a senator who was on the Joint Committee of Atomic Energy said rather quietly, 'You know, we're having a little problem with waste these days.' I didn't know what he meant then, but I know now.
We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.
Overpopulation is perhaps the biggest problem facing us, and immigration is part of that problem. It has to be addressed.
Bring diversity back to agriculture. That's what made it work in the first place.
The wild places are where we began. When they end, so do we.
Truth and beauty can still win battles.
We need more art, more passion, more wit in defense of the Earth.
Understanding how DNA transmits all it knows about cancer, physics, dreaming and love will keep man searching for some time.
Sometimes luck is with you, and sometimes not, but the important thing is to take the dare. Those who climb mountains or raft rivers understand this.
Without wilderness, the world's a cage.
Apollo 13, as you may remember, gave us a reactor that is bubbling away right now somewhere in the Pacific. It's supposed to be bubbling away on the moon, but it's in the Pacific Ocean instead.
Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.
It is absolutely imperative that we protect, preserve and pass on this genetic heritage for man and every other living thing in as good a condition as we received it.
There is no place where we can safely store worn-out reactors or their garbage. No place!
I was actually telling people that - by harnessing the atom - we could enter a new era of unlimited power that would do away with the need to dam our beautiful streams.
To me, a wilderness is where the flow of wildness is essentially uninterrupted by technology; without wilderness the world is a cage.
I'm always impressed with what young people can do before older people tell them it's impossible
It seems that every time mankind is given a lot of energy, we go out and wreck something with it.
Politics is democracy's way of handling public business.
We won't get the type of country in the kind of world we want unless people take part in the public's business.
Perhaps most ridiculous of all is the suggestion that we 'keep' our radioactive garbage for the use of our descendants. This 'solution', I think, requires an immediate poll of the next 20,000 generations.
Is the minor convenience of allowing the present generation the luxury of doubling its energy consumption every 10 years worth the major hazard of exposing the next 20,000 generations to this lethal waste?
True wilderness is where you keep it, and real wilderness experience cannot be a sedentary one; you have to seek it out not seated, but afoot.
I believe that the average guy in the street will give up a great deal, if he really understands the cost of not giving it up. In fact, we may find that, while we're drastically cutting our energy consumption, we're actually raising our standard of living.
We need the sea. We need a place to stand and touch and listen - to feel the pusle of the world as the surf rolls in.
Some otherwise sane scientists have seriously proposed that we tuck this deadly garbage under the edges of drifting continents but how can they be sure the moving land masses will climb over the waste and not just push it forward?
The Sierra Club is a very good and a very powerful force for conservation and, as a matter of fact, has grown faster since I left than it was growing while I was there! It must be doing something right.
When people say, 'You're not being realistic,' they're just trying to tag some thoughts that they can't otherwise handle.
I sort of kept my hand in writing and went to work for the Sierra Club in '52, walked the plank there in '69, founded Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters after that.
It's like turning the space program over to the Long Island Railroad.
A great deal of pressure was then built up to remove me from the club and my resignation was, finally, a forced one.
Perhaps we'll realize that each of us has not one vote but ten thousand or a million.
We cannot go on fiddling while the earth's wild places burn.
For how many people do you think might yet stand on this planet before the sun grows cold? That's the responsibility we hold in our hands.
There are many different kinds of radioactive waste and each has its own half-life so, just to be on the safe side and to simplify matters, I base my calculations on the worst one and that's plutonium.
Once we open the door to the plutonium economy, we expose ourselves to absolutely terrible, horrifying risks from these people.
I began working with the John Muir Institute and then started helping found Friends of the Earth organizations here and there in other countries. That pretty well brings us up to the present.
Let man heal the hurt places and revere whatever is still miraculously pristine.
Even if you build the perfect reactor, you're still saddled with a people problem and an equipment problem.
You don't need it, but will you take some advice from a Californian who's been around for a while? Cherish these rivers. Witness for them. Enjoy their unimprovable purpose as you sense it, and let those rivers that you never visit comfort you with the assurance that they are there, doing wonderfully what they have always done.
People have alleged that I have inspired many young people over the years, but I say, it was just the opposite.
There is no business on a dead planet
Yet another proposal would have us rocket the waste into the sun, but, as you're probably aware, about one in ten of our space shots doesn't quite make it out of the earth's gravitational field.
Politicians are like weather vanes. Our job is to make the wind blow.
What we are finding out now is that there are not only limits to growth but also to technology and that we cannot allow technology to go on without public consent.
It's very hard for me to know what to say about fusion right now, inasmuch as it is not yet scientifically feasible. I just can't understand how so many people are able to predict so much about something that still isn't scientifically possible.
We've got to search back to our last known safe landmark.
I can't say exactly where, but I think it's back there at the start of the Industrial Revolution, we began applying energy in vast amounts to tools with which we began tearing the environment apart.
What happens when the guy who runs the reactor gets out of bed wrong or decides, for some reason, that he wants to override his instruction sheet some afternoon?
We are at the edge of an abyss and we're close to being irrevocably lost.