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19 of 6,095 quotations related to Environment

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Adams, Douglas
I've always felt the worst way to alert people to... issues is to bang them around the head with it. If you bang people around their heads, they're liable to put their heads somewhere else.

Apr. 5, 2001 - from "Parrots, the Universe and Everything," a speech about the environment and his book Last Chance to See, delivered at the University of California, quoted in its Daily Nexus
Bixby, Miriam  
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) commissioned several scientific assessments by an independent consulting group, Energy and Environmental Analysis (EEA), in order to determine the impact of cars and light trucks on environmental and human health. EEA measured emissions of CO2, VOC, and NOx. Their recent study of CO2 emissions in Canada reports that, in every province, passenger vehicles account for less than 20 percent of total CO2 emissions. In British Columbia, vehicle emissions will account for only 15.65 percent of total CO2 emissions in 2000, down from 16.81 percent in 1980, despite a significant increase in vehicle usage (EEA 1995). Similarly, EEA’s study of VOC and NOx shows that since 1995, VOC and NOx emitted by autos and light trucks in Vancouver have decreased from 30 percent to 28.3 percent of total VOC and NOx emissions in the area, and are projected to reach 27.9 percent by 2005. This projection is particularly striking since between 1980 and 2005, total vehicle kilometres driven are expected to increase by 103 percent (EEA, 2000).

Dec. 2000 - from "The Translink Levy: Taxing Patience More than Congestion", published in Fraser Forum
Krauthammer, Charles
[The] Artic National Wildlife Refuge is the poster child of cake-and-eat-it-too eco-petulance. It's a place so remote and so desolate that not one American in a million will ever see it. Exploration would affect no more than eight percent of the refuge. Rather than disturb the mating grounds of caribou, however, our exquisite environmentalists have prevented exploration of what could be our next Prudhoe Bay. And for reasons of nothing less than hysteria, they have also blocked the one supply side solution to the environment vs. energy conundrum: nuclear power. Nuclear is the one mode of electricity generation that avoids nearly all traditional environmental damage--the noxious gases, the particulates, and best of all, carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas. Nuclear waste is not a trivial problem, but it has the distinct advantage of being concentrated and not dispersed in the atmosphere. Yet the allergy to nuclear is so extreme and irrational that even in the midst of this crisis, no one dares mention it as a long-term alternative.

Feb. 18, 2001 - from "Supply and demand realities", which helps explain rocketing electricity and gas prices, published by the Washington Post Writers Group
There has been a very slight warming of the earth's atmosphere in this century (although one still has to explain why satellite and balloon data show no net temperature rise in the past 19 years). But first, it is not clear how much is caused by natural variation only. Second, even assuming a substantial human contribution, it is not clear what, say, a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions would do to temperatures.

Dec. 5, 1997 - from "Global Warming Fundamentalists", Washington Post
The ease with which politicians, popularizers and even scientists can be caught up in popular enthusiasms for one doomsday or another should give us pause.

Dec. 5, 1997 - from "Global Warming Fundamentalists", Washington Post
We know that El Nino is caused by a decrease in the trade winds that blow east-west across the Pacific from Peru to Indonesia. To explain El Nino by global warming, you have to show that global warming caused these trade winds to cease. Well, there is no evidence for this proposition either. If anything, points out William Nierenberg at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, global warming is supposed to be the cause of increasingly violent weather: stronger winds and more storms--hence the field day environmentalists had blaming last winter's storms on global warming. Moreover, global warming is about general planetary warming but is perfectly useless when it comes to making reliable predictions about regional effects, such as waters warming in one area of the Pacific Ocean.

Nov. 17, 1997 - from "Hell, Highwather and Hype", TIME magazine
Lomborg, Bjorn
According to the UN, agricultural production in the developing world has increased by 52% per person. The daily food intake in developing countries has increased from 1,932 calories in 1961 - barely enough for survival - to 2,650 calories in 1998, and is expected to rise to 3,020 by 2030. Likewise, the proportion of people going hungry in these countries has dropped from 45% in 1945 to 18% today, and is expected to fall even further, to 12% in 2010 and 6% in 2030. Food, in other words, is becoming not scarcer but ever more abundant. This is reflected in its price. Since 1800, food prices have decreased by more than 90%, and in 2000, according to the World Bank, prices were lower than ever before.

2001 - from The Skeptical Environmentalist as excerpted in the National Post, Sept. 1, 2001
Population growth has turned out to have an internal check: as people grow richer and healthier, they have smaller families. Indeed, the growth rate of the human population reached its peak of more than 2% a year in the early 1960s. The rate of increase has been declining ever since. It is now 1.26%, and is expected to fall to 0.46% by 2050. The UN estimates that most of the world's population growth will be over by 2100, with the population stabilizing at just below 11 billion.

2001 - from The Skeptical Environmentalist as excerpted in the National Post, Sept. 1, 2001
Developments in agricultural technology... have squeezed ever more food out of each hectare of land. It is this application of human ingenuity that has boosted food production. It has also... reduced the need to take new agricultural land into cultivation, thus reducing the pressure on biodiversity.

2001 - from The Skeptical Environmentalist as excerpted in the National Post, Sept. 1, 2001
Four factors cause [a] disfunction between perception and reality [in beliefs about the state of our environment.] The first is the lopsideness built into scientific research. Scientific funding goes mainly to areas with many problems. That may be wise policy, but it will also create an impression that many more potential problems exist than is the case. [Second is] ... the self-interest of environmental groups... They need to be noticed by the mass media. They also need to keep the money that sustains them rolling in... A third source of confusion is the attitude of the media. People are clearly more curious about bad news than good, and newspapers and broadcasters give the public what it wants. That can lead to significant distortions of perception... The fourth factor is poor individual perception. People worry that the endless rise in the amount of stuff everyone throws away will cause the world to run out of places to dispose of waste. Yet [assuming exaggerated growth rates similar to America's] the total landfill area needed for 21st century U.K. waste would be a meagre 30 metres tall and thirteen kilometres square - an area equivalent to 28% of the Isle of Man.

2001 - from The Skeptical Environmentalist as excerpted in the National Post, Sept. 1, 2001

Knowing the real state of the world is important because fear of largely imaginary environmental problems can divert political energy from dealing with real ones. The Harvard University centre for risk analysis has carried out the world's largest survey of the costs of life-saving public initiatives. Only initiatives whose primary stated political goal is to save human lives are included. Thus the many environmental interventions that have little or no intention to save human lives, such as raising oxygen levels in rivers, improving wetlands and setting up natural reservations, are not considered here... There are tremendous differences in the price to be paid for extra life-years by means of typical interventions: the health service is quite low-priced, at $19,000 per person median price to save a life for one year, but the environment field stands out with a staggeringly high cost of $4.2 million.

2001 - from The Skeptical Environmentalist as excerpted in the National Post, Sept. 1, 2001
Air pollution is not a new phenomenon that has got worse and worse - it is an old phenomenon, that has been getting better and better.

2001 - from The Skeptical Environmentalist as excerpted in the National Post, Sept. 1, 2001
We have data for air pollution in London since 1585, estimated from coal imports until 1935 and adjusted to measured pollution from the 1920s until today. This shows how levels of smoke and sulphur pollution increased dramatically over 300 years from 1585, reaching a maximum in the late 19th century, only to drop even faster since then. The levels of the 1980s and 1990s were below the levels of the late 16th century. And despite increasing traffic, particulate emissions are expected to decrease over the next 10 years by 30%... Generally, the data indicates that this picture holds true for all developed countries. Although air pollution is increasing in many developing countries, analyses show they are merely replicating the development of the industrialized countries. When they grow sufficiently rich they, too, will start to reduce their air pollution.

2001 - from The Skeptical Environmentalist as excerpted in the National Post, Sept. 1, 2001
Nash, Ogden
I think that I shall never see / A billboard lovely as a tree / Indeed, unless the billboards fall / I'll never see a tree at all.

1959 - from "Song of the Open Road" in Verses from 1929 On
O'Rourke, P.J.
The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.

Quayle, J. Danford
 It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.

Aug. 1998
Sagan, Carl Edward
At the extremes it is difficult to distinguish pseudoscience from rigid, doctrinaire religion.

1996 - from The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark
Schneider, Stephen
 [Environmental activism] We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

Oct. 1989 - quoted in Discover Magazine
 Investigators assessing the economic costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions typically have considered the costs of reaching given targets for emissions reductions, or alternatively, the costs of given taxes on fuels that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. In my view virtually all of the models suffer from an important omission - the neglect of price-induced technological change. This omission biases upward the estimation of the costs of policies to avoid climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies, by raising mean prices of conventional fuels, can stimulate more rapid development of alternative, non-fossil fuel technologies and lower the prices at which these technologies break even. Such induced technological change mitigates, perhaps substantially, the cost of climate policies.

Oct. 6, 1995 - from the London Times Higher Education Supplement