Earth Quotes

I believe we have a profound fundamental need for areas of the earth where we stand without our mechanisms that make us immediate masters over our environment.

Howard Zahniser

It is not long since man thought of himself as the center of the universe, thought even of the Sun - the very source of all our life - as a light by day revolving about the Earth. As our new understanding has come - through science - science also has brought us many other new and wonderful discoveries, and the new knowledge of what we are has been overlooked by many of us in our eagerness for the new knowledge of what we can do. We have become as proud over what we can do as ever our ancestors could have been over themselves as the center of the universe. We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience. Without the gagets, the inventions, the contrivances whereby men have seemed to establish among themselves an independence of nature, without these distractions, to know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize oneís littleness, to sense dependence and interdependence, indebtedness, and responsibility. Perhaps, indeed, this is the distinctive ministration of wilderness to modern man, the characteristic effect of an area which we most deeply need to provide for in our preservation programs.

Howard Zahniser

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

Hide Indian Saying

For a great tree death comes as a gradual transformation. Its vitality ebbs slowly. Even when life has abandoned it entirely it remains a majestic thing. On some hilltop a dead tree may dominate the landscape for miles around. Alone among living things it retains its character and dignity after death. Plans wither; animals disintegrates. But a dead tree may be as arresting, as filled with personality, in death as it is in life. Even in its final moments, when the massive trunk lies prone and it has moldering into a ridge covered with mosses and fungi, it arrives at a fitting and noble end. It enriches and refreshes the earth. And later, as part of other green and growing things, it rises again.

Edwin Way Teale

We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, we'll go to great effort to save what it might destroy.

Wallace Stegner

I settled at Cold Mountain long ago, Already it seems like years and years. Freely drifting, I prowl the woods and streams And linger watching things themselves. Men don't get this far into the mountains, White clouds gather and billow. Thin grass does for a mattress, The blue sky makes a good quilt. Happy with a stone under head, Let heaven and earth go about their changes.

Gary Snyder

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our childresn--that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himselfÖ

Chief Seattle

The Earth with its scarred face is the symbol of the Past; the Air and Heaven, of Futurity.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate awaiting them on this earth.

Joseph Conrad

There is just one hope for repulsing the tyrannical ambition of civilization to conquer every inch on the whole earth. That hope is the organization of spirited people who will fight for the freedom and preservation of the wilderness.

Bob Marshall

The way of the superior man may be found, in its simple elements, in the intercourse of common men and women; but in its utmost reaches, it shines brightly through Heaven and Earth.


What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes, or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!

Helen Keller

I have come to terms with the future. From this day onward I will walk easy on the earth. Plant trees. Kill no living things. Live in harmony with all creatures. I will restore the earth where I am. Use no more of its resources than I need. And listen, listen to what it is telling me.

M.J. Slim Hooey

Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth.


With all, the beautiful things of the earth become more dear as they elude pursuit; but with some natures utter elusion is the one special event which will make a passing love permanent for ever.

Thomas Hardy
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