Quotes

  • "It's easy to think that as a result of the extinction of the dodo, we are now sadder and wiser, but there's a lot of evidence to suggest that we are merely sadder and better informed." Adams, 241
  • "As a scientist, I am dismayed by the common tactic of pleading scientific uncertainty as an excuse for continuing to allow people or companies to do things known to harm salmon. We are seldom, if ever, absolutely certain about forecasting the behavior of complex, interacting natural systems, especially for species with complicated life histories. From a public policy perspective, the appropriate question in regard to salmon is whether there is sufficient scientific information upon which informed, responsible management actions can be based- and whether those actions will not only slow but reverse current trends." Montgomery, 243-243
  • "Ultimately, society has a responsibility to curtail urges to maximize profits obtained at the expense of the future." Montgomery, 245
  • "The political time scales of our decision-making processes are poorly matched to the geomorphological time scales that drive landscape change." Montgomery, 245
  • "Salmon are a very good, possibly too good, example of the disconnect between wanting to have a plentiful resource but being unwilling to pursue actions to achieve that goal. No one wants salmon to go extinct, yet we don't seem able to develop and enforce policies to ensure their survival. Policies we do have in place focus on the symptoms and not the causes of salmon declines." Montgomery, 246
  • "David Bella, a professor of engineering at Oregon State University, maintains that we don't need a full scientific understanding to manage a complex system if we use caution as our guiding principle. ... If you really, really want something to work right you don't have a scientist make it; you use an engineer. A good engineer working according to the factor of safety concept will use standards of practice to evaluate what is needed to achieve performance specifications and then will develop a design with a generous margin for error. Engineers study their mistakes and then overdesign their results. As a result, bridges don't tend to fall down." Montgomery, 247
  • "We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing-oriented society' to a 'person-oriented society.' When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered." King
  • "Our systems are designed to promote more life." Simpson
  • "What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?" (comic, click through) Pett
  • "Genetic deterioration through man-made agents is the menace of our time, 'the last and greatest danger to our civilization.' ... the parallel between chemicals and radiation is exact and inescapable." Carson, 196
  • "Implicit in some of the newest technologies is the assumption that there's little difference between living and nonliving matter at the atomic and molecular level. Some see this as one more example of turning life into a commodity- the cultural reduction that turns living bodies into machines." Louv

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