Wise words for the season and beyond

Published Tuesday, December 22, 2015 in the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal and the Fredericton Daily Gleaner.

One of my most treasured possessions is a little journal of quotations I started keeping years ago.  By now, it holds sippets of inspiration and wisdom drawn from sources as diverse as Gandhi, Einstein and Dr. Seuss.  

Lately I’ve also started adding quotations relating to climate change and how we can solve it.  Here are some of my favourites, presented with the hope that they may provide for a bit of year-end – and year-beginning – reflection.

“Man does not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.  Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.  All things are connected.” - Attributed to Chief Seattle, 1854

“No generation has a freehold on this earth.  All we have is a life tenancy, with a full repairing lease.”  - UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 1988

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” – Economist Kenneth E. Boulding, 1973

“Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell.” – Author and Biologist Paul Ehrlich, 2011

“Climate change… is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.” – British Economist Sir Nicholas Stern, The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, 2006

“Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense.” – US President Ronald Reagon’s State of the Union Address, 1984

“We need carbon prices to reflect the most limited resource of the 21st century – the limited disposal space for CO2 in the atmosphere.” - Ottmar Edenhofer, Chief Economist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 2015

“Nobody talks about the cost of not fighting climate change. This cost is passed to citizens too, whether it's health care, coastal erosion or spectacular weather events. This is hugely expensive for our society.” - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, 2015

“We are now in a race between climate tipping points and political tipping points” – David Spratt and Philip Sutton, “Climate Code Red”, 2008

“We need to reach a social tipping point where people do not think it is okay to build another smokestack.” - Professor Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution for Science, 2015

“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” – Albert Einstein

“The greatest sin of our time is not {committed by} the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who sat idly by” – US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, 1967

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” – Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology

“What we do for ourselves dies with us.  What we do for others and the world remains, and is immortal.” – Albert Pike, American attorney, soldier and writer, 1874

“The ultimate test of a man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” – Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, 1984

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor and theologian

“There is a good chance that one day, years down the road, someone will ask what you did about climate change. It could be your kid, your grandkids, maybe someone you don’t know, maybe a whole generation. It will be one of those moments when you’ll want to be standing on the right side of history.” - Writer Karen Orton, 2015

“We are all joined together globally in ways we have never been joined before.” – Author Margaret Atwood, 2015

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” – Arundhati Roy, 2003