Also see Mountains, Trees, Gardening, and Songs about the Earth.
Remember EARTH DAY on April 22!

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Quotes and Facts

Humorous Quotes

The Nine Rs of Recycling

Rethink - your choices
Refuse - single use
Reduce - consumption
Reuse - everything
Refill - when you can
Refurbish - old stuff
Repair - before you replace
Repurpose - creatively
Recycle - as a last option

Millions of Stars

(Rachel Carson)

One summer night, out on a flat headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be see many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.


(Rea Williams)

Clanking, groaning, yellow monster
Defiling the air with gaseous petard,
Wantonly disfiguring the passive earth
With fiendish cuts--unhealing scars
That weep with blood of creation.
Some grotesque mass of man-made blocks
Shall rise, to stare with vacuous eyes
At passersby--who also weep--
For beauty lost.


(Alan M. Eddison)

Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology.

The Gifts of Earth

(words and music by Frances LeBeau)

See the world around you,
All the wonders of the land,
The woods and fields and flowers,
Sunny skies and seas and sands.

It's a gift for all the people,
To live in this great land,
Where the beauty all around us,
Teaches us to understand . . .

That the gifts of earth are in our hands.
To life we hold the key.
So let's clean America, make our land
A home for you and me.

Take a look around you,
All the wonders of the land.
Think about tomorrow.
Take the time to understand . . .
(Repeat Chorus)

(Ironically this is the "environmental song" of the state of Louisiana.)

From Man Walks Among Us

(written and performed by Marty Robbins)

Warm are the winds on the desert
A whirlwind is dancing around
I stop to survey all the beauty that's here
When a shadow moves out 'cross the ground

It's an eagle that circles above me
And he screams to his friends on the hill
"Stay close together, move not a feather
Man walks among us, be still, be still
Man walks among us, be still"

Everything hides, but I see them
I've spotted an old mother quail
I look close and see, looking right back at me
The eyes of a young cottontail

I see a coyote sneaking
As he crawls through the brush on the hill
And the eagle screams down,
"Stay close to the ground
Man walks among us, be still, be still
Man walks among us, be still."

Twenty feet high in the side of a cactus
I see a hole where the butcher bird stays
If mortals could choose,
And if heaven should ask us
Here's where I'd want to spend all of my days

Soon will be gone all the desert
Cities will cover each hill
Today will just be a fond memory
Man walks among us, be still, be still
Man walks among us, be still.

Keep the Scene Clean!

(Gloria Nowak)

There's nature's beauty all around,
And many times I think I've found
A lovely place, unseen by man--
Until I spot a soft drink can!

I gaze upon a gorgeous view
With hills arrayed in every hue,
Where surely no one's bee; but wait--
Another dirty paper plate!

The bottle that contained your beer
Just isn't going to disappear
And all those cans with pull-top lids
Will now outlast the pyramids;

And yet no matter where you roam
It costs no more to take them home.
Moreover, this unsightly trash
Can be converted into cash;

For you can make a 'tidy' sum,
Recycling aluminum.
So, let's enjoy the wilderness,
But please don't leave it in a mess!

Turn That Faucet Off!

(Norah Smaridge, from Only Silly People Waste)

What would we do if EVERYONE
Forgot and let the faucets run
And filled the bath right to the brim
(In case a whale stopped by to swim?)

There'd be BIG trouble by and by
For, when the reservoirs ran dry.
Instead of having quite a lot
We'd have NO water, cold or hot.

No water for the baby's tub,
No way to give the dog a scrub,
No ice in the refrigerator,
No drink to give your alligator,
No way to mop the kitchen floor
Or run the washer anymore.

There'd soon be lots of spots and mess
And children stuck with stickiness--
And even GROWN-UPS going places
With grubby knees and dirty faces!

Urban Sprawl

Will urban sprawl spread so far that most people lose all touch with nature? Will the day come when the only bird a typical American child ever sees is a canary in a pet shop window? When the only wild animal he knows is a rat--glimpsed on a night drive through some city slum? When the only tree he touches is the cleverly fabricated plastic evergreen that shades his gifts on Christmas morning? (Frank N. Ikard, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, Houston, March 1968)

Amber Waves of Grain

(Curt Sytsma)

When cavemen first by greed were led
To bop their neighbors on the head,
I have no doubt the caveman said,
"This land belongs to me."

With sticks and stones, they staked their claim,
And then, of course, they used the same
To punish those whose monstrous blame
Was lacking wit to see

That every inch of fertile plain
Was preordained for private gain--
And that is why our laws disdain
A rule that ought to be.

The land is by God's grace designed
To feed and shelter all mankind,
And yet within our laws we find
This sadly sacred oath:
That owners of the land can sell
Its future output to the swell
Of sudden gain, as dale and knell
Become the prey of growth.

When Roman legions scourged the earth
With salt, they left and awesome dearth
No worse than that brought by a birth
Our simple nation cheers:

By creeds and laws we now allow
The fertile land beneath the plow
In Florida will wholly bow
To growth in twenty years;

This is a sad and solemn fate,
But what is worse to contemplate
Is that our citrus growing state
Has far too many peers.

From old New Hampshire to the shore
Of Washington, the golden lore
Of growth now takes its sullen score
From lands we ought to save.
Each year we breathe, the facts attest
One million acres of our best
Is slaughtered for its final rest
Beneath a concrete grave.

Behold the sprawling shopping mall
That shrouds a hidden, secret, pall--
A field that cannot heed the call
That's made by sun and rain;

Behold the suburbs and their yield:
Beneath each web of streets is sealed
The coffin of a fertile field,
The grave of unborn grain.

Each house that claims its private lot
Is certain proof of what is not;
Like gravestones all, plot after plot,
They mark our nation's want.

By trends and laws that we condone,
Great fields of cement seeds are sown,
And by a truth we can't disown,
Our fate is filled with sorrow:
From sea to vast suburban sea,
The somber graves of grain will be
An all-too concrete proof that we
Lacked caring for tomorrow

As sure as flesh to dust returns,
The land owns us, and he who spurns
This fact to cant his own concerns
Does worse that rob his neighbors:

He robs the children of us all,
Who will, in time, endure the pall
Of insufficient fields to stall
The starving from the saber.

A caveman's law must be repealed,
For by the right the starving wield,
Our threatened lands must always yield
Their bounty for our labor.

By all that's fine and good, we must
Impose upon our land a trust
That will protect us from a lust
That could consume us all:
We must improve our zoning laws
Until by sacred cause
Our land is grasped from out the jaws

Of Unchecked growth and gall.

The Challenge to Create!

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Quickly, God was faced with a class action suit for failure to file an environmental impact statement. God was granted a temporary permit for the project, but was stymied with the cease and desist order for the earthly project.
Then God said, "Let there be light!"
Immediately, the officials demanded to know how the light would be made. Would there be strip mining? What about thermal pollution? God explained that the light would come from a large ball of fire. God was granted provisional permission to make light, assuming that no smoke would result from the ball of fire, that He would obtain a building permit and to conserve energy, He would have the light out half of the time. God agreed and offered to call the light, "Day" and the darkness "Night." The officials replied that they were not interested in semantics.
God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation, plant yielding seed and trees bearing fruit."
The EPA agreed, so long as only native seed was used.
Then God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth."
The officials pointed out that this would require approval from the Department of Game coordinated with the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. Everything was okay until God said the project would be completed in six days. The officials said it would take at least two hundred days to review the application and the impact statement. After that, there would be a public hearing. Then there would be ten to twelve months before . . .
At this point, God created Hell!

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Songs about the Environment

Songs about Mother Nature

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