QUOTATIONS - CIVILIZATION - PAST AND FUTURE
Our planet that gets smaller every year, with its fantastic proliferation of mass media, is witnessing a process that escapes definition, characterized by a refusal to remember.
- Czeslaw Milosz, accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature
Power flows from the barrel of a gun, authority is the likelihood that a command will be obeyed. Leaders who have authority do not have to shoot people.
- Max Weber, Egypt uprising, January 2011
Peak oil, declining EROI, resource depletion, fresh water issues and so on will dictate the rest of civilization's days.
- Charles Hall, March 2009
We fought the war and the war won.
Will we let it win again?
- Michael Gould Wartofsky, Truthout March 2010
My father rode a camel.
I drive a car.
My son flies a jet plane.
His son will ride a camel.
- Saudi saying
Make no bones about it, every past civilisation has decayed into the dry leaves of history - why should this one be different?
- Murray Grimwood, December 2008
The work of war is the making of widows and orphans - the plundering of towns and villages - the exterminating and spoiling of all, making the earth a slaughterhouse.
- Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War, 1963
One of the most painful principles of our age is that scandals are doomed to be revealed - and to remain stinking there before us, unexcised, unpunished, unfinished.
- Mark Danner, The Age of Rhetoric, May 2007
Our past history and security have given us the sentimental belief that the things we fear will never really happen - that everything turns out right in the end. But, prudent men will reject these tranquilizers and prefer to face the facts so that they can plan intelligently for the needs of their posterity.
- Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover, Energy Resources of Our Future, speech given to the Minnesota State Medical Association, May 14, 1957
Our democracy is now put to a vital test, for the conflict is between human rights on the one side and on the other, special privilege asserted as a property right. The parting of the ways has come.
- Bill Moyers, Speech to the National Conference for Media Reform, January 2007
But for a while, a civilization - unsuspected by archaeologists until recently - flourished and then vanished, leaving crumbling walls and some cryptic symbols on a tiny piece of stone.
- John Noble Wilford, The New York Times, May 13, 2001 [Closing statement in article entitled "U.S.-Russian team discovers ancient civilization; the signs of an ancient civilization that thrived in Central Asia (Turkmenistan) >4000 yrs ago"]
...[T]he myth-bound West which insisted on running into the future like a streetcar on a gravel road.
- Wallace Stegner, Beyond the Hundreth Meridian
We do need a "new economy," but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.
- Wendell Berry, Thoughts in the Presence of Fear
People of Earth, your attention please. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. There's no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it's far too late to start making a fuss about it now.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The American West At Risk summarizes the dominant human-generated environmental challenges in the 11 contiguous arid western United States - America's legendary, even mythical, frontier.
It now faces depletion of many of these resources, and potentially serious threats to its few "renewable" resources.
Purchase Here at Oxford Press
ABOUT THE AUTHORS