QUOTATIONS - SOUND SCIENCE AND OTHERWISE
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.
- A. A. Bartlett
We present the evidence that endocrine disruptors have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology.
- Endocrine Society, Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement, June 2009
Science...does not compromise. Instead, science forces ideas to compete in a dynamic process. This competition refines or replaces old hypotheses, gradually approaching a more perfect representation of the truth, although one can reach truth no more than one can reach infinity. The natural process of a bureaucracy, by contrast, tends to compromise competing ideas. The bureaucracy then adopts the compromise as truth and incorporates it into its being.
- John M. Barry, Rising Tide, p. 90
Not necessary to educate the public but to convince public that process is well defined, open and addressed all concerns in a reasonable manner.
- Robert H. Neill, in an overhead used in presentation to the International Symposium on Radioactive Waste Disposal, 1998
...[T]here was concern that the American people, given the facts, would not make the right risk-benefit judgements.
- Peter Libassi, Department of Health, Education and Welfare 1969-1970, 1977-1978
Science, warmly embraced as an aid to profit, convenience, and comfort, is not welcomed as a source of perspective.
- Paul B. Sears, Deserts on the March
We are drowning in information while starving for knowledge.
- E.O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge 1998
As any analytical chemist knows, what you see depends on what you look for.
- Lynn Roberts, Johns Hopkins University
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense Before NATO, 2002, in reference to Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction capability
People in the age of science and technology live in the conviction that they can improve their lives because they are able to grasp and exploit the complexity of nature and the general laws of its functioning. Yet it is precisely these laws which, in the end, tragically catch up with them and get the better of them. People thought they could explain and conquer nature - yet the outcome is that they destroyed it and disinherited themselves from it.
- Vaclav Havel, Politics and Conscience, in V. Havel, Open Letters: Selected Writings 1965-1990 (New York, Random House 1991), 249-271
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.
- James Madison
We will call him Crazy Eddie, if you like. He is...an idiot savant tinker, sometimes. Always he does the wrong things for excellent reasons. He does the same things over and over, and they always bring disaster, and he never learns.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye, p. 200
That's another reason I don't want contact between your species and mine. You're all Crazy Eddies. You think every problem has a solution.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye, p. 319
Economics is not a science - it is politics in disguise.
- Alex Gibney, director, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
The pre-eminent feature of the Anthropocene era is that human activities have become a geophysical and biogeochemical force that rival natural processes.
- Will Steffen et al. (Will Steffen, M.O. Andrea, Bert Bolin, P.M. Cox, P.J. Crutzen, Ulrich Cubasch, Hermann Held, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, R.J. Scholes, Liana Talaue-McManus, and B.L. Turner II), Abrupt Changes - The Achilles' Heels of the Earth System, Environment 46 (2004): pp. 1-20
We already know more than we will ever understand. We already understand more than we need to take action.
- Charles Bowden
For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.
As the scientific validity of the environmental claims mounted, loggers rejected science as an appropriate field of struggle, and organized around moral and community solidarity.
- Charles Clark, Human Ecology Review (2001), quoted by Ray Ring, "Where Were the Environmentalists When Libby Needed Them Most?", High Country News 37, No. 3 (2005): 11
The [Kootenai Accord, an agreement to limit logging in Kootenai National Forest] would kill jobs, "and along with that comes wife battering (and) child molestation.... Do you think that environmentalists...give a damn about the fact that kids are going to be molested as a result of this?
- Western Environmental Trade Association Quoted by Ray Ring, "Where Were the Environmentalists When Libby Needed Them Most?", High Country News 37, No. 3 (2005): 12
A spirit of violence permeates the whole of our science, technology, economics.... It makes us think absurdities such as infinite growth in a finite environment; that we could go on finding and burning as much oil every ten years as in all previous history; that science could cure the sickness of the environment...that man's future was one of little work and endless leisure; that man has moved from the age of scarcity into the age of plenty. Nothing could be further from the truth.
- E.F. Schumacher, quoted in The Sun, July 2006
The trouble with compromise is you put a right and a wrong together and end up with neither.
- John Paul Vann, quoted by Neil Sheehan in A Bright Shining Lie
For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.
- Benjamin Franklin
When public officials say that wastewater meets drinking water standards and all regulations for discharge into surface waters, they mean it meets criteria for about 125 of the about 87,000 chemicals currently being used.
- Dr. Fred Corson, Sonoma County Water Forum, October 2006 [Corson worked for Dow Chemical for 31 years and participated in the design and permitting of sewage treatment plants.]
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.
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