Earth Day 2005 Fact Sheet


Quotes About Environmental Policy


  • "...the ESA is broken because it ignores one other important reality: 80 percent of all listed or threatened species have all or part of their habitat on private land. Under the current law, landowners are punished for cultivating, encouraging or allowing habitat that attracts or protects an endangered species. The ESA prohibits harm to an endangered species and the Fish and Wildlife Service interprets harm to include modifying habitat. Thus, 'A forest landowner harvesting timber, a farmer plowing new ground, or a developer clearing land for a shopping center (stands) in the same position as a poacher taking aim at a whooping crane,' according to Michael Bean of Environmental Defense. Rational, normally law-abiding citizens, therefore, often engage in preemptive habitat destruction. If they expect an endangered species may come to their land, they destroy the habitat." - Utah State University Professor and Political Economy Research Center Senior Associate Randy T. Simmons (2004).

  • "If the U.S. wants to help people in tsunami-hit countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia - not to mention other poor countries in Africa - there's one step that would cost us nothing and would save hundreds of thousands of lives. It would be to allow DDT in malaria-ravaged countries." - New York Times Writer Nicholas D. Kristof (2005)

  • "What we've got to do in energy conservation is to try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy." - U.S. Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO) (1988)

  • "We seem to be increasingly aware of the fact that the exploitation of the earth, the planet on which we are living, demands rational and honest planning.  At the same time, exploitation of the earth not only for industrial but also for military purposes and the uncontrolled development of technology outside the framework of a long-range authentically humanistic plan often bring with them a threat to man's natural environment, alienate him in his relations with nature, and remove him from nature.  Man often seems to see no other meaning in his natural environment than what serves for immediate use and consumption.  Yet it was the Creator's will that man should communicate with nature as an intelligent and noble "master" and 'guardian,' and not as a heedless 'exploiter' and 'destroyer'..." - Pope John Paul II, from the Encyclical Redemptor Hominis (1979)

  • "Forests are breaking out all over America. New England has more forests since the Civil War. In 1880, New York State was only 25 percent forested. Today it is more than 66 percent. In 1850, Vermont was only 35 percent forested. Now it's 76 percent forested and rising. In the south, more land is covered by forest than at any time in the last century. In 1936 a study found that 80 percent of piedmont Georgia was without trees. Today nearly 70 percent of the state is forested. In the last decade alone, America has added more than 10 million acres of forestland." - Writer Jonah Goldberg (2005)

  • "Over the next ten years, I predict, the mainstream of the environmental movement will reverse its opinion and activism in four major areas: population growth, urbaninzation, genetically engineered organisms, and nuclear power." - Whole Earth Catalog Founder Stewart Brand (2005)

  • "Environmental groups have spent the last 40 years defining themselves against conservative values like cost-benefit accounting, smaller government, fewer regulations, and free trade, without ever articulating a coherent morality we can call our own. Most of the intellectuals who staff environmental groups are so repelled by the right's values that we have assiduously avoided examining our own in a serious way..." - Environmentalists Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus (presentation at October 2004 meeting of the Environmental Grantmakers Association).

  • "The golden rule among environmental groups is 'never, ever admit that progress has been achieved -- especially when Republicans are in power.' It's awfully tough for those organizations to raise money if donors aren't kept in a constant state of panic." - Writer Rich Trzupek (2005)

  • "Nuclear energy is the only nongreenhouse gas-emitting power source that can effectively replace fossil fuels and satisfy global demand." - Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore (2005)

  • "It is clear that there is an ample supply of people willing to use concern over the politicization of science as a political bludgeon to score points on the Bush Administration. It is also clear that there are plenty of others aligned with the Bush Administration willing to do exactly the opposite. The question I have is, where are the analysts (including reporters) who care about the politicization of science irrespective of possible advantages that are lent to today's partisan political battles?" - University of Colorado Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Roger Pielke, Jr. (2005)

  • "...Environmental groups are too often alarmists. They have an awful track record, so they've lost credibility with the public." - New York Times Writer Nicholas D. Kristof (2005)

  • "While President Bush and many of today's Republican leaders seem to be out of step with the American public and much of their own party when it comes to environmental conservation, the tactics of some environmentalists also play a significant role in creating the political polarization and stalemate that have caused gridlock for more than a decade on environmental policy." - Izaak Walton League Executive Director Paul W. Hansen (2005)

  • "Too often environmental policy discussions assume that the only way to advance environmental values is to create a government program or adopt new regulations. The potential for private initiative to conserve environmental treasures is overlooked. Yet where private action is viable, it is often superior to government efforts. Private preserves are generally better maintained than government parks and, where it's been tried, conservation through commerce has been more successul than the species protectionism embodied in the Endangered Species Act." - Case Western Law Professor Jonathan H. Adler (2005)


Earth Day Information Center



The National Center for Public Policy Research
20 F Street NW, Suite 700 Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 507-6398
Fax (301) 498-1301
E-Mail: [email protected]