This year marks the 45th anniversary of the United Nations International Mother Earth Day on April 22.
The UN hopes for a climate change treaty and more commitment to renewable energy. To commemorate the day here are some quotes from just a few leaders and visionaries about the environment.
“The environment is everything that isn’t me.” Albert Einstein
“Our future as human beings depends on our intelligent and prudent use of the oceans. And that in turn will depend on the determined efforts of dedicated women and men from all parts of our planet.” Nelson Mandela, Fifth session of the Independent World Commission on the Oceans, Cape Town, South Africa 1997
“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.” Vietnamese Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh
“I do not like killing any living thing even those creatures that fill some people with dread”. Nelson Mandela from Long Walk to Freedom 1994
“In a few decades, the relationship between the environment, resources and conflict may seem almost as obvious as the connection we see today between human rights, democracy and peace.” Kenyan activist, Wangari Maathai
“The punters know that the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag named Self-interest always runs a good race.” Gough Whitlam writing in the London Daily Telegraph 1989.
“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.” Pope Francis’ Audience, May 21, 2014
“The effective struggle against global warming will only be possible with a responsible collective answer, that goes beyond particular interests and behaviour and is developed free of political and economic pressures.” Pope Francis, Pope’s Message to UN Convention on Climate Change 2014.
“As a boy studying Buddhism, I was taught the importance of a caring attitude toward the environment. Our practice of non-violence applies not just to human beings but to all sentient beings – any living thing that has a mind. Where there is a mind, there are feelings such as pain, pleasure, and joy. No sentient being wants pain: all want happiness instead. I believe that all sentient beings share those feelings at some basic level.” Dalai Lama
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall, Chimpazee Conservation
“Remember, the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.” Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam revolutionary leader
“For the first time Australia has a government determined to preserve, protect and enhance Australia’ s national estate – our natural and historical inheritance, what we keep from our past, what we transmit to the future.” Gough Whitlam’s 1974 policy speech. (Whitlam protected the Great Barrier Reef, ratified the World Heritage Convention and introduced environmental protection legislation)
“We are the first generation of Australians to become sharply aware of the conflicting demands between growth and preservation of the environment. Our government is the first Australian government to attempt to develop sound environmental policies to reconcile these demands, to ensure that growth and development are not bought at the price of the destruction of the nation’s natural and historical inheritance. We believe that the polluter must pay, not future generations of Australians.” Whitlam’s 1974 election policy speech
“We have a responsibility to the world and to future generations to protect our Great Barrier Reef.” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palazczuk
See more about the day here: http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/