HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

August 27, 2007
Wisdom from Polonius


Prince Charles

Conservation must become before recreation.


Theodore Roosevelt

Conservation and rural-life policies are really two sides of the same policy; and down at bottom this policy rests upon the fundamental law that neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken for the future.

The idea that our natural resources were inexhaustible still obtained, and there was as yet no real knowledge of their extent and condition. The relation of the conservation of natural resources to the problems of National welfare and National efficiency had not yet dawned on the public mind. The reclamation of arid public lands in the West was still a matter for private enterprise alone; and our magnificent river system, with its superb possibilities for public usefulness, was dealt with by the National Government not as a unit, but as a disconnected series of pork-barrel problems, whose only real interest was in their effect on the reëlection or defeat of a Congressman here and there—a theory which, I regret to say, still obtains.


William Howard Taft

The putting into force of laws which shall secure the conservation of our resources, as far as they may be within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, including the more important work of saving and restoring our forests and the great improvement of waterways, are all proper government functions which must involve large expenditure if properly performed.


Representative Joseph Gurney Cannon

Not one cent for scenery.


Adlai Stevenson

Nixon is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump for a speech on conservation.


Karl Marx

The development of civilization and industry in general has always shown itself so active in the destruction of forests that everything that has been done for their conservation and production is completely insignificant in comparison.


Stewart L Udall

[We stand] today poised on a pinnacle of wealth and power, yet we live in a land of vanishing beauty, of increasing ugliness, of shrinking open space and of an overall environment that is diminished daily by pollution and noise and blight. This, in brief, is the quiet conservation crisis.


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