While much has been written about our country’s abundant natural wealth, it bears reminding that our access to natural resources helped fuel our economic prosperity and leadership during the 20th century.
I know it’s hokey, but on the eve of Independence Day, I’d like to spend a few moments pondering the idea that environmental values are at the core of the cultural and societal values this country was founded on.
So in the spirit of the day, I’d like to share what a few of our Presidents had to say about the importance of environmental conservation:
“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The solution of our energy crisis can also help us to conquer the crisis of the spirit in our country. It can rekindle our sense of unity, our confidence in the future, and give our nation and all of us individually a new sense of purpose.” — Jimmy Carter
“The American people have a right to air that they and their children can breathe without fear.” – Lyndon Baines Johnson
“The people have a vital interest in the conservation of their natural resources; in the prevention of wasteful practices.” – Herbert Hoover
“The recent upsurge of public concern over environmental questions reflects a belated recognition that man has been too cavalier in his relations with nature. Unless we arrest the depredations that have been inflicted so carelessly on our natural systems–which exist in an intricate set of balances–we face the prospect of ecological disaster.” – Richard Nixon
As we all prepare to close up shop and celebrate the Independence Day, I invite you share some of the patriotic environmentalist that have inspired you in your career and life.