> Author Index > B - Authors > David R. Brower Quotes

David R. Brower Quotes


A prominent environmentalist and the founder of many environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club Foundation, the John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, Friends of the Earth (1969), the League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute (1982), North Cascades Conservation Council, and Fate of the Earth Conferences.
(1912 - 2000)

Pages: 12Next

'Realistic' is a loaded word for me. Anyone who uses the word 'realistic' is all bad.
 

A great deal of pressure was then built up to remove me from the club and my resignation was, finally, a forced one.
 

All I know about thermal pollution is that if we continue our present rate of growth in electrical energy consumption it will simply take, by the year 2000, all our freshwater streams to cool the generators and reactors.
 

Apollo 13, as you may remember, gave us a reactor that is bubbling away right now somewhere in the Pacific. It's supposed to be bubbling away on the moon, but it's in the Pacific Ocean instead.
 

At that time a senator who was on the Joint Committee of Atomic Energy said rather quietly, 'You know, we're having a little problem with waste these days.' I didn't know what he meant then, but I know now.
 

Bring diversity back to agriculture. That's what made it work in the first place.
 

Even if you build the perfect reactor, you're still saddled with a people problem and an equipment problem.
 

For how many people do you think might yet stand on this planet before the sun grows cold? That's the responsibility we hold in our hands.
 

I began working with the John Muir Institute and then started helping found Friends of the Earth organizations here and there in other countries. That pretty well brings us up to the present.
 

I believe that the average guy in the street will give up a great deal, if he really understands the cost of not giving it up. In fact, we may find that, while we're drastically cutting our energy consumption, we're actually raising our standard of living.
 

I don't think we have very good records about what they were thinking except, as I pointed out earlier today, that they did invent our political system.
 

I sort of kept my hand in writing and went to work for the Sierra Club in '52, walked the plank there in '69, founded Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters after that.
 

I was actually telling people that - by harnessing the atom - we could enter a new era of unlimited power that would do away with the need to dam our beautiful streams.
 

I will say this, - though: If it is true that fusion will put unlimited amounts of energy into our hands, then I'm worried. Our record on this score is extremely poor.
 

Is the minor convenience of allowing the present generation the luxury of doubling its energy consumption every 10 years worth the major hazard of exposing the next 20,000 generations to this lethal waste?
 

It is absolutely imperative that we protect, preserve and pass on this genetic heritage for man and every other living thing in as good a condition as we received it.
 

It seems that every time mankind is given a lot of energy, we go out and wreck something with it.
 

It's like turning the space program over to the Long Island Railroad.
 

It's very hard for me to know what to say about fusion right now, inasmuch as it is not yet scientifically feasible. I just can't understand how so many people are able to predict so much about something that still isn't scientifically possible.
 

Once we open the door to the plutonium economy, we expose ourselves to absolutely terrible, horrifying risks from these people.
 


Pages: 12Next