10 More Environmental Quotes You Won’t Believe Were Said
Not long ago, we collected ten amazing environmental quotes you won’t believe were said. Well, the list of whacky statements about the environment and energy is almost endless. We can only take in so much at a time though, so I found just a few more nuggets of wisdom I think we all need to digest.
1. “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.” – George W. Bush
Bush bid bon voyage with this gem at the 2008 G-8 Summit in Japan. For one thing, I think this “joke” is in pretty bad taste. In addition, the statement wasn’t even accurate. George should have known that the United States is actually the world’s second largest polluter, behind China. Maybe he’s just vying for the number one slot.
2. “So, if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?” – Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois)
I assume Rep. Shimkus is referring to reducing carbon emissions, not use. Either way the answer is the same: no. Just no. We are not robbing plants of food. They have all the carbon dioxide they need; trust me.
3. “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide.” – Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)
There are a few problems with this one. First of all, no one said carbon dioxide is a carcinogen. A carcinogen is a chemical known to cause cancer. Carbon dioxide is not on that list. Second, cows, when they “do what they do” are infamous for emitting methane, not carbon dioxide.
Get your gases straight, John.
4. “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.” – Dick Cheney
So let me get this straight, Dick. You admit that conservation is virtuous; I can respect that. But, virtue has no place in government policy? At least you’re honest.
5. “How did all the oil and gas get to Alaska and under the Arctic Ocean?”- Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)
Rep. Barton asked this question of then Energy Secretary Stephen Chu at an Earth Day hearing back in 2009. (We can prove it. There’s a video.) Chu reminded Rep. Barton about plate tectonics, and the millions of years of geology that created today’s fossil fuels. Chu didn’t have time to complete the lesson though. He left Barton with the notion that “it just drifted up there.” Close enough.
6. “For the life of me I can’t understand why BP couldn’t go in at the ocean floor, maybe 10 feet lateral to the – around the periphery, drill a few holes, and put a little ammonium nitrate, some dynamite in those holes, and detonate that dynamite, and seal that leak. Seal it permanently.” – Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Okay, am I the only one who can’t understand, for the life of me, how blowing up an uncontrollably gushing oil well in the ocean could possibly improve the situation? (For the record, Bill Clinton made similar statements about blowing up the well. I don’t agree with him either.) Luckily, engineers were able to seal the leak without the need for heavy explosives. Destroying more of the ocean floor in an already decimated ecosystem just makes me shudder.
7. “We’ve got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?” – Lee Iacocca
This quote is attributed to Lee Iacocca while he served as the VP of Ford Motor Company in the late 1960s. Supposedly, he said this in objection to the Clean Air Act, which was passed in 1970. Iacocca was vehemently opposed to the legislation, believing it would cripple manufacturing. I don’t know about him, but I go through a lot of air on a daily basis. The cleaner, the better.
8. “We can’t just let nature run wild…” – Former Alaska Governor Walter J. Hinkel
Hinkel said this while serving as Governor of Alaska in the early 1990s. He was specifically referencing the nasty habit wolves have of hunting and eating moose in the state. Human hunters are fond of moose, so Hinkel wanted to get rid of some wolves and save the moose for people.
That darn natural food chain keeps interfering with hunting season.
Now for some intentionally whacky statements:
9. “I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.” – Sheryl Crow
Luckily for sanitation fans everywhere, Ms. Crow was actually kidding when she posted this statement online following a tour to raise awareness for global warming. I think we can all agree that there are better (and less icky) ways to be eco-friendly.
10. “According to Time magazine, global warming is 33% worse than we thought. You know what that means? Al Gore is one-third more annoying than we thought.” – Jay Leno
Yeah, I’ll admit it. Al Gore can be pretty annoying.
Okay, this list goes to eleven:
11. “Carbon dioxide is natural, it is not harmful, it is a part of Earth’s lifecycle. And yet we’re being told that we have to reduce this natural substance, reduce the American standard of living, to create an arbitrary reduction in something that is naturally occurring in Earth.” – Michele Bachmann
She’s actually serious, and to be fair, she’s not wrong about carbon dioxide’s natural role on Earth, so kudos for that. But justifying greenhouse gas pollution as arbitrary? Bachmann needs to read one of those studies she claims don’t exist; the ones that show carbon dioxide is a harmful gas. There are hundreds, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.
Our constitutional right to freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. I encourage anyone and everyone to express their opinions and concerns no matter how misguided. If nothing else, statements like these make for entertaining reading.
What’s your take on these quotes? Please, exercise your First Amendment rights in the comments below!