Some Thoughts for Earth Day 2023

“We must move in a common effort of many nations to reclaim the seas, to monitor regional and global pollution and inadvertent weather modifications from all sources, to share information on the resting and dissemination of potentially dangerous new synthetics, to provide advance notice and discussion of experiments and activities which could have irreversible adverse effects, to develop our understanding of the ethical foundation of environmental choices, and to take other measures that fully recognize the extent of our dependence upon a bounded and wounded earth.”
Sargent Shriver |Novosibirsk, Russia | April 4, 1975

Our Quote of the Week stresses the importance of working together to protect our environment from the many human-made threats that are endangering life on Earth. As we mark our 53rd Earth Day on Saturday, let us work to create a safer, healthier environment for all of us. And, as we continue to explore the ways in which our systems have exploited and harmed the poorest and most vulnerable populations on earth, let us remember that protecting the environment is also a question of justice.

Sargent Shriver gave this speech about developing an international ethic of science in 1975. He stressed a need for collaboration and spoke about science and the environment in ways that seem remarkably prescient today, particularly in his inclusion of what he referred to as “inadvertent weather modification from all sources,” or what we would refer to today as climate change.

Without a doubt, pollution, climate change, and other factors that destroy our environment are damaging for all of us. But we must also understand that the destruction of our environment disproportionately affects the poor and communities of color. For example, poor communities:

This year’s Earth Day theme is “Take action” -- and that’s exactly what we must do. The health, safety, and well-being of populations around the world, particularly those who are already most vulnerable to poverty and conflict, rely on our collaboration and collective action. As we continue to push for action on protecting the environment, let’s remember that we are also fighting to achieve environmental justice.

Like this quote? Read the speech and subscribe to receive our Quote of the Week by email.

Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
Sargent Shriver
Get the Quote of the Week in Your Inbox