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Barry Commoner

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Clearly, we have compiled a record of serious failures in recent technological encounters with the environment. In each case, the new technology was brought into use before the ultimate hazards were known. We have been quick to reap the benefits and slow to comprehend the costs.
Quoted from "Frail Reeds in a Harsh World". New York: The American Museum of Natural History. Natural History. Journal of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. LXXVIII No. 2, February, 1969, p. 44.

Barry Commoner

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All life produces waste. The act of living produces costs, hazards and disposal questions, and so the (Environment) Ministry has found itself in the center of all life, mitigating, guiding and policing the detritus of the average person along with investigating the infractions of the greedy and short-sighted, the ones who wish to make quick profits and trade on others’ lives for it.

Paolo Bacigalupi

Technologists are not noted for learning from the errors of the past. They look forward, not behind, so they repeat the same problems over and over again. [...] As each new technology matures, customers are no longer happy with the flashy promises of the technology but instead demand understandable and workable designs. Slowly the manufacturers relearn the same basic principles and apply them to their products. The most egregious failures always come from the developers of the most recent technologies.

Donald Norman

We desperately need to recognise that we are the guests, not the masters, of nature and adopt a new paradigm for development, based on the costs and benefits to all people, and bound by the limits of nature herself rather than the limits of technology and consumerism.

Mikhail Gorbachev

To say that we must attend meticulously to the environmental case does not mean that we must go to the other extreme and wholly neglect the economic case. Here we must beware of some of our friends. For parts of the conservationist lobby would do precisely this. Their approach is hostile to growth in principle and indifferent to the needs of ordinary people. It has a manifest class bias, and reflects a set of middle and upper class value judgements. Its champions are often kindly and dedicated people. But they are affluent and fundamentally, though of course not consciously, they want to kick the ladder down behind them. They are highly selective in their concern, being militant mainly about threats to rural peace and wildlife and well loved beauty spots: they are little concerned with the far more desperate problem of the urban environment in which 80 per cent of our fellow citizens live...As I wrote many years ago, those enjoying an above average standard of living should be chary of admonishing those less fortunate on the perils of material riches. Since we have many less fortunate citizens, we cannot accept a view of the environment which is essentially elitist, protectionist and anti-growth. We must make our own value judgement based on socialist objectives: and that judgement that growth is vital, and that its benefits far outweigh its costs.

Anthony Crosland

Bush has compiled a fiscal record of startling recklessness.

Pat Buchanan
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