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George Monbiot quotes (showing 1-25 of 25)

“If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.”
George Monbiot
“Progress is measured by the speed at which we destroy the conditions that sustain life.”
George Monbiot
“Deregulation is a transfer of power from the trodden to the treading. It is unsurprising that all conservative parties claim to hate big government.”
George Monbiot
“The angry men know that this golden age (of fossil fuels) has gone; but they cannot find the words for the constraints they hate. Clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged, they flail around, accusing those who would impede them of communism, fascism, religiosity, misanthropy, but knowing at heart that these restrictions are driven by something far more repulsive to the unrestrained man: the decencies we owe to other human beings.”
George Monbiot
“We are often told we are materialistic. It seems to me, we are not materialistic enough. We have a disrespect for materials. We use it quickly and carelessly.

If were genuinely materialistic people, we would understand where materials come from and where they go to.

But, at the moment, the entire global economy seems to be built on the model of digging things up from one hole in the ground on one side of the earth, transporting them around the world, using them for a few days, and sticking them in a hole in the ground on the other side of the world.”
George Monbiot
“Governments are deemed to succeed or fail by how well they make money go round, regardless of whether it serves any useful purpose. They regard it as a sacred duty to encourage the country’s most revolting spectacle: the annual feeding frenzy in which shoppers queue all night, then stampede into the shops, elbow, trample and sometimes fight to be the first to carry off some designer junk which will go into landfill before the sales next year. The madder the orgy, the greater the triumph of economic management.”
George Monbiot
“Thinking like ethical people, dressing like ethical people, decorating our homes like ethical people makes not a damn of difference unless we also behave like ethical people.”
George Monbiot, Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning
“The problem with gross domestic product is the gross bit. There are no deductions involved: all economic activity is accounted as if it were of positive value. Social harm is added to, not subtracted from, social good. A train crash which generates £1bn worth of track repairs, medical bills and funeral costs is deemed by this measure as beneficial as an uninterrupted service which generates £1bn in ticket sales.”
George Monbiot
“Confronted with the twin disasters of climate change and an impending oil peak, it is hard to see how anyone could justify the assertion that the need to drive a car which can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles an hour in 4.5 seconds (the Audi S4 for example) overrides the Ethiopians' need to avoid recurrent famines, or the whole world's need to avoid the economic catastrophe we'll suffer if petroleum peaks too soon.”
George Monbiot, Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning
“The wealth creators of neoliberal mythology are some of the most effective wealth destroyers the world has ever seen.”
George Monbiot
“The schedules are crammed with shows urging us to travel further, drive faster, build bigger, buy more, yet none of them are deemed to offend the rules, which really means that they don't offend the interests of business or the pampered sensibilities of the Aga class. The media, driven by fear and advertising, are hopelessly biased towards the consumer economy and against the biosphere.”
George Monbiot
“I thought of walks in the English countryside, where people start shouting at you as soon as you stray from the footpath.”
George Monbiot, Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life
“All nationhood is to some extent the artificial, the product of historical accident, the convenience of tyrants and the disengagement of colonists.”
George Monbiot, The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order
“Beware of anyone who describes a human being as something other than human being.”
George Monbiot
“The problem is compounded by the fact that the connection between cause and effect seems so improbable. By turning on the lights, filling the kettle, taking the children to school, driving to the shops, we are condemning other people to death. We never chose to do this. We do not see ourselves as killers. We perform these acts without passion or intent.”
George Monbiot
“In managing our transport systems, our governments must constantly negotiate the paradox of mass movement. They must create a system which, for the sake of speed and efficiency, treats us like a herd, constantly prodded and coralled, divided, re-formed and forced into line. At the same time it must grant us the illusion of autonomy.”
George Monbiot, Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning
“Those who seek to drag heaven down to earth are destined only to engineer a hell.”
George Monbiot, Bring On The Apocalypse
“[John Clare's] father was a casual farm labourer, his family never more than a few days' wages from the poorhouse. Clare himself, from early childhood, scraped a living in the fields. He was schooled capriciously, and only until the age of 12, but from his first bare contact fell wildly in love with the written word. His early poems are remarkable not only for the way in which everything he sees flares into life, but also for his ability to pour his mingled thoughts and observations on to the page as they occur, allowing you, as perhaps no other poet has done, to watch the world from inside his head. Read The Nightingale's Nest, one of the finest poems in the English language, and you will see what I mean.

("John Clare, poet of the environmental crisis 200 years ago" in The Guardian.)”
George Monbiot
“The trouble is that people hate coaches, and for good reason. Coach travel is a dismal and humiliating experience. When I take the bus, as I sometimes must, from Oxford to Cambridge, I arrive feeling almost suicidal.”
George Monbiot, Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning
“Arrange these threats in ascending order of deadliness: wolves, vending machines, cows, domestic dogs and toothpicks. I will save you the trouble: they have been ordered already.

The number of deaths known to have been caused by wolves in North America in the twenty-first century is one: if averaged out, that would be 0.08 per year. The average number of people killed in the US by vending machines is 2.2 (people sometimes rock them to try to extract their drinks, with predictable results). Cows kill some twenty people in the US, dogs thirty-one. Over the past century, swallowing toothpicks caused the deaths of around 170 Americans a year. Though there are sixty thousand wolves in North America, the risk of being killed by one is almost nonexistent.”
George Monbiot
“Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favour? Well maybe She should have thought of that when She was besetting us with droughts and floods and poisonous snakes. Nature started the fight for survival and now She wants to quit because She's losing? Well I say 'Hard Chesse!”
George Monbiot, Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life
“I thought of the places I would be leaving, of what they were and what they could become. I pictured trees returning to the bare slopes, fish and whales returning to the bay. I thought of what my children and grandchildren might find here, and of how those who worked the land and sea might prosper if this wild vision were to be realized.”
George Monbiot, Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life
“Environment' is a term that creates no pictures in the mind, which is why I have begun to use 'natural world' or 'living planet' instead.”
George Monbiot
“An attraction to large predators often seems to be associated with misanthropy, racism and the far right.”
George Monbiot
“Perhaps there is no remaining moral space for the exercise of physical courage. Wherever you might seek to swing your fist, someone's nose is in the way.”
George Monbiot, Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life


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