Sylvia Earle Quotes


Our insatiable appetite for fossil fuels and the corporate mandate to maximize shareholder value encourages drilling without taking into account the costs to the ocean even without major spills.

We are depleting this immense diversity and abundance of life and it matters tremendously for the future of the planet.

When I first ventured into the Gulf of Mexico in the 1950s the sea appeared to be a blue infinity too large too wild to be harmed by anything that people could do.

When I arrived on the planet there were only two billion. Wildlife was more abundant we were less so; now the situation is reversed.

It is not too late to turn things around.

The observations that have developed over the years have given us perspective about where we fit in. We are newcomers really recent arrivals on a planet that is four and a half billion years old.

The Arctic is an ocean. The southern pole is a continent surrounded by ocean. The North Pole is an ocean or northern waters. It's an ocean surrounded by land basically.

For heaven's sake when you see the enemy attacking you pick up the pitchfork and you enlist everybody you see. You don't stand around arguing about who's responsible or who's going to pay.

We have the power to abstain from destructive behavior.

Any astronaut can tell you you've got to do everything you can to learn about your life support system and then do everything you can to take care of it.

I am not in any hurry to grow up.

Green' issues at last are attracting serious attention owing to critically important links between the environment and the economy health and our security.

You should ask where your food is coming from.

Hold up a mirror and ask yourself what you are capable of doing and what you really care about. Then take the initiative - don't wait for someone else to ask you to act.

I suggest to everyone: Look in the mirror. Ask yourself: Who are you? What are your talents? Use them and do what you love.

Scientists never stop asking. They're little kids who never grew up.

Like a shipwreck or a jetty almost anything that forms a structure in the ocean whether it is natural or artificial over time collects life.

What we put into the atmosphere in terms of burning fuel is unprecedented.

Humans are the only creatures with the ability to dive deep in the sea fly high in the sky send instant messages around the globe reflect on the past assess the present and imagine the future.

Far and away the greatest threat to the ocean and thus to ourselves is ignorance. But we can do something about that.

We have been far too aggressive about extracting ocean wildlife not appreciating that there are limits and even points of no return.

Ice ages have come and gone. Coral reefs have persisted.

What we once used as weapons of war we now use as weapons against fish.

We have become frighteningly effective at altering nature.

We've got to alter our fossil fuel dependence and go to other energy sources.

No creature on Earth ever has organized themselves in ways that we have with the capacity to alter the nature of nature the way we have.

Life in the ocean makes Earth hospitable. We are sailing along in the universe and we have a blue engine that is making everything alright.

America gains most when individuals have great freedom to pursue personal goals without undue government interference.

Nearly all of the major kinds of life divisions of life phyla of animals occur in the sea. Only about half of them can make it to land or freshwater.

We are all together in this we are all together in this single living ecosystem called planet earth.

Ignorance is the biggest problem of all for the ocean - and for many other things as well.

I love music of all kinds but there's no greater music than the sound of my grandchildren laughing; my kids too.

I'm friends with James Cameron. We've spent time together over the years because he is a diver and explorer and in his heart of hearts a biologist. We run into each other at scientific conferences.

No water no life. No blue no green.

The ocean is our life support system. No blue no green. It's really a miracle that we have got a place that works in our favor.

The Earth is a tiny blue speck in a universe of unfriendly options.

Humans have always wondered the big questions "Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?" It's part of human nature. It's perhaps the underpinnings of religion.

People still do not understand that a live fish is more valuable than a dead one and that destructive fishing techniques are taking a wrecking ball to biodiversity.

I have come up at the end of a dive and the boat was not where I left it. I had to take care of a buddy who did panic. But I was confident the boat would come back.

Burning fossil fuels has given us the gift of seeing ourselves in new ways. But that very gift now enables us to see we've got to change our ways.

Give the ocean a break. Give yourself a break.

My parents moved to Florida when I was 12 and my backyard was the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of life on Earth has a deep past much deeper than ours. And we have benefited from the distillation of all preceding history call it evolutionary history if you will.

We want to believe that we can continue doing what we've done for the past thousand years and not worry about the consequences coming back to us.

Sharks are beautiful animals and if you're lucky enough to see lots of them that means that you're in a healthy ocean. You should be afraid if you are in the ocean and don't see sharks.

All through college I had frequently been the only girl in a science class - which wasn't such a bad deal.

Never before have we known what we know.

There is this sweet spot in time when we have an opportunity to stop killing sharks and tunas and swordfish and other wildlife in the sea before it's too late.

In terms of personal choices let's all think more carefully about where we get our protein from.

With knowing comes caring.

Evolution is not something to be feared. It's to be celebrated embraced and understood.

The end of commercial fishing is predicted long before the middle of the 21st century.

This much is certain: We have the power to damage the sea but no sure way to heal the harm.

It's taken us a short time to change the nature of nature. In my lifetime more change than during all preceding human history put together.

The Exxon Valdez spill triggered a swift and strong response that changed policies about shipping about double-hulled construction. A number of laws came into place.

We are not only warming the ocean and the planet as a whole but we are also acidifying the ocean and changing its chemistry.

The ocean governs the climate and the weather it is taking care of the temperature and it is shaping the chemistry of our planet.

Everybody can make choices that will make peace with the natural world.

There is not a well-funded campaign among scientists to say "Look here's the evidence. You can read it yourself. Here are the facts. We're not making this up.

There's a vested interest in trying to keep people smoking cigarettes.

I've always said 'Underwater or on top men and women are compatible.'

With every drop of water you drink every breath you take you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.

Not only who am I but who are we? And where are we going? It's the "we." It's the social connections that are special to human beings.

We don't have to be that greedy generation that just continued to take down the underpinnings of what makes the planet work in our favor.

We still have 10 percent of the sharks. We still have half of the coral reefs. However if we wait another 50 years opportunities might well be gone.

We have found ways to capture kill and market ocean wildlife on an unprecedented scale. It's an absolute catastrophe.

Photosynthetic organisms in the sea yield most of the oxygen in the atmosphere take up and store vast amounts of carbon dioxide shape planetary chemistry and hold the planet steady.

The oxygen cycle the nitrogen cycle the carbon cycle the water cycle - all of these are linked to the existence of life in the sea.

Fish from all over the world from deep in the sea wind up in countries from Germany to Japan. That is just crazy.

Nothing has prepared sharks squid krill and other sea creatures for industrial-scale extraction that destroys entire ecosystems while targeting a few species.

We need to respect the oceans and take care of them as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.

The oceans deserve our respect and care but you have to know something before you can care about it.

Great attention gets paid to rainforests because of the diversity of life there. Diversity in the oceans is even greater.

I've spent thousands of hours under water. And even in the deepest dive I have ever made 2.5 miles (about 4 kilometers) down I saw trash and other tangible evidence of our presence.

If Darwin could get into a submarine and see what I've seen thousand of feet beneath the ocean I am just confident that he would be inspired to sit down and start writing all over again.

It's mainly the high-end luxury market now that drives much of the fishing in the sea. It's not feeding the starving millions. It's feeding a luxury market.

I am driven by what I know; that the world I love is in trouble.

I actually love diving at night; you see a lot of fish then that you don't see in the daytime.

My mother was known as the 'bird lady' of the neighborhood. Anything injured or any unusual creature somebody found they would always come to our doorstep.

We must protect our ocean as if our lives depend upon it because they do.

We understand that we must make peace with nature - that our lives depend on it.

Our past our present and whatever remains of our future absolutely depend on what we do now.

If somebody dumps something noxious in my back yard the dumper is the last one I would call on to repair the damage.

In the past few decades Earth's natural systems have endured more pressure than in all preceding human history.

Protecting vital sources of renewal - unscathed marshes healthy reefs and deep-sea gardens - will provide hope for the future of the Gulf and for all of us.

Knowledge is the key to making a difference.

Our job is to keep what is working intact and not destroy what we have got.

I hope that someday we will find evidence that there is intelligent life among humans on this planet.

Every time I slip into the ocean it's like going home.

You should know what is taken out of the ecosystem in order to give you a moment's sustenance.

The ocean seemed like a sea of Eden. But now we are facing paradise lost.

I personally have stopped eating seafood.

The concept of 'peak oil' has penetrated the hearts and minds of people concerned about energy for the future. 'Peak fish' occurred around the end of the 1980s.

With every drop of water you drink every breath you take you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is generated by the sea.

The ocean is dying and we have no place to escape to if this experiment doesn't go in our favor.

The very energy sources that have gotten us to where we are now are also if we continue doing what we're doing a shortcut to the end of all that we hold near and dear.

I have heard endlessly that fish are so resilient that there is no way that you could exterminate a species. We are learning otherwise.

Use your power to do whatever it takes to secure for humankind an enduring place on this little blue speck in the universe - our only hope.

There is an enormous amount to be learned about the sea; like most wildernesses it has great potential.

If you think the ocean isn't important imagine Earth without it. Mars comes to mind. No ocean no life support system.

If you make the choice to just go with the flow that is a choice to make a difference in a negative way.

Health to the ocean means health for us.

I hope for your help to explore and protect the wild ocean in ways that will restore the health and in so doing secure hope for humankind. Health to the ocean means health for us.

Only two percent of the ocean is fully protected right now.

I want to get out in the water. I want to see fish real fish not fish in a laboratory.

I find the lure of the unknown irresistible.

With care and protection with safe havens in the ocean there is still a good chance that we can turn things around.

Since the middle of the 20th century more has been learnt about the ocean than during all preceding human history; at the same time more has been lost.

It has taken these many hundreds of millions of years to fine-tune the Earth to a point where it is suitable for the likes of us.

We're still under the weight of this impression that the ocean is too big to fail that the planet is too big to fail.

The most important part is to take on the challenge of protecting the ocean as if your life depends on it-because it does.

If I seem like a radical it's because I have seen things that others have not.

Meat reared on land matures relatively quickly and it takes only a few pounds of plants to produce a pound of meat.

The next 10 years could be the most important in the next 10 000.

Eating wildlife is probably not the smartest thing that we can do in terms of maintaining the integrity of natural systems.

I have lots of heroes: anyone and everyone who does whatever they can to leave the natural world better than they found it.

There's plenty of water in the universe without life but nowhere is there life without water.

You don't have to touch the ocean for the ocean to touch you

We are taking way more out of the ocean than the ocean can replenish.

If the sea is sick we'll feel it. If it dies we die. Our future and the state of the oceans are one.

We've got to somehow stabilize our connection to nature so that in 50 years from now 500 years 5 000 years from now there will still be a wild system and respect for what it takes to sustain us.

I've had the joy of spending thousands of hours under the sea. I wish I could take people along to see what I see and to know what I know.

Everyone has power. But it doesn't help if you don't use it.