MOTHER EARTH NEWS Environmental Activist Interviews

MOTHER EARTH NEWS gathers insightful interviews from environmental activists, including John Shuttleworth, Peggy and John McMahon, Euell Gibbons, Jim McHale, Frank Ford, Norman Cousins and Pete Seeger.

| July/August 1986

  • John Shuttleworth interview quotes
    Everybody feels somebody else has got control of their lives. It seems everyone wants a feeling they can control their own destiny.

  • John Shuttleworth interview quotes

Quotes and quips from MOTHER EARTH NEWS most insightful interviews. 

Since the feature debuted in issue 2, our MOTHER EARTH NEWS interviews have offered insights into the wisdom and actions of some of America's (and the world's) most intriguing individuals. Many of these environmental activists and friends of the earth — such as Jacques Cousteau, R. Buckminster Fuller, and Isaac Asimov — were public figures when they were interviewed. Others — experts in such subjects as weather, energy, and farming — might, at the time, have been known only to their peers. Still others — like Bonnie Hill, a backwoods-Oregon schoolteacher and mother who successfully challenged the herbicide-spraying practices of large chemical and forestry industries — have shown us how one person can make a positive contribution to the lives of many.  

Now, we're pleased to present a selection (there simply wasn't space for all) of our favorite quotes from the 98 interviews we've published since March of 1970. One of the things that impressed us while reviewing this wealth of wisdom was that — no matter how different their walks of life — these remarkable environmental activists and friends of the earth all shared a great love for humanity and for the fragile planet that nourishes us all.  

On Mother Earth Herself


Everybody feels somebody else has got control of their lives. It seems everyone wants a feeling they can control their own destiny. That's what we're offering: You can do things for yourself. (MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 2, March/April 1970)

DR.BILL MOLLISON (environmental scientist, father of permaculture farming)  

Paal Dinessen.
9/10/2012 4:12:15 AM

Suffer the Children and the horror of all future lost generations. Before our century' increasing mechanization in industry was only seen as a boon by industry chiefs. Less outlay on labor of course translated to more profit. In the twenty-first century, industries increasingly fell under the control of the state, while continuing mechanization (Crew oil refining) and 'social justice' created an ever-growing underclass of unemployed and unemployable. This class was generally kept under control by the medias bread and circuses of our times, (Soap operas and football to name but a few), but problems increase with the exponential growth in numbers of people being displaced by increasingly 'expert' mechanization and ever increasing proliferate use of hydrocarbons – Increasing masses of people less easy to control. To manage this, the political classes chose to find employment for them; chose to bring them into the fold by creating a huge and pointless bureaucracy, but even that had its limits. It soon became evident that not all could be thus employed. The old world were 10% of the population used 90% of the energy did not exist anymore. It soon also became evident that with population booms and ever increasing percentages of third world countries rapidly developing into second and first world economies, Still too many educated people were available. The answer was simple: cripple education Systems, Banksters given free hands to gamble and rob blind all and dis-inform that growth is GOD but in reality it is death. Feed the masses with processed food devoid of micro nutrients and necessary vitamins, but full of chemicals, additives, Preservatives, pesticides and more! ensuring bovine stupor; this fact can be clearly seen in most sick obese persons. Unregulated the health and social professionals = drug dealers not healers, issuing pacifying drugs (Prozac and Retalin but to name a few), mutilating both tiny bodies and minds even while still in mother’s wombs, ensuring more numbers end up in the more easily controlled, obese, depressed, incarcerated and or drugged underclass. However even this has proven only a temporary solution, as the biomass of + and counting humans that each one on average uses 10 calories of non-renewable energy for every calorie consumed is far past un-sustainable. The only individuals raising grave concern and complaining are deemed Luddites and conspiracy theorists and are ignored by the masses in their mindless naivety (who only see the microscopic areas between their TV,s and the shelves of processed food in the local shopping mall). Organized religions turn a blind eye to the undeniable fact of Gods truth and the genocide that is coming due to overpopulation. It is a mathematically certainty and factual truth that more drastic measures will need to be applied, and this very soon as the global species extinction rate is so alarming high, its past any form of realistic contrivable savior except potentially by a mass extinction of humans be that by an extreme plague of a virulent airborne Ebola virus strain or God forbid (delayed) by the final mass extinction when available fossil fuels run out and the ecosystem has totally collapsed (25-32 years’ time). The longer we take to become conscious and alert the more horror we will see and ever increasing multitudes will succumb. In an utopian world where one child per woman and vegetarian life styles was by law strictly enforced, where craft and corruption would constitute serious penalty’s, and where honors, accolades were given to persons who create, plant trees, save bio diversity and engineer solutions striving for a better cleaner natural world there could still be a glimmer of hope, not as present where praise is given to banksters, usurious thieves, leaches and evil persons who by their actions and insane profit driven policies are committing despicable heinous crimes against the innocent unborn children and all future earthlings, each and every day, primarily due to stupidity, malicious materialism and greed. These individuals should be convicted of infanticide and genocide. The few surviving children of the next generations will look back at us and our lack of actions with disgust and incomprehension, in much the same manner as we look back upon Hitler, Pol Pot, and Nero’s of our short history on this planet. The unbelievable paradox is that these blind and malicious individuals also have children that will die they also all live and should coexists on this one and only once beautiful world of ours. Paal S. Dinessen. 07-September 2012.

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