Quotes on Climate Change

Here is the website's collection of quotes on climate change.

These quotes are worth reading because they are not only educational and insightful, but also denote the lack of action in climate change mitigation so far.

There are quotes on:

A wind farm at sunset is quite inspiring

Quotes on Climate Change from Various Politicians

Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.

- Tony Blair, speech, Sept. 27, 2005

All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it's here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.

- Barack Obama, speech, Apr. 3, 2006

We want our children to live in a world without the destructive power of a warming planet.

- Barack Obama, Victory Speech in 2012

Now we've got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future.

Barack Obama

From Associated Press

Quotes on Climate Change from David Suzuki

Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles.

- David Suzuki

We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit.

- David Suzuki

Human use of fossil fuels is altering the chemistry of the atmosphere; oceans are polluted and depleted of fish; 80 per cent of Earth’s forests are heavily impacted or gone yet their destruction continues. An estimated 50,000 species are driven to extinction each year. We dump millions of tonnes of chemicals, most untested for their biological effects, and many highly toxic, into air, water and soil. We have created an ecological holocaust. Our very health and survival are at stake, yet we act as if we have plenty of time to respond.

- David Suzuki

We are upsetting the atmosphere upon which all life depends. In the late 80s when I began to take climate change seriously, we referred to global warming as a ‘slow motion catastrophe’ one we expected to kick in perhaps generations later. Instead, the signs of change have accelerated alarmingly.

- David Suzuki

From World Wide Fund for Nature - Australia

From 11th Hour Action

Quotes on Climate Change from Al Gore

Our world faces a true planetary emergency. I know the phrase sounds shrill, and I know it's a challenge to the moral imagination.

- Al Gore

I don't really consider this a political issue, I consider it to be a moral issue.

- Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.

- Al Gore, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005

The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences.

- Al Gore, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005

The good news is we know what to do. The good news is, we have everything we need now to respond to the challenge of global warming. We have all the technologies we need, more are being developed, and as they become available and become more affordable when produced in scale, they will make it easier to respond. But we should not wait, we cannot wait, we must not wait.

- Al Gore, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005

The new report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- the world's preeminent group of climate scientists -- represents even more definitive evidence of the growing urgency to immediately reduce the spewing of global warming pollution. The atmosphere can no longer be used as an open sewer. The costs of carbon pollution are clear: decreasing crop yields, more destructive storms, the spreading of tropical diseases to temperate latitudes, rising seas, more climate refugees, failures of governance, increasing floods, deepening droughts, more destructive fires and heat waves -- all contributing to the new reality of the global climate crisis. Put together, these factors are already affecting the lives of millions around the world by driving them from their homes, disrupting their livelihoods, and in some cases, further straining destabilized regions.

The consensus is clear. We need an immediate and determined shift to a clean, renewable economy. The continued mass burning of fossil fuels is inconsistent with a healthy, prosperous future for our civilization.

- Al Gore

The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an important milestone in the study of climate science. It reaffirms the overwhelming consensus that global warming is occurring and is caused by humans. I commend the authors of this important study on their dedication and hard work.

The climate crisis is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. From not only the warming of the earth with higher global temperatures, but also from strengthening storms and expanding droughts to melting ice and rising seas, the costs of carbon pollution are already being felt by governments, corporations, taxpayers and families around the world. The climate crisis will affect everything that we love and alter the course of our future.

Now, more than ever, we must come together to solve this global crisis. We must act decisively, rise to the occasion and solve this monumental challenge.

It is time -- indeed overdue -- to put an economic price on carbon and a political price on denial.

- Al Gore, on September 27, 2013

From The Climate Reality Project

The insistence on complete certainty about the full details of global warming--the most serious threat we have ever faced--is actually an effort to avoid facing the awful, uncomfortable truth: that we must act boldly, decisively, comprehensively, and quickly, even before we know every last detail about the crisis. Those who continue to argue that the appropriate response is merely additional research are simply seeking to camouflage timidity or protect their vested interest in the status quo.

- Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

You see that pale, blue dot? That's us. Everything that has ever happened in all of human history, has happened on that pixel. All the triumphs and all the tragedies, all the wars all the famines, all the major advances... it's our only home. And that is what is at stake, our ability to live on planet Earth, to have a future as a civilization. I believe this is a moral issue, it is your time to seize this issue, it is our time to rise again to secure our future.

- Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

Future generations may well have occasion to ask themselves, "What were our parents thinking? Why didn't they wake up when they had a chance?" We have to hear that question from them, now.

- Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

From The Climate Reality Project

Quotes on Climate Change from Other Famous People

Global warming is not only the number one environmental challenge we face today, but one of the most important issues facing all of humanity... We all have to do our part to raise awareness about global warming and the problems we as a people face in promoting a sustainable environmental future for our planet.

- Leonardo DiCaprio

We simply cannot afford to allow the corporate greed of the coal, oil and gas industries to determine the future of humanity. Those entities with a financial interest in preserving this destructive system have denied, and even covered up the evidence of our changing climate. Enough is enough. You know better. The world knows better. History will place the blame for this devastation squarely at their feet.

Leonardo DiCaprio

The argument is over. Anyone that doesn't believe that climate change is happening doesn't believe in science.

- Leonardo DiCaprio

We have 99% of the scientific community now saying climate change exists and it’s caused by mankind. Anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change doesn’t believe in science. So the fact that he has come out as the spiritual leader endorsing the scientific movement is unprecedented, and it was an incredible honor to meet him.

- Leonardo DiCaprio on meeting Pope Francis

Climate change is real; it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.

- Leonardo DiCaprio

Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.

- Bill Gates

As the country continues to dissect the recent natural disaster, we might want to start considering what about the disaster wasn't actually 'natural' at all. ... Human activity, the burning of fossil fuels, is causing global warming. Global warming is causing the oceans to warm. Warm oceans are steroids for storms.

- Michael Moore

It’s important for me to have hope because that’s my job as a parent, to have hope, for my kids, that we’re not going to leave them in a world that’s in shambles, that’s a chaotic place, that’s a dangerous place.

- James Cameron

I personally believe climate change is a challenge of such magnitude and urgency that we need a president who will set ambitious goals.

- Hillary Clinton

Climate change is a planetary crisis. We've got to act, and we have to act boldly.

- Bernie Sanders

Disasters around the world are twice as big as they ever were, and ice is melting where it's not supposed to melt, and everything's changing - the world is changing - and it's all because of global warming, I think.

- Jerry Weintraub

There is no debate here, just scientists and non-scientists. And since the subject is science, the non-scientists don’t get a vote.

- Bill Maher

Debating climate change is like arguing about whether the Earth is flat.

- Bill Maher

As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding. Please help stop this madness.

Richard Gere

The facts are there that we have created, man has, a self-inflicted wound that man has created through global warming.

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

I’ve starred in a lot of science fiction movies and, let me tell you something, climate change is not science fiction. This is a battle in the real world, it is impacting us right now.

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

As governor I have seen the tremendous changes over the last few years; the amount of land that we have lost, the trees that we have lost, the homes that we have lost, lives that have been lost, and it is due to a large extent to global warming.

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

During the time I was in office we have seen the beginning of the elimination of the fire season completely and are having fires all year round. I think we have seen the major problem of the destruction of land and property and lives that is a major problem because we don’t have the resources for that many fires and we don’t have the resources and the manpower to fight those fires throughout the year.

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents. It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world.

- Richard Branson

I started following the news and seeing what was happening around the world with the polar ice caps melting and temperatures breaking records. I became concerned as an animal on this planet but also as a father.

- Don Cheadle

Part of the American ethos is that you want to leave something better for your kids than you had and I know that my parents felt that way and I know that my grandparents felt that way and everybody worked hard so that their kids had a better chance. I just don’t want to be the first generation that doesn’t do that.

- Matt Damon

Our health relies entirely on the vitality of our fellow species on Earth. When we protect the places where the processes of life can flourish, we strengthen not only the future of medicine, agriculture and industry, but also the essential conditions for peace and prosperity.

- Harrison Ford

People need to see what’s going on, and they have to be exposed to the mechanisms that can help make it right.

- Harrison Ford

If people knew the benefits of nature besides cute animals and a place for them to vacation. If they knew nature provided clean air, fresh water, pollinators for our crops, new medicines, new food crops and that we can't afford to produce these things for ourselves... they would understand the full value of nature.

Harrison Ford

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?

- Robert Redford

I believe climate change is the defining environmental issue of our time. It's hurting our people -- around the world -- and it's time to stand up and say we've had enough. Enough of rising seas and widening deserts that threaten our homes and our crops. Enough of withering drought and blistering heat that mean more malnutrition and disease. Enough of raging floods, wildfires and storms that threaten people everywhere with one disaster after another.

- Robert Redford

We're going in the wrong direction and I think the only way to counter that is to bring the story home in really concrete ways to people - in ways that kids can understand and non-scientists can understand.

- Thomas L. Friedman

One can see from space how the human race has changed the Earth. Nearly all of the available land has been cleared of forest and is now used for agriculture or urban development. The polar icecaps are shrinking and the desert areas are increasing. At night, the Earth is no longer dark, but large areas are lit up. All of this is evidence that human exploitation of the planet is reaching a critical limit. But human demands and expectations are ever-increasing. We cannot continue to pollute the atmosphere, poison the ocean and exhaust the land. There isn't any more available.

- Stephen Hawking

We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.

- Stephen Hawking

Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse. No more can it be dismissed as science fiction; we are already feeling the effects.

- Desmond Tutu

From 11th Hour Action

Additional Quotes

Ignoring climate change will be the most costly of all possible choices, for us and our children.

- Peter Ewins, British Meteorological Office

In the year 2065, on current trends, damage from climate change will exceed global GDP.

- Andrew Dlugolecki, General Insurance Development

We've been given a warning by science, and a wake-up call by nature; it is up to us now to heed them.

- Bill McKibben, speaking of Hurricane Sandy on November 1st, 2012

The evidence for human-made climate change is overwhelming.

- James Hansen

I have been described as the grandfather of climate change. In fact, I am just a grandfather and I do not want my grandchildren to say that grandpa understood what was happening but didn't make it clear.

- James Hansen

Global warming isn't a prediction. It is happening.

- James Hansen

Below are not explicitly quotes on climate change or even quotes about global warming, but I think they are relevant nonetheless.

Proverbs (indirect quotes on climate change)

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

- African Proverb

The axe forgets what the tree remembers.

- African Proverb

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

- Native American Proverb

If you are thinking one year ahead, sow seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking 100 years ahead, educate the people.

- Chinese proverb

Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realise that you can't eat money.

- Native American proverb

Religious Leaders (indirect quotes on climate change)

Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.

- Dalai Lama

Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.

- Buddha

Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyles.

- Pope John Paul II

Philosophers, Scientists, and Inventors (indirect quotes on climate change)

There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.

- Mohandas K. Gandhi

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.

- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

- Albert Einstein

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

Men argue. Nature acts.

- Voltaire

I'm often asked whether I believe in Global Warming. I now just reply with the question: "Do you believe in Gravity?"

- Neil deGrasse Tyson

I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

- Thomas Edison

If we use our fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful, and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations. The heat of the sun's rays represents an immense amount of energy vastly in excess of waterpower...The sun's energy controlled to create lakes and rivers for motive purposes and transformation of arid deserts into fertile land...

- Nikola Tesla on September 9, 1915

Electric power is everywhere present in unlimited quantities and can drive the world's machinery without the need of coal, oil, gas, or any other of the common fuels.

- Nikola Tesla

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

- Galileo Galilei

Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth. Each of those worlds is as real as ours. In every one of them, there’s a succession of incidence, events, occurrences which influence its future. Countless worlds, numberless moments, an immensity of space and time. And our small planet, at this moment, here we face a critical branch-point in the history. What we do with our world, right now, will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants. It is well within our power to destroy our civilization, and perhaps our species as well. If we capitulate to superstition, or greed, or stupidity we can plunge our world into a darkness deeper than time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian Renaissance. But, we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet. To enhance enormously our understanding of the Universe, and to carry us to the stars.

-Carl Sagan

Writers, Actors and Environmentalists (indirect quotes on climate change)

More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

- Charlie Chaplin

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

Upton Sinclair

The common man or women, whether they are Israeli or Palestinian, Protestant or Catholic or Iraqi or American, the common man just wants to live in peace and justice in a clean environment.  When we look around the world and we see that is not the case, we know the will of the majority is not being listened to, that’s the first sign that our system is broken.

- Woody Harrelson

There are a helluva lot more of us who care about our environment in the world than we realize. We're the majority, and we can do something about that

- Woody Harrelson

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

- Mark Twain

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

- Mark Twain

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

- Mark Twain

Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks to emperors. Today we kneel only to truth.

- Kahlil Gibran

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.

- Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew what was happening to the world and did nothing.

- David Attenborough from Sunday Times

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

- Isaac Asimov

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little. Do what you can.

- Sydney Smith

The environment is in us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the environment ultimately you do to yourself.

Ian Somerhalder

Society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy.

- John Sawhill

If we are to stay within 2 degree maximum temperature rise, and with the release of the new IPCC report this week, there is no doubt that we must, we have to, stay within a finite, cumulative amount of GHG emissions in the atmosphere.

We have already used more than half of that budget. This means that three quarters of the fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground, and the fossil fuels we do use must be utilized sparingly and responsibly.

 - Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Presidents (indirect quotes on climate change)

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.

- John F. Kennedy

Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

- John F Kennedy

Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense.

- Ronald Reagan, State of the Union address, Jan. 25, 1984

Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.

- Jimmy Carter

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

It always seems impossible, until it is done.

- Nelson Mandela

From Take Part

From The Climate Reality Project

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