Forests account for over 30% of the Earth's land surface. They are major contributors to the food and medicine supply for billions of people worldwide. Yet, satellite images of the earth show that every year, more forest covers disappear due to human activities.
Deforestation is a growing global concern. Not only do we lose precious natural resources, but deforestation also contributes to global warming. Deforestation on its own contributes about 15% to carbon dioxide emissions globally, which is slightly higher than what vehicles and trucks emit. Fewer forests will also mean reduced activity in the earth’s natural carbon sequestering process.
We cannot overemphasize the adverse effects of deforestation. These 12 deforestation quotes speak to a problem that is rapidly catching up with us. To save our forests and preserve their dependent life forces, we all need a new perspective and better regard for our environment.
12 Deforestation Quotes
American politician, writer, and former basketballer, William Warren Bradley, served three terms as a Democratic Senator from New Jersey. He is a member of the board at Starbucks Company.
Bradley claims to love the quality alone time that one can find in the forest. He is an advocate for planting trees and speaks against deforestation. Bradley’s activism led to his inauguration into the league of conservation voters. His continuous advocacy for environmental preservation shows his commitment to inciting change.
Related: Check out our list of the best environment quotes for more inspiration.
Many regard the American biologist and writer, Dr. Edward O. Wilson (amazon), as one of the greatest thinkers of the 21st century. His groundbreaking research and published papers have changed the way humans think of nature as well as our place in it.
Dr. Edward is an activist for the preservation of nature. To this end, he has received many of the world's leading prizes for writing, science research, and environmental activism. Wilson, in one of his writings, noted that it is critical to prevent deforestation. Instead, Americans are to save their forests to protect the biodiversity of their country.
This collective action could save countless plant and animal species from going extinct. In his words, “destroying rainforests is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”
Henry David Thoreau is an American poet, essayist, and philosopher. He is best known for his essay on Walden and Civil Disobedience, which shows a reflection upon life in natural habitats.
Thoreau established a new path for modern-day environmentalism. He put forward a philosophy based on resource efficiency, social, and environmental responsibility. He believed that to live a good life we must keep the forest intact, preventing deforestation at all possible costs.
Scottish-American naturalist and environmentalist, John Muir spoke often about the state of nature. This earned him the nicknames "Father of the National Parks" and "John of the Mountains".
Muir's exploration of the American landscape established his love for nature. He was also an advocate for forest preservation. Muir occasionally isolated himself in the woods to clear his head and admire nature.
Muir’s perspective as a believer gives this deforestation quote an interesting angle. He notes that God played his part in nurturing the trees in the forest and saved them from natural disasters. However, human efforts can destroy this good work, since we have the freedom to act as we choose.
James Ephraim Lovelock was an American scientist and environmentalist who proposed the Gaia hypothesis in the 1970s. This is now a proven theory that the Earth is a self-regulating system.
James is an outspoken member of the Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy. In this deforestation quote, he speaks about the ease at which human activity can easily turn a thriving forest into a wasteland. To maintain our forests, we have to be intentional about preservation.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (amazon) was one of the finest English poets. Shelley was radical in his poetry, as well as with his social and political views.
Shelley was a vegetarian until his death and he wrote several essays about vegetarianism. He viewed the use of the animals for food as “pure cruelty” that we need to stop. He also had a lot to say about deforestation, which he termed as cruelty to the plants and the climate.
American comedian, writer, and television host, Ellen Lee DeGeneres is popular for her comedy show, The Ellen show (amazon). She rose to stardom in the 1980s and has been on global screens since then.
Degeneres advocates for animals and the environment, which she demonstrates through her support for organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Ellen claims to always have a place in her heart for the endangered gorillas. She opines that deforestation and animal slaughter is unnecessary and we could channel the energy we use for this into showing more love to ourselves and animals.
America’s 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt won a record four presidential elections. He became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century.
Since his youth, Roosevelt showed a passion for environmental conservation. During his presidential tenure, he expanded and funded the National Forest systems. His approach was about encouraging the growth of trees, not just for their survival, but for the survival of everything that depended on these trees.
Howard D. Schultz is an American philanthropist, author, and businessman, He is also a two-time CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company, as well as the longest-serving head of the company.
Owing to the nature of his business, coffee production, Schultz has expressed concerns about the effects of deforestation on the climate. He openly admits that coffee businesses such as his could be major contributors to the problem.
Generally, in places where farmers plant coffee crops, deforestation is usually an issue. This deforestation quote is a reminder to business owners to take responsibility for the impact of your business on its environment.
International cricketer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni captained the Indian national team during his sports career. Dhoni has the honour of being the only captain to have ever won all the ICC trophies.
Dhoni often brings the attention of his huge followership towards the topics of urbanization and deforestation. His love for forests is evident through his activism. For his birthday, Dhoni celebrated by planting trees at his farmhouse. In an interview, he reminded his audience that deforestation leads to low water levels which reduces water availability for drinking and other domestic uses.
Paulus Maria Polman is a Dutch businessman who has worked in top management in top FMCG firms in the world. Polman also created Imagine, an activist corporation for eradicating inequality and poverty as well as addressing climate change issues.
Polman's deforestation quote notes that an end to deforestation will help stem poverty through better access to food, improved livelihoods, and a stable climate.
American attorney and Politician, Martin Joseph O'Malley served as the 61st Governor of Maryland in 2007.
O'Malley encourages tree planting at his speaking engagements and interviews. He speaks against deforestation due to its adverse effect on climate. One of O’Malley’s forests and climate preservation activist actions was his suit against a poultry agribusiness, Perdue Farms.
He claimed (and proved) that Perdue Farms’ activities were responsible for increased soil pollution in the area. O’Malley, thankfully, won the case. As a serving congress member, O’Malley proposed some bills preventing deforestation.
We will always have reasons to cut down trees- to build new homes, to expand a piece of land for farming, or for wood products. However, there are sustainable practices to incorporate that help to reduce our impact on forested land. Preservation should always be a priority when planning out projects that directly affect our forests. Finally, we should all support planting projects within our capacities or start our own to reforest our parts of the world.