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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index E > Sylvia A. Earle Quotes

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Sylvia A. Earle
(30 Aug 1935 - )

American oceanographer who was the first woman to serve as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She is very active advocating for the importance of the marine habitat.


Science Quotes by Sylvia A. Earle (18 quotes)

Bottom trawling is a ghastly process that brings untold damage to sea beds that support ocean life. It’s akin to using a bulldozer to catch a butterfly, destroying a whole ecosystem for the sake of a few pounds of protein. We wouldn’t do this on land, so why do it in the oceans?
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Bottom (28)  |  Bulldozer (4)  |  Butterfly (19)  |  Catch (21)  |  Damage (18)  |  Destroy (63)  |  Ecosystem (21)  |  Environment (138)  |  Ghastly (4)  |  Land (83)  |  Life (917)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Pound (7)  |  Process (201)  |  Protein (43)  |  Trawling (6)  |  Untold (4)  |  Whole (122)

By the mid-1950s manatees were already scarce, and monk seals, once common as far north as Galveston, were gone. By the end of the 20th century, up to 90 percent of the sharks, tuna, swordfish, marlins, groupers, turtles, whales, and many other large creatures that prospered in the Gulf for millions of years had been depleted by overfishing.
— Sylvia A. Earle
From 'My Blue Wilderness', National Geographic Magazine (Oct 2010), 77.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (25)  |  Common (92)  |  Creature (127)  |  Gulf (10)  |  Large (82)  |  Marlin (2)  |  Million (89)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Prosper (2)  |  Scarce (5)  |  Shark (6)  |  Swordfish (2)  |  Tuna (4)  |  Turtle (7)  |  Whale (21)  |  Year (214)

Human beings are sea creatures, dependent on the oceans just as much as whales, herring or coral reefs.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Coral Reef (7)  |  Creature (127)  |  Depend (56)  |  Herring (3)  |  Human Being (54)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Sea (143)  |  Whale (21)

I think of the ocean as the blue heart of the planet. Well, how much of your heart do you want to protect?
— Sylvia A. Earle
From narration to the short, hand-drawn animated film for World Ocean’s Day 2013, Ideas For Change.
Science quotes on:  |  Blue (30)  |  Heart (110)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Planet (199)  |  Protect (26)  |  Think (205)

I want to get out in the water. I want to see fish, real fish, not fish in a laboratory.
— Sylvia A. Earle
Interview (27 Jan 1991), on Academy of Achievement website.
Science quotes on:  |  Fish (85)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Water (244)

In a world that is rightly so concerned about climate change and the atmosphere, to be so ignorant and neglectful of our oceans is deeply troubling. However, … having woken up to this living disaster and having realized that there are limits to how much abuse we can inflict, it’s not too late to turn things around.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Abuse (9)  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Climate Change (56)  |  Concern (76)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Disaster (36)  |  Ignorant (27)  |  Limit (86)  |  Neglect (23)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Pollution (37)  |  Realize (43)

In years gone by, we would just take, take, take from the oceans but today we realize this is not an option, that the oceans keep us alive, and that we need to tread more carefully. This is now both a governance issue and a choice issue.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (38)  |  Choice (64)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Government (85)  |  Issue (37)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Overfishing (25)

Krill, a vital food sources for sea life, is being snatched in vast quantities, with trawlers traveling halfway around the globe, generating ruinous carbon emissions in the form of global supply chains.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Carbon (48)  |  Emission (16)  |  Food (139)  |  Globe (39)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Sea Life (4)  |  Supply Chain (2)  |  Trawling (6)  |  Vital (32)

Meat reared on land matures relatively quickly, and it takes only a few pounds of plants to produce a pound of meat. Tuna take 10 to 14 years to mature, require thousands of pounds of food to develop, and we’re hunting them to the point of extinction.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Develop (55)  |  Extinction (55)  |  Food (139)  |  Hunt (12)  |  Land (83)  |  Mature (7)  |  Meat (11)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Plant (173)  |  Pound (7)  |  Produce (63)  |  Quickly (9)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Tuna (4)

Nobody is calling for an end to fishing on the high seas but some techniques, for example bottom trawling, must be banned.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Ban (9)  |  Bottom (28)  |  Fish (85)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Technique (41)  |  Trawling (6)

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.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Ball (20)  |  Biodiversity (8)  |  Dead (45)  |  Destructive (7)  |  Ecology (55)  |  Fish (85)  |  Live (186)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Technique (41)  |  Understand (189)  |  Value (180)  |  Wreck (7)

The big blue area that dominates the view of earth from space was once our home and today represents 97 percent of the biosphere where life exists, providing the water we drink and the air we breathe. And we are destroying it.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Biosphere (10)  |  Blue (30)  |  Breathe (22)  |  Destroy (63)  |  Dominate (13)  |  Drink (27)  |  Earth (487)  |  Ecology (55)  |  Home (58)  |  Life (917)  |  Oceanography (16)  |  Provide (48)  |  Space (154)  |  View (115)  |  Water (244)

There's plenty of water in the universe without life, but nowhere is there life without water.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans (1995), xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (917)  |  Nowhere (19)  |  Plenty (5)  |  Universe (563)  |  Water (244)

Throughout all of human history, we have taken, taken, taken, from the natural world. All creatures, however large or small, do this as a way of making a living. Humans, though, have gone way beyond what elephants have done to the planet or what birds or what any fish in the sea is capable of doing.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In interview with Pierce Nahigyan, 'Dr. Sylvia Earle: “We’re Literally Destroying The Systems That Keep Us Alive”', Huffington Post (6 Jan 2016).
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (65)  |  Bird (96)  |  Capable (26)  |  Creature (127)  |  Elephant (16)  |  Fish (85)  |  History (302)  |  Human (445)  |  Large (82)  |  Living (44)  |  Natural World (21)  |  Planet (199)  |  Sea (143)  |  Small (97)

We need to respect the oceans and take care of them as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In 'Can We Stop Killing Our Oceans Now, Please?', Huffington Post (14 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Care (73)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Depend (56)  |  Life (917)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Respect (57)

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. I explored powder white beaches, dense marshes, mangrove forests, and miles of sea grass meadows alive with pink sea urchins, tiny shrimps, and seahorses half the size of my little finger. … Then, in mere decades, not millennia, the blue wilderness of my childhood disappeared: biologic change in the space of a lifetime.
— Sylvia A. Earle
From 'My Blue Wilderness', National Geographic Magazine (Oct 2010), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (38)  |  Beach (14)  |  Biological (21)  |  Blue (30)  |  Change (291)  |  Childhood (23)  |  Decade (19)  |  Dense (2)  |  Disappear (22)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Finger (38)  |  Forest (88)  |  Grass (30)  |  Gulf Of Mexico (4)  |  Harm (31)  |  Infinity (59)  |  Large (82)  |  Lifetime (19)  |  Mangrove (3)  |  Marsh (5)  |  Meadow (12)  |  Mile (24)  |  Millennium (3)  |  Person (114)  |  Pink (2)  |  Powder (4)  |  Sea (143)  |  Shrimp (5)  |  Size (47)  |  Tiny (25)  |  Venture (12)  |  White (38)  |  Wild (39)  |  Wilderness (28)

You can’t see oxygen being generated by trees, carbon dioxide being taken up by trees, but we get that. We’re beginning to understand the importance of forests. But the ocean has its forests, too. They just happen to be very small. They’re very small in size but they’re very large in numbers.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In interview with Pierce Nahigyan, 'Dr. Sylvia Earle: “We’re Literally Destroying The Systems That Keep Us Alive”', Huffington Post (6 Jan 2016).
Science quotes on:  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Ecology (55)  |  Forest (88)  |  Importance (183)  |  Large (82)  |  Number (179)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Oxygen (49)  |  Size (47)  |  Small (97)  |  Tree (143)  |  Understand (189)

[The effect of deep-sea mining is] to essentially clear-cut the deep ocean.
— Sylvia A. Earle
In interview with Pierce Nahigyan, 'Dr. Sylvia Earle: “We’re Literally Destroying The Systems That Keep Us Alive”', Huffington Post (6 Jan 2016).
Science quotes on:  |  Clear-Cut (7)  |  Deep (81)  |  Effect (133)  |  Ocean (115)


See also:
  • 30 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Earle's birth.
  • Atlas of the Ocean: The Deep Frontier, by Sylvia Earle. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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