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Top 22 Alex Shoumatoff Quotes of 2019

“According to the U.N., more than 2.7 billion people will face severe water shortages by 2025. Many social scientists predict that the next big wars will be over water. Nevertheless, the average American family blissfully consumes 300 gallons a day, when you add in watering the lawn and washing dishes, clothes, and cars.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“In 1990, my wife and I were married in her village in southwestern Uganda. The festivities went on for three days, and all the while a couple of dozen gray-crowned cranes, with regal bonnets of sun-shot yellow feathers, were pecking and padding around in the adjacent savanna.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“No golfer’s journey is complete without a pilgrimage to St. Andrews, the mecca of the game. This is where it all began, back in the 15th and 16th centuries.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“The mammoth was basically done in by climate change. The last ones survived on Wrangel Island, north of Chukotka, until 3,700 years ago. According to Eveny mythology, mammoths scooped up dirt with their tusks to form the first dry land.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“Elephants are highly emotional. Whatever they are feeling, they let it out immediately, and the histrionics are over and forgotten in a moment, lasting no longer than the cloud formations that are constantly coming apart and re-forming overhead. There is no guile in pachyderms.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“There is a lot of interest among the descendants of Holocaust victims in getting back artworks that were looted by the Nazis, for getting at least some form of compensation and closure for the horrors visited upon their families.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“The Awa are a distinctive-looking, diminutive forest people, smaller than any of the dozen other Amazon tribespeople I have met. Reduced size is adaptive in a rain forest. You can move around more easily and unobtrusively. Not only humans but other species are smaller in rain forests.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“Elephants are not human, of course. They are something much more ancient and primordial, living on a different plane of existence. Long before we arrived on the scene, they worked out a way of being in the world that has not fundamentally changed and is sustainable, and not predatory or destructive.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“’Ecological sensitivity’ is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump. He doesn’t even believe in global warming. But this is because he is a city boy.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“In the ’70s, Florida-style golf communities started to be built for America’s baby-boomers who were doing well and taking up the game but couldn’t get into exclusive golf and tennis clubs and were looking for a nice place to live and raise their families.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“Trump has got to be one of the most branded people on the planet. You can’t get away from him.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“If the world were an orange with 18 segments meeting at the top (the North Pole), roughly 8 of them would be in Russia, Canada would have 4, Denmark 2, and Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. just one apiece. Only a sliver of Alaska, on the Beaufort Sea, lies above the Arctic Circle.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“The global climate is a complex interactive system, with all kinds of nonlinear feedback loops.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“As technology keeps improving, the price of oil keeps rising, and the ice keeps melting, Arctic energy is bound to be an increasingly bigger part of the global mix.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“The usual way of growing cotton is highly petrochemical-intensive, requiring 110 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per acre. Some of the fertilizer is broken down by soil bacteria into nitrate, a toxic and highly soluble chemical that can leach into groundwater or get washed into lakes, creating oxygenless dead zones.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“Before you rip off three feet of toilet paper, consider that each year 500,000 acres of virgin boreal forest in northern Alberta and Ontario are being clear-cut to make the stuff. These forests are home to some 500 First Nation communities, as well as caribou and bears, moose and wolves, and, in the summertime, billions of songbirds.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“The day we dispose of the idea of disposability will be a great one for the planet.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“The plumbing and pluvial dynamics of the Amazon, the largest freshwater system on Earth, are still far from understood. This is partly because it is a semi-open system. Moisture flows in and out unpredictably. A lot of nonlinear feedback loops and ‘remote influences’ – continental, transcontinental, oceanic, meteorological – come into play.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“Most of the Amazon basin is as flat as a pancake and laced with extravagantly meandering waterways. One school of thought holds that more than 145 million years ago, when Africa and South America were joined, the Amazon’s main stem was connected to the Niger River and actually flowed in the opposite direction, toward the Pacific Ocean.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“Even as global warming increases the frequency of El Nino and the Atlantic event, their effects are being amplified by the annual loss of an area of rain forest the size of New Jersey. Less rain falls, and the water runs into the rivers instead of being sucked up by the fungus filaments and tree roots.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“Nature got it right with the cranes. They have been around since the Eocene, which ended 34 million years ago.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

“In my travels, I have encountered cranes on three continents.”

― Alex Shoumatoff

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