Quizzes & Quotes

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A.  By 2050 estimates predict that the earth will have a population of

  1. 7.5 billion
  2. 8.0 billion
  3. 8.5 billion
  4. 9.0 billion
  5. 9.5 billion
  6. 10.0 billion

B. Imagine a redwood or pine.  What “tree size” (in feet) does one US resident, on average, consume in a year?

  1. 10 feet
  2. 30 feet
  3. 60 feet
  4. 100 feet
  5. 120 feet

C.  How many people in the world exist on less than US $2.00 a day?

  1. 500 million
  2. 100 million
  3. 1 billion
  4. 750 million
  5. 2 1/2 billion

D..Our species has an ecological footprint (the amount of resources we use/amount our planet can regenerate) of .....

  1. 95%
  2. 125% (1 ¼ planets)
  3. 150% (1 ½ planets)

E..What amount of the earth’s land suitable for agriculture has disappeared since 1960

  1. 5%
  2. 10%
  3. 33%
  4. 40%

F.  The World’s population just reached

  1. 3 billion
  2. 5 billion
  3. 7 billion

Check out http://www.census.gov/popclock/ for some pretty amazing graphics

G.  The total value of foreign exchange transactions in 2010 amounted to US $1.5 quadrillion (1 quadrillion is 1,000 trillion). What percent of the foreign exchange transaction were in international trade (real exchange of goods vs purely speculative financial speculation with no useful “social” purpose).

  1. 75%
  2. 50%
  3. 25%
  4. Less than 5%
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"Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."

— John Kenneth Galbraith


A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

 --Albert Einstein


In my dream the angel smiled and said,
    If we fail this time it will be a failure of imagination
        and then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand.

- Brian Andreas, Master of Profound Whimsey


Our time here is magic.
It's the only space we have
to realise whatever it is
that is beautiful,
whatever is true ...
it's the only space.

- Ben Okri, African author


Reflections on a Mote of Dust -- Conclusion excerpted from commencement address delivered by Carl Sagan, May 11, 1996

We succeeded in taking that picture (from deep space), and, if you look at it, you see a dot.  That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.  On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives.  The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of moral, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.  Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.  Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot.  How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.  Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dance or dust. In our obscurity-- in all this vastness-- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.  It is up to us.  It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building, experience.  To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.  To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known."

- Carl Sagan


"Real change in society must start from individual initiative."

–The Dalai Lama
On certain mornings, as we turn a corner,
an exquisite dew falls on our heart
and then vanishes.
But the freshness lingers, and this,
is what the heart needs.
The earth must have risen
in just such a light
the morning the world was born.

        Albert Camus

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."

–Howard Zinn
Answers to Environmental Sustainability Quiz questions:     A-5,  B-4,  C-5,  D-3,  E-3,  F-3,  G- 4        Back to Quiz
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