This is one of those quotes that I found and could not forget years back. I discovered it while I was flipping through an activist magazine while I was a student. Popularized by Greenpeace in the 1980’s, the provocative message can be “tentatively attributed to Alanis Obomsawin. The whole of the quote is this:
Canada, the most affluent of countries, operates on a depletion economy which leaves destruction in its wake. Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.
Thanks to the work of the “Quote Investigator,” the fuller history of this quote and many others can be found on their blog.