Quote of the Week

November 17 – In the lead up to the next global climate conference it is good to reflect on the words of Barbara Ward (1914-1981), the British economist and writer who was among the earliest advocates of sustainable development: “To act without rapacity, to use knowledge with wisdom, to respect interdependence, to operate without hubris and greed are not simply moral imperatives. They are an accurate scientific description of the means of survival.”

November 10 – Maybe, as Bob Dylan says, the answer is blowing in the wind, but Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), the American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic, adds a certain twist to that thought: “A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.”

November 3 – Just think of the multiple benefits from the advice of Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), the American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic: “Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities.” Yes, everything is one step at a time. How many steps did you do this week?

October 27 – As we try to adapt our behaviour to address the low-carbon energy transition, the Greek philosopher Plato (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) has an important message for us: “Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”

October 20 – This week give some thought to the words of the Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900): “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”

October 13 – Horace Walpole (1717-1797), the 4th Earl of Orford, novelist and essayist provides us with much to think about this week: “Men are often capable of greater things than they perform. They are sent into the world with bills of credit and seldom draw to their full extent.”

October 6 – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar, gives us much to discuss with our friends and colleagues this week: “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

September 29 – One of the most influential philosophers, providing one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), provides us much to dwell on this week: “Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behaviour.”

September 22 – It is almost as if this week’s climate protesters had been reading the German philosopher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831): “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”

September 15 – Ben Okri, the Nigerian poet and novelist, considered one of the foremost African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions, gives us something to smile about this week: “The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.”

September 8 – Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), the French novelist and playwright, provides us with an important thought this week: “It is easy to sit up and take notice, what is difficult is getting up and taking action.”

September 1 – Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), the American scientist known for his writing of science fiction provides us with much to think about this week: “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

August 25 – A summer thought: When Alexander the Great once visited the Greek philosopher Diogenes as he was relaxing in the sun and asked if there was anything he might do for him, Diogenes answered the all-powerful conqueror, “Yes, there is something you can do for me. Please move a little to the side. You are blocking the sunlight.”

18 – The American architect, systems theorist, inventor and futurist, R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), provides us much to reflect on this week: “We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”

August 11 – Toni Morrison (1931-2019), American novelist, essayist, editor and teacher who recently died, provides an important thought for us this week: “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”

August 4 – Give some thought to the words George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), the Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

July 28 – As you enjoy the summer delights, think of these words from George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), the Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist: “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”

July 21 – Jacques Yves Cousteau (1910-1997), the French explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water provides us with an inspiring thought this week: “It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realise you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.”

July 14 – The American writer E.B. White (1899-1985) provides us with an important thought this week to help you in your daily planning: “If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

July 7 – Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (1804-1876), best known by her nom de plume George Sand, the French novelist and memoirist, provides us with an important thought this week: “Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.”

June 30 – This week the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), provides us an important thought: “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.”

June 23 – The quote for the week comes from Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the German-born theoretical physicist: “Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity… From discord find harmony… In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

June 16 – Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain (1835-1910), provides a good thought for us this week: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

June 9 – Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher (1724-1804), provides us an important message this week: “Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”

June 2 – Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, gives us much to reflect on this week: “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”

May 26 – This week remember the words of Pierre Beaumarchais 1732-1799), the French watchmaker, inventor, playwright, musician, diplomat, spy, publisher, horticulturist, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary: “Without the freedom to criticise, there is no true praise.”

May 19 – Alan Kay, an American computer scientist (b. 17 May 1940) gives us much to think about this week: “Most creativity is a transition from one context into another where things are more surprising. There’s an element of surprise, and especially in science, there is often laughter that goes along with the ‘Aha’. Art also has this element. Our job is to remind us that there are more contexts than the one that we’re in — the one that we think is reality.”

May 12 – Paul David Hewson, well known as Bono, the Irish musician and social activist, gives us some good advice this week: “The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.”

May 5 – This week take a little time to reflect on the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe(1749-1832), the German poet, dramatist, novelist and philosopher: “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and, if it were possible, speak a few reasonable words.”

April 28 – This week, please reflect on the words of Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher (1724-1804): “Science is organised knowledge. Wisdom is organised life.”

April 21 – This week’s thought comes from John Ruskin (1819-1900), the  English author, art critic, and social reformer: “In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: they must be fit for it; they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it.”

April 14 – The American psychiatrist and writer, Theodore Rubin (1923-2019), gives us an important message this week: “There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.”

April 7 – Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964), the American novelist, short story writer and essayist, provides an important thought this week for all of us: “The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.”

March 31 – Helen Keller (1880-1968), the American author, political activist, and lecturer who was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, provides an important thought this week: “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”

March 24 – Jack Kerouac, the American novelist (1922-1969), gives us an important thought this week that can be seen in the photo from Bucharest below as well: “All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.”

March 17 – The French philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) provides some inspiring words this week: “It is a sign of contraction of the mind when it is content, or of weariness. A spirited mind never stops within itself; it is always aspiring and going beyond its strength.”

March 10 – This week we have the poetic words of Lord Byron (1788-1824) British poet, peer, politician, and leading figure in the Romantic movement: “Words are things; and a small drop of ink / Falling like dew upon a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”

March 3 – Michel de Montaigne, one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance (1533-1592), provides an important thought for all of us this week: “There is no pleasure to me without communication: there is not so much as a sprightly thought comes into my mind that it does not grieve me to have produced alone, and that I have no one to tell it to.”

February 24 – Quote of the week by Barbara Tuchman, American author and historian (1912-1989): “Policy is formed by preconceptions, by long implanted biases. When information is relayed to policy-makers, they respond in terms of what is already inside their heads and consequently make policy less to fit the facts than to fit the notions and intentions formed out of the mental baggage that has accumulated in their minds since childhood.”

February 17 – John Ruskin, the English author, art critic, and social reformer (1819-1900) gives us an important thought this week: “What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.”

February 10 – Edith Wharton, the American novelist (1861-1937) provides an important thought to us this week: “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

February 3 – The English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the 1st Viscount St Alban, gives us good advice this week: “Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out.”

January 27 – “The Bard of the Yukon,” the British-Canadian poet and writer, Robert Service (1874-1958), gives us much to think about this week: “Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out – it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”

January 20 – Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), also known as Huig de Groot, was a Dutch jurist who helped lay the foundations for international law, based on natural law. He gives us a good thought for this week: “Not to know certain things is a great part of wisdom.”

January 13 – Louis L’Amour (1908-1988), an American novelist (primarily Western novels) and short-story writer reminds us about our future path: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

January 6 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), the German writer and statesman, gives us some inspiring words to start 2019: “Whatever you do or dream you can do – begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

2018 ↓

December 16 – You will enjoy this quote from Charles Schultz (1922-2000), the American cartoonist, known for the comic strip Peanuts: “Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’”

December 9 – The English poet, painter and printmaker, William Blake (1757-1827), makes us stop and reflect upon these words this week: “Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.”

December 1-2 – The eceee is putting a major effort on the issue of sufficiency and it is good to see its new website. The German statistician and economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher, who wrote Small is Beautiful, provides us with an important thought for this week that is appropriate for this activity: “Anyone who thinks consumption can expand forever on a finite planet is either insane or an economist.”

November 25 – From the man who taught us small is beautiful, the German statistician and economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher provides us with an important thought for this week: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”

November 18 – Did you ever feel this way? Noam Chomsky, the American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, political activist, and social critic. provides us with an interesting thought this week: “Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.”

November 11 – Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was an English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. During the Crimean War she organised care for wounded soldiers, including my great-grandfather. She provides an important thought for all of us this week: “Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.”

November 4 – Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (1925-2015), an American professional baseball catcher, provides us with a smile and an important thought this week that should make us pause as we reflect on the low-carbon energy transition: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

October 28 – Thoughtful words for this week come from Canada’s 15th Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000): “The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness.”

October 21 – The German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), provides an important thought for all of us this week: “In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today or you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow.”

October 14 – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), an American political figure, diplomat and activist (President Harry S. Truman called her the “First Lady of the World” in tribute to her human rights achievements), gives us much to think about this week: “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes . . . and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

October 7 – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, also known simply as Seneca, the Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman and dramatis tries to point us in the right direction this week: “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.”

September 30 – Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961), the Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations gives us some important advice as we develop the path for our low-carbon energy transition: “Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.”

September 23 – John Cage, the American composer (1912-1992) gives us much to think about this week: “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

September 16 – Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet, a French political economist and diplomat who was one of the founding fathers of the European Union, certainly gives us much to consider this week: “People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognise necessity when a crisis is upon them.”

September 9 – You will smile reading the words of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), the Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language (and, no, it has nothing to do with the infamous poker): “If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.”

Sept 2 – Aretha Louise Franklin (1942 –2018) the unforgettable American singer, songwriter, and pianist who was known as the Queen of Soul, gives us some important words to reflect on this week: “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.”

August 26 – Kofi Annan (1938-2018), the Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, provides some important thoughts for us this week: “On climate change, we often don’t fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen.”

August 19 – Marvin Minsky, the American cognitive scientist concerned largely with research of artificial intelligence and author (1927-2016) provides us with an important message this week: “What magical trick makes us intelligent? The trick is that there is no trick. The power of intelligence stems from our vast diversity, not from any single, perfect principle.”

August 12 – Søren Kierkegaard, the 19th century Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher, provides us much to reflect on this summer: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

August 5 – George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, critic, polemicist, and political activist gives us some important words of wisdom this week: “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”

July 29 – The Russian writer, Count Lyov Nikolayevich Tolstoy, usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, provides some important words of wisdom this week: “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”

July 22 – Take a few moments to reflect on the words of George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, critic, polemicist, and political activist: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

July 15 – Please give some thought this week to the words of Albert Camus, the French philosopher, author, and journalist (1913-1960): “Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”

July 8 – While our thoughts turn to summer, it is important for us to remember the words of Françoise Sagan, the French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter (1935-2004): “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”.

July 1 – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the 18th century French philosopher and author, provides us with much to think about this week: “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”

June 25 – The 14th and current Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, gives us much to reflect upon this week: “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”

June 17 – This week, reflect on the words of John F. Kennedy, the late US president: “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

June 10 – Carveth Read (1848–1931), a 19th and 20th century British philosopher and logician, gives us some wise words this week: “It is better to be vaguely right than exactly wrong.”

June 3 – Pablo Picasso, the Spanish painter and sculptor, gives us much to smile about this week: “The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”

May 27 – Orson Welles, the American actor, director, writer, and producer gives us something to smile about this week: “Living in the lap of luxury isn’t bad except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up.”

May 20 – Pablo Picasso, the Spanish painter and sculptor, gives us some words to inspire us: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

May 13 – As we will soon set long-term energy transition targets in Europe, don’t forget the words of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, better known as Michelangelo, the Renaissance Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aims too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

May 6 – With urban issues dominating this week’s energy transition posts, it is good to go to Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), the American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist who influenced urban studies, sociology and economics, to provide us some words of wisdom this week: “Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning. But the destructive effect of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building.”

April 29 – Wolfgang Pauli, the Austrian-born Swiss and American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate (having been nominated by Albert Einstein) gives us much to reflect on this week: “I don’t mind that you think slowly but I do mind that you are publishing faster than you think.”

April 22 – Martin Luther King Jr., the late American social activist and Baptist minister, provides us with more thoughts for us to reflect upon this week: “When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.”

April 15 – The two co-presidents of the Club of Rome, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Anders Wijkman provide a wake-up call for all of us this week from their recent book (see first post below): “C’mon! Don’t Tell Me the Current Trends Are Sustainable!”

April 8 – Martin Luther King Jr., the American social activist and Baptist minister who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968, provides us with much to think about this week: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

April 1 – Take a few moments this week to reflect on the words of Constantin Brancusi, the Romanian sculptor (1876-1957): “Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them.”

March 25 – The late Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, gives us much to think about this week: “The next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”

March 18 – This week we can take inspiration from Stephen Hawking, the English theoretical physicist and cosmologist who died this week: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

March 11 – The late US President John Kennedy provided these important words to the Yale graduating class in 1962: “… the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought…”

March 4 – Ansel Adams, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century who was considered a visionary in his efforts to preserve America’s wild and scenic areas, gives us much to think about this week: “Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.”

February 25 – This week’s thought comes from Henry Moore, the 20th century English artist and sculptor: “The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.”

February 18 – Charles Darwin, the 19th century naturalist and author, gives us much to think about this week: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

February 11 – Returning to the wisdom of the American boxer, Muhammad Ali, reflects on these words this week: “ Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

February 4 – One of the 19th century’s most famous writers, Victor Hugo, gives us much to think about this week: “How sad to think that nature speaks and mankind will not listen.”

January 28 – Continuing with wise words from former boxers, Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), the American professional boxer and activist, gives us much to think about this week: “ It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

January 21 – No doubt you will smile when you read these words from Mike Tyson, the American former professional boxer: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

January 14 – This week, take a few moments to reflect on the words of Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

January 7 – In this first week of 2018, reflect on the words of the poet T.S. Eliot: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

January 1, 2018 – Start the year reflecting on the words of the Turkish playwright and novelist, Mehmet Murat ildan:  “What do you need in the New Year? You need a dream; your dream needs an action; and your action needs right thinking! Without right thinking, you can have only unrealised dreams!”

2017 ↓

December 17 – Carl Sagan, the 20th century American scientist and science communicator, provides us some wise thoughts this week:  “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.” Since EiD won’t be back for a couple of weeks, remember that Sagan also said: “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

December 10 – This week, please keep in mind the words of the writer and cartoonist James Thurber who was considered one of the foremost American humourists of the 20th century: “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”

December 3 – Will Durant, the American historian and philosopher, provides a valuable message to all of us this week: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

November 26 – The late Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Bird, gives us much to reflect on this week: “We have probed the earth, excavated it, burned it, ripped things from it, buried things in it, chopped down its forests, levelled its hills, muddied its waters, and dirtied its air. That does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here on a month-to-month basis, we would have been evicted long ago.”

November 19 – The 20th century American journalist, editor, and writer, Brenda Ueland, provides some important words for us to focus on this week: “Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.”

November 12 – The playwright and “one of the twentieth century’s major poets,” T. S. Eliot gives us much to think about this week: “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”

November 5 – The 19th century English philosopher, John Stuart Mill, brings us some wise words to remember throughout the week: “In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.”

October 29 – A famous “tip” written by Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist, to a messenger at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in 1922, was sold this week for a record price. The value, however, is in the message: “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.”

October 22 – Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General, provides some important thoughts for us this week: “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”

October 15 – William Arthur Ward, the 20th century American college administrator and writer, gives us much to think about this week: “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticise me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”

October 8 – The English writer H.G. Wells, the “father of science fiction,” who brought us works such as Jules Verne and The Time Machine, provides us with an important message to reflect on this week: “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”

October 1 – General Melchett, from Blackadder, voted the second-best British sitcom of all time, provides something for you to ponder this week: “If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through!”

September 24 – Lord Chesterfield, the 18th century statesman and writer, gives us some good advice for this week: “Learning is acquired by reading books; but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading man, and studying all the various editions of them.”

September 17 – Take a few moments this week to reflect on the words of John Stuart Mill, the 19th century English philosopher: “The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors.”

September 10 – Once more the 17th century English philosopher, John Locke, provides important words for us this week: “The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.”

September 3 – Take a few minutes this week to think about this saying from the 17th century English philosopher, John Locke: “New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”

August 27 – The American writer, Samuel Langhome Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, reminds us that: “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” He is also well known for having said: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

August 20 – John Lubbock, the 19th century British statesman, gives us some inspiring words as you enjoy summer: “Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”

August 13 – As you enjoy these “sultry” summer days, ponder the words of the 19th century British statesman, John Lubbock: “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, the whir of the projector or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

August 6 – As you relax this summer to get your thoughts together, remember the words of Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

July 30 – As you continue your summer reading, remember the words of the Czech-born British playwright, Tom Stoppard: “I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”

July 23 – The Roman politician and lawyer Cicero gives us some valuable words to think about this week: “It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.”

July 16 – With our thoughts turning to summer and holiday, it is a good opportunity to take stock.  The American writer, Richard Bach, who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, provides some important questions for you to reflect on this week: “The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.”

July 9 – You should take a few moments this week to reflect on the words of Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, the German writer and statesman: “Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.”

July 2 – Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, the German writer and statesman provides words we should all reflect on this week: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

June 25 – The French writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre gives us much to ponder about this week: “Life has no meaning a priori. … It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.”

June 18 – As we try to get our messages across to wider audiences, remember the words of the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats: “ Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”

June 11 – Whether you are finishing a new report or preparing a presentation, remember the words of one of EiD’s favourite composers, Stephen Sondheim: “If people have split views about your work, I think it’s flattering. I’d rather have them feel something about it than dismiss it.”

June 4 – This week try to remember the words of the musician Bono: “The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.”

May 28 – The philosopherBertrand Russellonce again gives us much to think about this week: “It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.”

May 21 – As you enjoy the spring flowers, remember the words of the philosopher Bertrand Russell: “I’ve made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I’m convinced of the opposite.”

May 14 – As you go through the week, remember the words of the American novelist, Thomas Berger: “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”

May 7 – As you reflect on the vision that is needed for our sustainable energy future, remember the words of Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist: “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.”

April 30 – The Chinese philosopher Confucius gives us an important message for us to reflect on this week: “ By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

April 23 – Take a few moments this week to reflect on the words of Richard Feynman, the 20th century American theoretical physicist: “ I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

April 16 – Being a holiday weekend for many of us, remember the Spanish proverb: “How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.”

April 9 – Particularly for those involved in the approval process of the European Commission’s clean energy package, reflect on the words of the 19th century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche  “The future influences the present just as much as the past.”

April 2 – René Descartes, the French philosopher and mathematician, gives all of us something to think about this week: “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

March 26 – In a week where we have both felt the pain of another terrorist attack on a European city while we also celebrated the 60th anniversary of the European Union, it is important to remember the words of Albert Einstein, the physicist and Nobel laureate: “The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.”

March 19 – Whatever you plan to do this week, please think about the words of Theodor Seuss Geisel, the American author and illustrator who wrote under the name Dr. Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

March 12 – As we work towards improving our sustainable energy policy framework, remember the words of Amory Lovins, the American physicist, environmental scientist and Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute: “If you ask the wrong question, of course, you get the wrong answer. We find in design it’s much more important and difficult to ask the right question. Once you do that, the right answer becomes obvious.”

March 5 – As you start the week, think about the words from the palaeontologist and biologist Stephen Jay Gould(1941-2002): “ The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best – and therefore never scrutinize or question.”

Feb 26 – Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish author of Don Quixote, provides an important message too all of us as we reflect on fake news and alternative facts: “ Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as does oil above water.”

Feb 19 – Take a moment to reflect on the words of Plato, the philosopher in Classical Greece: “Never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”

Feb 12 – As we are bombarded with fake news and alternative facts, reflect on the words of the Russian poet and novelist, Boris Pasternak: “What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth.”

Feb 5 – With all the talk about fake news and alternative facts, remember the words of the 19thcentury German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche: “All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”

Jan 29 – Throughout this week, give some thought to the words of the American novelist Edith Wharton: “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

Jan 22 – In this momentous week inaugurating a new US president, reflect on the wise words of a past president, Abraham Lincoln: “ Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Jan 15 – As you make your plans for 2017, please remember the words of Samuel Johnson, the 18th century lexicographer: “What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”

Jan 8 – As you prepare for this year, remember the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the 19th century American poet: “It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.”

Jan 1 – As you bring in the new year, please reflect on the words of the philosopher Aristotle: “We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.”

2016 ↓

Dec 18 – As we prepare for the new year, reflect on the words of the recent Nobel prize winner, Bob Dylan: “You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future.”

Dec 11 – John Stuart Mill, the 19th century English philosopher and political economist, gives us something to think about this week: “The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors.”

Dec 4 – This week, Ann Patchett, the American novelist, gives us something to reflect on: “The question is whether or not you choose to disturb the world around you, or if you choose to let it go on as if you had never arrived.”

Nov 27 – This week, please think about the words of Charles Schulz, the American cartoonist who created the comic strip Peanuts,: “Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.”

Nov 20 – This week, reflect on the words of Henry David Thoreau, the American naturalist and author: “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

Nov 13 – As our thoughts turn to the wonderful songs and poems of the Canadian Leonard Cohen who recently died, remember these words from him: “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

Nov 6 – As we develop our plans to achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement, remember the words of Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist: “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

Oct 30 – With Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel prize for literature, reflect this week on these words from him: “When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it – don’t back down and don’t give up – then you’re going to mystify a lot of folks.”

Oct 23 – As you start the week, reflect on the quote by the Canadian novelist, Margaret Atwood: “If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.”

Oct 16 – This week reflect on the words of the American writer, Samuel Langhome Clemens, better known as Mark Twain: “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

Oct 9 – This week, remember the words of George Lorimer, the late American editor of the Saturday Evening Post: “ It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”

Oct 2 – Remember the words of the French sculpture Auguste Rodin: “ Patience is also a form of action.”

Sept 25 – When you are giving some thought to sustainable energy policies this week, remember the words of John Neal, the 19th century American writer and arts/literary critic: “A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.”

Sept 18 – EiD leaves you with a quote to reflect on from the British “Yes, Prime Minister”series from the 1980s that is so well known globally: “Computer models are no different from fashion models: seductive, unreliable, easily corrupted, and they lead sensible people to make fools of themselves.”

Sept 11 – As we think about what the low-carbon energy transition actually means to each of us, reflect on the words of John Cage, the American avant-garde composer: “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

Sept 4 – As we work on new policies and programmes related to sustainable energy, remember the words of Jonathan Porritt, the eminent British writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development: “ Any regeneration project that fails to put environmental and social benefits at its very heart is unlikely to achieve anything more than a very short-lived spasm of spurious prosperity.”

August 28 – There is an important message to all of us in the quote from Donella Meadows, environmental scientist, teacher and lead author of the influential book The Limits to Growth: “The scarcest resource is not oil, metals, clean air, capital, labour, or technology. It is our willingness to listen to each other and learn from each other and to seek the truth rather than seek to be right.”

August 21 – As you figure out your role in ensuring we have a sustainable energy future, reflect on this Kenyan proverb: “If there are to be problems, may they come during my life-time so that I can resolve them and give my children the chance of a good life.”

August 14 – This week’s thought comes from Amory Lovins, the well-known American physicist, environmental scientist, writer, and Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute: “I once met an economist who believed that everything was fungible for money, so I suggested he enclose himself in a large bell-jar with as much money as he wanted and see how long he lasted.”

August 7 – Remember the words of Michel de Montaigne, one of the most influential philosophers of the French renaissance: “There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.”

July 31 – As you start thinking about your next project after your summer holidays, Karl Popper, the Austrian-British philosopher and professor provides an interesting thought: “We are social creatures to the inmost centre of our being. The notion that one can begin anything at all from scratch, free from the past, or unindebted to others, could not conceivably be more wrong.”

July 24 – During your summer moments, reflect on the words of the late Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president, Nobel laureate: “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”

July 17 – As you get in the full swing of summer (for our northern readers), remember the words of John Lubbock, the 19th century British banker, Liberal politician, philanthropist, scientist and polymath who wrote: “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

July 10 – As we focus on climate change and sustainable energy in our own countries and regions, please reflect on the words of Lord Stern, the British economist and academic and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics: “Climate change and global poverty are two sides of the same coin. Both challenges must be addressed together. If we fail on one, we will also fail on the other.”

July 3 – Daniel Kahneman, the Israeli-American psychologist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, as well as behavioural economics, provides us with a quote we should all reflect on: “We think, each of us, that we’re much more rational than we are. And we think that we make our decisions because we have good reasons to make them. Even when it’s the other way around. We believe in the reasons, because we’ve already made the decision.”

June 26 – As you focus on your next steps to promote sustainable energy, remember the words of the American writer, Richard Bach: “Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

June 19 – This week it is good to reflect on the words of the American science fiction author, Hal Clement: “ Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you’ve only founded a superstition. If you test it, you’ve started a science.”

June 12 – Following the quote last week from Muhammad Ali, there is another that you need to reflect upon this week:  “You lose nothing when fighting for a cause … In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.”

June 5 – It was sad to hear of the passing of Muhammad Ali this weekend. As you think of the challenges we face in addressing our energy and climate issues, reflect on his words: “ “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

May 29 – As you read this week’s posts, reflecting on the energy transition, remember these words from Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

May 22 – This week, reflect on the words of James Matthew Barrie, the Scottish novelist and creator of Peter Pan: “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

May 15 – As we address our climate and energy challenges, remember the words of the famous British statesman, Winston Churchill: “ One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.”

May 8 – Elon Musk, the businessman and CEO of Tesla Motors who is also heavily involved in improving energy storage reminds us of something we tend to forget: “ We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun. You don’t have to do anything, it just works. It shows up everyday.”

May 1 – Adelard of Bath, the 12th century English natural philosopher who is often considered England’s first scientist, is known both for his original works and for translating many important Greek and Arab scientific works of astrology, astronomy, philosophy and mathematics. He provides some important words of wisdom:  “The visible universe is subject to quantification, and is so by necessity. … Between you and me only reason will be the judge … since you proceed according to the rational method, so shall I. … I will also give reason and take it. …”

April 24 – And keeping on the theme of Shakespeare, keep this quote in mind as you reflect on the energy transition: “ It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

April 17 – There is definitely one post this week that would probably say that the forecasts on energy demand have more than a decimal point problem. Reflect on these words from William Gilmore Simms, a 19th century US historian: “I believe that economists put decimal points in their forecasts to show that they have a sense of humour.”

April 10 – Recently President Barack Obamawas quoted in an article in The Atlantic magazine that we should all reflect on:  “As I survey the next 20 years, climate change worries me profoundly because of the effects that it has on all the other problems that we face,” he said. “If you start seeing more severe drought; more significant famine; more displacement from the Indian subcontinent and coastal regions in Africa and Asia; the continuing problems of scarcity, refugees, poverty, disease—this makes every other problem we’ve got worse. That’s above and beyond just the existential issues of a planet that starts getting into a bad feedback loop.”

April 3 – David Suzuki, the award-winning Canadian environmentalist and broadcaster provided very wise words about our environmental choices: “Imagine harnessing all the p ower of science and technology for the good of humanity. Imagine including environmental health as an indicator of economic well-being. Imagine the cost of polluting goods and services actually reflecting the damage they cause to human health and the environment. Imagine proactive environmental policies designed to prevent environmental damage from occurring in the first place, rather than simply trying to clean messes up later. All of this is possible, but only if we as individuals, as a society, and ultimately, as a species decide that this is what we want.”

March 27 – In Berlin last September 9th, former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan had this important message for all of us: “In fact, climate change represents an unprecedented opportunity for governments, investors, firms and citizens to work together to develop and deploy the low-carbon technologies, which can drive sustainable growth. …We have no excuse: we must seize this moment to change the way we produce and consume energy, while we still have time. As a global community we have the technology, finance and ingenuity to embark on a low carbon transition.”

March 20 – When we reflect on what is happening in Germany, most EiD readers will think of energiewende, the energy transition.  Asked once on TV what the word “Germany” inspired in her, German Chancellor Angela Merkel replied: “Pretty, airtight windows.”

March 13 – There is a need for all of us to raise our voice to promote sustainable energy.  EiDis reminded of a quote from the famous composer, Igor Stravinsky: “Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.”

March 6 – Recently, Professor Phil Jones of Cardiff University spoke at a Europe-wide conference at Brunel University on energy efficiency. In reflecting on the upcoming referendum in the UK, Prof Jones gave his views on the importance of EU energy and climate policies: “If Britain exits from the EU I’m sure that it will affect our energy policy. I think that if we don’t have to comply with European directives then we will slip behind. I think we need to be part of the European Union to really push the low carbon agenda forward.”

Feb 28 – The new executive director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said at a Council of Foreign Relations event in December that his ambition is for the IEA to become a global reserve of knowledge on energy efficiency: “I would like IEA to be the international hub for clean energy technologies … the central bank of energy efficiency… where we can transform the energy efficiency policies and give (them) to the other countries,” he said, adding that reserves of fuels are less important than a central reserve of policy and knowledge on energy efficiency. Let’s hope the central bank idea gains some currency.

Feb 21 – Please reflect on the words of Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President, European Commission, during a speech recently at the International Energy Agency: “If we want this fundamental energy transition to be successful, it has to be socially fair and consumer-centred. European citizens and consumers should take ownership of this transition, and become more active players in the market. From a consumers’ perspective, energy markets are still not performing as they should.”

Feb 14 – In July 2012, former US president Bill Clinton spoke at the London School of Economics. This quote from that event should inspire all of us:  “My strategy on [engaging deniers] is very simple. Some people who are climate sceptics are climate sceptics because it’s in their interest to be. They just want to preserve the old energy economy, and there’s not much I can do about that. But what I am trying to do, literally all the time, is to prove that saving the planet is better economics than burning it up. Not 10 or 20 or 50 years from now — [but] now.”

Feb 7 – Having attended a workshop on cities this week, the quote from Konrad Adenauer, the former Chancellor of Germany, gives us something to think about: “When the world seems large and complex, we need to remember that great world ideals all begin in some home neighbourhood.”

Jan 31 – As we work out the solutions to promote sustainable energy, remember the words of R. Buckminster Fuller, the American architect, systems theorist, author, designer and inventor: “There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance.”

Jan 24 – This week, reflect on the words of Jimmy Carter, President in the United States when we were facing the oil crises of the 1970s: “We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.”

Jan 17 – In this week of the State of the Union address, we could recall the 26thPresident of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt: “To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”

Jan 10 – Please reflect on the recent quote from Lord Nicholas Stern in his foreword to 2015 Joint Research Centre study Securing Energy Efficiency to Secure the Energy Union: “If we rise to the challenge of the low-carbon transition firmly and creatively, we can create a future for Europe and beyond which is much more attractive, productive and dynamic than the out-of-date and destructive energy use and sources that we will leave behind.”

Jan 3 – The British poet T. S. Eliot provides some wise words as we begin 2016: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

2015 ↓

Dec 20 – As we count down to the end of 2015, please reflect on what the anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote:  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Dec 13 – As you reflect on the past two weeks, remember the words of the American historian and philosopher Will Durant: “It came to me that reform should begin at home, and since that day I have not had time to remake the world.” Our homes and our neighbourhoods are important. Please find time to do something that makes a difference.

Dec 6 – Please reflect on the following quote as the second week of the Paris climate change summit begins. The quote comes from Alanis Obomsawin, the North American filmmaker of Abenaki descent: “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.”

Nov 29 – The quote this week comes from the late Maurice Strong, the Canadian climate and development pioneer, who passed away this week. Mr Strong was Secretary-General of the UN conferences on sustainable development at Stockholm (1972) and at Rio (1992) and the first head of the UN Environment Programme. In his speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2014, he reflected on the challenges at COP21 in Paris: “The roadmap that started in Stockholm, continued in Rio and Johannesburg and in Rio-20 must now become a reality. Our essential unity as peoples of the Earth must transcend the differences and difficulties which still divide us. You are called upon to rise to your historic responsibility as custodians of the planet in taking the decisions in the next year that will unite rich and poor, North, South, East and West, in a new global partnership to ensure our common future I ask you to work together to make it such for your time has come to make those changes.”

Nov 22 – This week’s quote comes from the management consultant Robert M. Lilienfeld and the late archaeologist William L. Rathje: “Myth: we have to save the earth. Frankly, the earth doesn’t need to be saved. Nature doesn’t give a hoot if human beings are here or not. The planet has survived cataclysmic and catastrophic changes for millions upon millions of years. Over that time, it is widely believed, 99 percent of all species have come and gone while the planet has remained. Saving the environment is really about saving our environment — making it safe for ourselves, our children, and the world as we know it. If more people saw the issue as one of saving themselves, we would probably see increased motivation and commitment to actually do so.”

Nov 15 – The Argentinian poet Antonio Porchia provides this week’s quote: “I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.”

Nov 8 – Here is a thought for the week from Rose Bird, former Chief Justice of California Supreme Court that you should enjoy:  “We have probed the earth, excavated it, burned it, ripped things from it, buried things in it, chopped down its forests, levelled its hills, muddied its waters, and dirtied its air. That does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here on a month-to-month basis, we would have been evicted long ago.”