A Nation That Destroys Its Environment Destroys Itself

Words of wisdom from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people."

A Nation That Destroys Its Environment Destroys Itself

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) was the 32nd president of the United States and longest-serving president, serving from 1933 until his death in 1945. He was president throughout much of the Great Depression of the 1930s and the United States' involvement in World War II during the 1940s. He is also well-known for the New Deal, a set of programs for relief, recovery, and reform that expanded the U.S. government's role in managing the economy.


Most people remember FDR's cousin Theodore as the conservationist President Roosevelt, though that doesn't mean Franklin didn't prioritize America's environment and frontier. Here are today's words of wisdom:

"A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people."


What is the EPA currently doing to build support for environmental awareness? Who better to tell us than its chief, Gina McCarthy:

An artist's depiction of Lola.

Tom Björklund
Surprising Science
  • Researchers recently uncovered a piece of chewed-on birch pitch in an archaeological dig in Denmark.
  • Conducting a genetic analysis of the material left in the birch pitch offered a plethora of insights into the individual who last chewed it.
  • The gum-chewer has been dubbed Lola. She lived 5,700 years ago; and she had dark skin, dark hair, and blue eyes.
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Why the U.S. and Belgium are culture buddies

The Inglehart-Welzel World Cultural map replaces geographic accuracy with closeness in terms of values.

According to the latest version of the Inglehart-Welzel World Cultural Map, Belgium and the United States are now each other's closest neighbors in terms of cultural values.

Credit: World Values Survey, public domain.
Strange Maps
  • This map replaces geography with another type of closeness: cultural values.
  • Although the groups it depicts have familiar names, their shapes are not.
  • The map makes for strange bedfellows: Brazil next to South Africa and Belgium neighboring the U.S.
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Mammals dream about the world they will enter even before birth

A study finds that baby mammals dream about the world they are about to experience to prepare their senses.

Neonatal waves.

Michael C. Crair et al, Science, 2021.
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find that babies of mammals dream about the world they are entering.
  • The study focused on neonatal waves in mice before they first opened their eyes.
  • Scientists believe human babies also prime their visual motion detection before birth.
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