Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium Quotes.

1. "If we go far enough back, any two people on Earth have a common ancestor."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

2. "If we are not graced with an instinctive knowledge of how to make our technologized world a safe and balanced ecosystem, we must figure out how to do it. We need more scientific research and more technological restraint. It is probably too much to hope that some great Ecosystem Keeper in the sky will reach down and put right our environmental abuses. It is up to us. It should not be impossibly difficult. Birds—whose intelligence we tend to malign—know not to foul the nest. Shrimps with brains the size of lint particles know it. Algae know it. One-celled microorganisms know it. It is time for us to know it too."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

3. "Dear Friend, Just a line to show that I am alive & kicking and going grand. It’s a treat."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

4. "I’m told that Sherlock Holmes never said, Elementary, my dear Watson (at least in the Arthur Conan Doyle books) Jimmy Cagney never said, You dirty rat; and Humphrey Bogart never said, Play it again, Sam. But they might as well have, because these apocrypha have firmly insinuated themselves into popular culture."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

5. "It’s hard to talk about the Cosmos without using big numbers. I said billion many times on the Cosmos television series, which was seen by a great many people. But I never said billions and billions. For one thing, it’s too imprecise. How many billions are billions and billions? A few billion? Twenty billion? A hundred billion? Billions and billions is pretty vague. When we reconfigured and updated the series, I checked—and sure enough, I never said it."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

6. "In little countries and big countries, capitalist countries and communist countries, Catholic countries and Moslem countries, Western countries and Eastern countries—in almost all these cases, exponential population growth slows down or stops when grinding poverty disappears. This is called the demographic transition. It is in the urgent long-term interest of the human species that every place on Earth achieves this demographic transition. This is why helping other countries to become self-sufficient is not only elementary human decency, but is also in the self-interest of those richer nations able to help."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

7. "One of the central issues in the world population crisis is poverty."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

8. "Thomas Jefferson taught that a democracy was impractical unless the people were educated."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

9. "It’s hard to imagine an American sports team named the Diarrheas (Gimme a ‘D’ …)."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

10. "But you reassure yourself that at least here they are safe from baleen whales and oil slicks and cocktail sauce."
- Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

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