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The Lorax and Sustainable Development

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0
The Lorax
Credit: http://www.greenprophet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/The-Lorax-Movie.jpg

The Lorax

Dr. Seuss's The Lorax is a story of greed, arrogance and enviromental awareness.  It's about the Once-ler, a man who begins to cut down trees to create thneeds, pieces of cloth that serve many purposes.  The Once-ler goes to a forest to get the resourse required to make these thneeds: Trufula Trees.  He chops one down, inadvertantly summoning The Lorax, the guardian of the trees.  The Lorax tells the Once-ler not to cut down anymore trees, which he agrees to.  The agreement doesn't last long, as The Once-ler begins deforestation on a massive scale.  He only stops when the last tree was cut down, and he could make no more trees.  This story tells us alot about being enviromentally sustainable in real life.  It teaches us lessons about the enviroment, greed and sustainable development.

Production of thneeds caused a myriad of enviromental problems.  The most obvious issue that arises is the consumption of Trufula Trees.  The Once-ler needs these to make the thneeds, and thus cuts them all down.  This is the base problem, and all of the other enviromental effects are a result of the lack of trees.  In the movie, there was one species that depended on trees for their survival, and those were the barba-loots.  The Barba-loots depended on the trees for food, and now that they were gone, they had no food.  No more food, no more Barba-loots.  The other major thing that affected the enviroment was the thneed factory.  This building pumped smog into the the sky and pushed sludge into the water at ridiculous rates.  This caused both the birds and fish to leave, being unable to survive in their new hostile enviroment.  No more trees, no more animals, no more life.  There weren't even enough nutrients in the soil to support grass.  The Once-ler completely destroyed the land in a very short period of time.  

Greed played a huge role in both the production of thneeds and O'hare industries.  The Once-ler planned of cutting down a few trees to make a few thneeds.  That's all he needs, only a few thneeds.  But once the Once-ler started selling, he needed more and more and more.  Thneeds were the need, so one tree became two, and two became four.  When the money kept coming, he just wouldn't stop.  He got greedy, and the enviroment had to pay the price.  Another consequence of no trees was no clean air.  Now, people could have simply brought clean air from somewhere else and pumped it into the city.  Instead, they decided to monetize it, making people pay for a bottle of clean air.  Greed ruined many lives in the story, and is one of the key themes.

The message the movie is trying to get across is about sustainable development.  This is the Once-ler's biggest flaw.  Who cares if he cut down a few trees, as long as he planted a just as many, as he chopped down.  This would have been sustainable, and allowed the production of more thneeds, with less enviromental issues.  Simply planting a few trees would have solved everyone's problems.  This is Dr. Seuss's message.  Take action, and save the planet.  All you need to do is plant one tree.  Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not.

Unfortunately, the Lorax is not a completey fictional story.  Sure, the Lorax isn't real, neither is the Once-ler or thneeds.  But the story of someone destroying the enviroment for profit without caring for the consequences is very real.  Take, for example, the English first coming to North America.  They would kill buffalo for their tounges, and leave the rest of the body.  The aborigonal people would use every part of the animal, and ensure that nothing was wasted.  Once the English arrived, it didn't take long for the Buffalo to become an endangered species.  There are other examples of this aswell, as many forests are now gone due to greed and disregard for the future.  People must be more sustainable.

The Lorax  is a fictional story about a very real issue.  Dr. Seuss masterfully translates this story into something childern can understand, and the message is just as important to adults.  We must be more sustainable, and we must teach our children to be more sustainable.  Otherwise we will end up in a very dark future.  Unless we start caring, things will not get better.  The Lorax is a very important story that teaches us the dangers of greed, and the benefits of enviromental sustainablility.



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