Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most important pieces of environmental literature ever made. The Lorax.
Some folks give that designation to Silent Spring, A Sand County Almanac or even The Monkey Wrench Gang. As a young aspiring scientist I was fascinated by the effects of DDT on the raptor population. I spent my 25th birthday on a backpacking pilgrimage to the Aldo Leopold Wilderness letting my imagination run wild. I have even, um…been influenced by old Hayduke in many ways. But few printed words have stuck with like the rhymes from this old children’s book.
I have witnessed beatle infestations and wildfires of the west decimating tree populations. I have pedaled through the clear cuts of the Pacific Northwest. I have seen Saguaro cactus buldozed to make way for a wall on an imaginary line. I’ve stood on the smoke filled streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia hundreds of miles away from Sumatra, where forests were being burned to the ground to make room for coconut plantations. Each time I experience one of these tradgedies I don’t think of Rachel, Aldo or Ed. I think of what the Lorax would say.
“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues”
This is not just a quote froma fictional cartoon animal. It is a call to arms. To speak for those with no voice. Plant, insect, animal and person. We are all neighbors and it has never been more important to look out for each other than right now.
Parents, read this to your children. Children, read this to you parents. Over and over again until it sinks in.by
A great reminder, thanks!
I admit, I find it very hard these days to be optimistic about humans doing anything slightly uncomfortable to benefit the planet. I see people sitting in their idling cars, windows up, AC on full blast…while they wait for industrial raised fast food. (while I ride my bike around the city.) I see students at an elite “green” university all individually drive to campus EVERY DAY. If you have a good arm, you could throw a baseball and it would land on campus…
And now everyone thinks if they buy a Tesla, they’ve done their part. Too fucking bad most Tesla owners probably fly on vacations 4-6 times a year.
And everyday on my pedal to my office, I pass an open air dump where the local drunks drink all day, litter all day. UGH.
Probably the most depressing thing about growing up – I’ve come to realize the assholes I knew as a kid don’t grow up to be adults, they just grow into older assholes.
I have to say that I am somewhat comforted by the level of activism among the younger demographics, like Extinction Rebellion. I am of the generation that gave the world punk rock and made mainstream hits out of comedy films like Animal House and Caddyshack but then elected the likes of Doug Niedermeyer and Judge Smails to run the foreign and domestic policies of the United States. So, I like to think that if enough of us can help limit the damage as our generation dies off, then we will have performed a valuable service in rearguard action.
Whole hectares of forests are cut down every year. It is very sad and the worst part is that there is not much we can do about it. This is the business of the richest who find it hard to get in the way.