I can’t overlook the classic Dr. Seuss book The Lorax. I first found this book long ago while sitting in a dentist’s office, waiting for my teeth to be cleaned. At the time, I remember liking the stories and the pictures of the Lorax, the fuzzy little creature who is the environment personified. Years later, when I had developed more of an environmental outlook, I re-discovered this book and found that it spoke to me on a new level.
The Lorax, if you have’t read it, is a classic Dr. Seuss book that tells the story of a man named the Once-ler coming to town. The Once-ler discovers that he can make garments from the Truffula Trees and sets about to building a massive industrial operation that clear cuts the forest where the Lorax lives. One by one, the Lorax must relocate each species of animal as pollution drives them away. In the end, the Once-ler cuts down the very last tree before he finally realizes what he has done. A single seed is salvaged, and the book ends in a spirit of hope – though the Lorax, who “speaks for the trees” has finally fled, he leaves behind a stump with the word “unless” carved into it.
The message is simple: unless we care for our environment, it will be gone. Unfortunately, there are many in our world today who are still learning this.