Environmental Art Review – “The Lorax”

One of my favorite books and movies as a child was “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss. This story talks about a man named the Once-ler who stumbles upon open land filled with many beautiful Truffula trees and various kinds of animals. He cut down one tree and created something called a “thneed”, which is essentially a piece of cloth with many purposes. The Lorax is a creature that lives in the land and “…speaks for the trees” as he famously states. The Lorax warns the Once-ler about his actions, but he does not listen. The Once-ler creates a large factory on the land, which eventually cuts down all the trees and causes all the animals to leave. This book does such a good job of simplifying the very real notion of industrialization and consumerism so that children can understand and relate it to their own cities and towns. I believe that it is extremely important for kids to grasp the idea that the Earth is not an unlimited playground of resources and that our actions have consequences. Relating to the Bali Climate Change Principles, this story also touches on biodiversity and how changes in the environment can lead to a drastic and disheartening alteration in life. The book notifies people of what can go wrong if something isn’t done right away, similar to principle #16 that calls for the prevention of the extinction of biodiversity and culture. Additionally, the way that the book ends is very inspiring, especially to younger audiences who can see themselves in the character of the little boy Ted, who is given the last Truffula tree seed to plant and start a new forest. As principle #23 declares, the youth are equal partners in environmental movements against climate change and all kids should know that they can make a difference, despite their small size. I would definitely recommend this story/movie, if anyone has not read/seen it already, to people of all ages looking for an easy and light-hearted read on a modern environmental issue.

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