Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day, Dr. Seuss Style

As many of you know, I'm reading a list of 50 books that have been banned for political, religious, or ridiculous reasons over time. Books like Forever, by Judy Blume (my review) because they detailed a girl's decision about whether or not to become sexually active, or The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, which is about a battle between God and Satan through two men (my review).

Well, I just recently read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, which was banned because it's an allegory for poor treatment of Earth and loggers in California didn't like that so much. It's a story about the greedy Onceler who comes to the Lorax's territory and begins cutting down truffula trees, using the tops to make "thneeds" out of them, something *everyone* needs. He goes out of control, cutting down all the trees, polluting the air, and destroying the habitats of various types of fantastical creatures. The Lorax tries to warn him that he's hurting everyone numerous times, but the Onceler goes right on with his industry. Finally, the truffula trees are gone and everyone leaves, and all he's left with is a pile of rocks that say "Unless..."

Unless we do something. Yeah, this is an Earth Day post. I'm not a hippie-tree-hugger by any means, guys. I'm not going to move into a tree once I get to UC Berkeley. But I think that even when this book was published in 1971, Dr. Seuss brought up a good point. If we're not careful, we'll ruin this Earth for future generations. So, let's do our part. I'm not asking you to bomb a manufacturing plant (in fact, please don't do that), but let's use ceramic mugs instead of plastic cups for our coffee in the morning and carpool to work/school/the movies. I'm not saying that we should ban cars or wear only hemp or whatever. I don't know how much I believe in global warming (I'm not a scientist, I can't look at those figures for myself and draw my own conclusions), but I know for sure that the coral reefs off the coast of Australia are dying, and I know for sure that we're deforesting the Amazon at an alarming rate, and those are beautiful creatures, God's creatures, that need a place to live too.

Think about that today. When our kids are born, and their kids, I want the world to be just as beautiful as it is today, if not more so. I don't want it to look dark and sad like it does where the Onceler lives.

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