Recently, it was announced that in spring of 2012 movie going audiences the world over will be introduced, or rather re-introduced, to a classic story by Dr. Seuss: the Lorax. The Lorax is basically an environmentally minded fable that was years ahead of its time in terms of awakening public consciousness about environmental issues.
Published in 1971, the children’s book tells the tale of a mythical creature, the Lorax, who is trying to save trees from destruction. The villain, the Once-ler, is intent on chopping down the trees to make sweaters, and throughout the book expands this industry, which destroys huge forests and pollutes the oceans. The end of the book portrays the world as an ecological dystropia.
Pro-logging groups detested the book and even came up with their own book, the “Truax” which attempted to justify the logging industry.
However, the Lorax was more than a book about the bad effects of unrestrained logging, but rather about environmentalism and pollution, in addition to corporate responsibility.
Decades after the story of the Lorax was published, politicians and big business continue to put aside protecting the environment and developing green sources of energy such as solar power. President Obama recently reiterated that the United States will need oil for a long time. However, the energy crisis has been a long time in the making and the warning signs appeared decades ago.
Even though the United States experienced the gas crisis in the 1970s under President Carter, our short national attention span hindered the development of technology which could mitigate such a future crisis from happening again.
In fact, a sort of extreme pragmatism had gripped Washington before the BP oil spill. The thinking was, and perhaps still is, that the United States will need a lot of oil for not only the short term future, but also for decades into the future. Despite the risks posed by off shore drilling and the pollution and emissions produced by internal combustion engines, it has almost become accepted as a necessary evil. However, now that the BP oil spill is threatening to destroy thousands of square miles of delicate ecosystems, the price seems to be higher than anybody had expected, or wanted to believe.
If only there was a “Lorax” who could have spoken for the wetlands and fish and lobbied against big oil’s huge political weight and massive lobbying organization. One wonders how the Lorax will be received in 2012 when it premieres in 3D.
Will Americans still be dealing with the BP oil spill in 2012? Quite possibly yes. (Hopefully it won’t mirror the apocalyptic version of humanity rendered in the film 2012, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2287669/2012_movie_trailer_online_but_will.html?cat=40) 2012 might be a year when Americans can relate to the message of the Lorax more than any other time in history.