A Lesson We Can Learn From The Lorax (Again)

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss has been the go-to environmental book for kids since it's publication in 1971. With Earth Day just around the corner, The Lorax will be read in schools and homes throughout the U.S. this month.

Let's refresh the events of this cautionary tale: The Once-ler devised devious ways of cutting down Truffula trees for the "biggering and biggering" of his manufacturing operation. The smogulous smoke that spewed into the air from his Thneed factory made the Lorax "cough, whiff, sneeze, snuffle, snarggle, sniffle, and croak." The beautiful Swomee swans were no longer able to sing, so the Lorax sends the birds away to find cleaner air. The Once-ler "biggered" to the point where he poisoned the Lorax's eco-lovin’ life with polluted water, polluted air, and left him in a sunless panorama of Truffula stumps. Poor Lorax.

Where We Were Before the Clean Air Act, when air pollution plagued the world, the ramifications of acid rain and smog were a blip on the radar of most folks. When awareness kicked in, and the ecological science began to mount, it became a priority to legislate for clean air. At the time, environmentalism was mostly a non-partisan issue, paving the way for the Clean Air Act.

Where We Are The EPA statistics indicate that since the Clean Air Act, the US has decreased toxic fume emissions by 109 million tons, which has reduced pollution and improved the air quality 48 per cent. This week the Senate voted down several pro-pollution amendments that would have decimated the Clean Air Act and kept the EPA from protecting the quality of our air and water. This is great news!

UNLESS… Do you know there is a pro-polluter lobby? It is unfathomable to me that such a thing exists. Didn’t everyone grow up heeding the Lorax's message that we are all interconnected, and collectively we need to take responsibility for the health of our planet and its inhabitants?

The Moms Clean Air Force is not willing to hand over a world to our kids like the one the Lorax left behind. We can't forget the importance of reorienting environmental values away from pure economic and political points of view, and towards common sense science. We can not relent, because the Once-ler-type bully polluters are figuring out ways of "biggering" and continuing to blow their smogulous smoke at our kids.