Dr. Seuss’s Interpretation Of Environmental Issues In Lorax

Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” is a children’s book that was written in 1971. While it is a children’s book, it touches on very real and major environmental problems. The main idea proposes that industrialization among other things have caused many issues in the environment. Issues such as air pollution, oil spills, and loss of animal habitats by pollutants and deforestation. All these factors create a decline in the overall world’s health.

Air Pollution is when an assortment of gases and particles are released into the air and pollutes the oxygen that organisms inhale. This is referenced in The Lorax when describes “smog.” This was represented by the Once-ler’s factory that produced toxins into the air. This is a real issue on Earth as there are many industries that are constantly running and pumping gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulfur, and many others. These gases are also referred to as greenhouse gases. A lot of these gases are produced by burning coal and during the Industrial revolution in 1890’s. This was the primary source of energy. This energy is used to create materials, build structures, and for electricity. Industries are also using oil as another source of energy. The problem with coal and oil is that they are fossil fuels and are non-renewable. Non-renewable fossil fuels are those that are limited and come from the Earth. When burned these fuels create the fumes that contribute to air pollution. How does this affect humans? Why is this a big deal? Most organisms rely on oxygen to breathe. When the air is polluted that means the oxygen is polluted and this causes many health problems such as lung damage, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular illness, and even heart failure. Industries can try to fix this problem by resorting to greener energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines. They can also take a bigger look at their order of operations and take note as to what process could use less energy or things that could be cut completely. With today’s technology and advancements more and more industries are saving energy and creating less pollution, however, contaminants are still entering the air at excelling rates. Air is not the only thing that is getting polluted; oil spills are contaminating water sources.

Oil spills happen when oil tanks leak oil into the oceans and other bodies of water. Other ways that oil is released into water is from leaks in older cars, people who dispose of motor oil incorrectly, runoff from boats, and by companies like Exxon Shipping who have major accidents during transportation like the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Oil spills completely pollute bodies of water and Dr. Seuss illustrates this when he mentions Gluppity-Glupp and Schloppity-Schlopp entering a nearby pond, thus poisoning it. Also, that used oil from the Once-ler’s factory causes more harm because it is secondhand and more toxic, much like the used car oil that ignorant people poor down their drains. These oil spills damage the water for drinking, but most importantly cause damage to many organisms and their homes.

When toxins fill the air, oils fill the oceans, and forests are chopped down, it creates an environment that is not suitable for life. Dr. Seuss demonstrates this by mentioning how all the Brown Bar-ba-loots, Swomee-Swans, and Humming fish must leave because their homes are being corrupted by environmental harm. This can be done by the previously mentioned pollutants, and also from deforestation. Deforestation is the removal of forests for reasons such as for farming, land for buildings, and for materials like in The Lorax. While these are somewhat beneficial for humans, it is very unbeneficial to plants and animals. Air pollution causes some animals to have to migrate to better oxygenated places. Oil spills cause marine life to die because they don’t have anywhere to go. Deforestation cause loss in wildlife and sometimes even extinction.

All these environmental issues are incredibly devastating to our Earth. If things do not change and change soon, then our entire world could end in shambles. Dr. Seuss does a great job of turning a serious issue into a simple and easy to interpret fashion. He hints at topics such as air pollution, oil spills, and loss of habitats because of contaminants and deforestation. Air pollution floods our ozone with harmful toxins that contaminate our oxygen and cause many health problems among people. Oil spills infect bodies of water that in turn poisons drinking water and kills marine life. These pollutants and deforestation cause major losses in the ecosystem and can lead to elimination of species. It is important that people start to put an end to all these issues and correct the damage that has been done. These problems will only get worse unless the damages are corrected, and that starts with ourselves. 

16 December 2021
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