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The Environmental Message of "How Bad Can I Be" - The Lorax

The Lorax How Bad Can I be environment trees

The Environmental Message of How Bad Can I Be - The Lorax

The 2012 rendition of The Lorax was a hit for children worldwide. It's based on the Dr. Seuss book that was written 50 years ago. Even though the crowd that the movie appeals to wasn't around when the book was written, the message couldn't be more relevant, even - and especially - in 2020. The movie's about a dystopia where the trees in Thneedville get cut down. The characters learn the importance of something we take for granted. The movie includes songs, one of which has been stuck in my head. No, it's not Let it Grow (but I plan to write an entire post about it in the near future, so follow our [FREE] mailing list to get notified upon its release); the song is How Bad Can I Be.


In the song, the Once-ler (Ed Helms) cuts down trees for profit, and he asks "How bad can this possibly be?" Throughout the song, his corporate desires grow and grow as he persuades himself he's doing nothing wrong. 
   
In reality, people can achieve success as they help the planet (no, not just Elon Musk). Cutting down trees may seem compelling in the short term if doing it causes great wealth, but it could lead to a worse quality of life in the long term, as the Once-ler learned. 
    
The relevance this serves in modern times makes me think Dr. Seuss predicted the future; he didn't. In fact, people have known the effects of chopping down trees for a very long time. Only now are we beginning to meet the result of 20th and 21st-century greed: climate change. There's nothing wrong with greed (or at least that's what I say to comfort myself), but it shouldn't disadvantage young people who want to simply breathe clean air. Think about it: we have stooped so low that one of the most important things for teens and Millennials is having CLEAN AIR! We don't want flying cars. We don't want to own mansions. We want fresh air to breathe. We've come to the point where young people want something so basic, people from thousands of years ago took it for granted.
    
How Bad Can I Be shows what has been going on since the 1800s: people will go to extreme lengths to increase their net worths, and it oftentimes means creating a future challenge.  
    
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