Whether you remember the Lorax from Dr. Seuss' book or from the movie that came out last year, you know that the Lorax is about being kind to the environment. The story is fictional but its lessons are not. For all those who watched the 2012 Lorax film, you'll remember that the citizens of Thneedville would have fresh air delivered to their homes because the air had been so badly polluted. Never would I have imagined that clean air is becoming an expensive commodity in our world today.
I'm sure you are thinking where is air being delivered? Recently I heard a story on NPR about the booming business of air filters in China. Yes, China is the Thneedville of our nonfictional world. Manufacturing and more importantly a lack of concern for the environment have damaged the air quality in parts of the country.
Of course, we are not China or Thneedville and we do have some regulations, specifically the Clean Air Act (CAA). This 1970 federal law regulates air emissions from multiple sources. One main component of the law, which would prevent us from becoming Thneedville and parts of China, is that it authorizes the EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and welfare, and regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants.
The Clean Air Act is our Lorax, but as you know from the film, the protector of the trees was not enough to stop the damage. We need more bite to our bark and only we, like the citizens of Thneedville, have the power to stop us from having to buy our air in plastic bottles like we do our water.
More than 9 out of 10 Americans agree that we have a moral obligation to give our children a non-polluted, non-damaged Earth. And nearly 90% agree that as a country we should make an effort to reduce global warming despite economic costs.
So what's stopping us? Maybe it's the powerful Mr. O'Hare's of the world, but if we learned anything from the Lorax it's that it's never to late to start caring about the environment and that one small person can make a big difference. So what are you waiting for? Do your small part as all small seeds eventually grow into trees.