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1 The Lorax on Easter Island The history of Easter Island civilization is a vivid example of the terrible consequences of human

greed and excessive desire to satisfy their immediate needs. Giving praise to their gods, the Easter islanders completely destroyed palm forests. This great natural disaster led to a chain of destructions of the natural habitats of many birds and other animals that made the main food recourse for the Easter islanders (Renouf, 2003). The example of Easter Island civilization can be viewed as a micro model of a modern global society, whose mindless consumption of natural resources can eventually lead to the same consequences on the global scale in the future. In The Cartoon Guide to the Environment, Larry Gonick uses the image of Easter Island as a metaphor to illustrate human attitude to the planet. Gonick suggests that humans are the only creatures in the world able to get energy not only from food. Indeed, this ability has led to the rapid development of human civilization and put humanity at the top of the chain of consumption. Thanks to this ability, we can now use innumerable technological inventions that make our lives more comfortable. However, Gonick also raises the problem of the usage of natural resources and the consequences of their disappearance (Gonick and Outwater, 1996). The problem is that, in pursuit of comfort, we do not pay attention to the oblivious fact that the Earth is the home for all of us. If we do not use its resources wisely, we will eventually have the same destiny as that of on Easter Island. The current level of environmental pollution horrifies a lot of environmentalists. What kind of future lies ahead? The atmosphere and seawater are increasingly polluted by industrial waste and greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the current level

2 of deforestation is thousands times greater than that on Easter Island. Striving to meet increasing human demands and make greater profits, modern civilization invents new and new machines that, on the one hand, make modern world more comfortable for us, but, on the other hand, lead to gradual destruction of the natural environment. The Easter islanders' worship of stone gods led to the environmental catastrophe. Modern humanity worships a different sort of gods. These gods are represented by a number of symbolic images we all strive for: profit, money, consumption, etc. For the sake of these gods, we can do anything. Similarly to the worship of the Easter islanders, our worship drives us crazy and makes us blind. Another problem is that the modern lifestyle, based on the mindless use of natural recourses, is deeply rooted in human minds. As a result, the sphere of environmental protection is associated with a complex ethical problem: an individual needs to moderate their consumption, making their life less comfortable, in order to save the planet. It seems that, at this stage of its development, humanity is simply unable to refuse at least some of the benefits of the current technological progress. In general, we do not want to change the technology, because any sorts of changes are always inconvenient for us. Thus, considering this ethical dilemma, humanity makes its choice in favor of the outdated way of life, therefore leaving no chance for the current environmental issues to be solved. Unfortunately, the efforts of many environmental organizations are too weak in comparison with the influence of powerful transnational corporations who lobby their interests all around the world and prevent the introduction of environmental laws and regulations. Obvious helplessness of environmental organizations and reluctance of

3 ordinary people to change their way of life provoke gruesome thoughts in my mind. It seems that the world needs such hero as the Lorax, who could appeal to people and explain the scope of the future disasters that can be caused by the reckless use of the planet's resources. I believe that, first of all, the Lorax must appeal to young people. The main character of the cartoon is represented by a young boy named Ted, who rebels against the tyranny of industrial giants. Considering the main idea of the film, I agree that only the representatives of a younger generation of the planet can become the bearers of some new ecological worldview. This worldview should not mean complete refusal of further technological progress, but it must be based on a careful attitude towards the planet. For instance, the Lorax cannot be considered as an enemy of technology. In contrast, he persuades to rethink the strategies of technological progress and create a new paradigm of industrial development that would be based on a wise attitude to the natural world. The same paradigm is to be professed among young people today. We need to correct the mistakes of the previous generations and prevent the future environmental crisis. I think that this idea is quite realistic, but it must be spread by all means of modern education and the branch of human culture that still stands apart from consumer ideology.

4 Works Cited Gonick, Larry, and Alice Outwater. The Cartoon Guide to the Environment. New York: HarperPerennial, 1996. Print. The Lorax. Dir. Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda. Universal Pictures, 2012. Film. The Mystery of Easter Island. Dir. Jonathan Renouf. BBC, 2003. Film.