Learning from the Lorax

Government can't take care of the environment like private owners can.

Earther reports:

Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) once wrote his popular children’s books atop Mount Soledad in San Diego, California. From there, he could see a single Monterey Cypress tree that sat within Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, California. That tree is thought to have helped inspire The Lorax.

Now, that tree is dead.  Most of the fallen tree, the last of its kind in this park, was removed Friday.

This may not seem very important; we know.  But it is!  So we're bothering telling you so.

Lies of Framing

Most readers of this article and of the one cited are familiar with both Dr. Seuss and The Lorax, a story cast as a modern environmentalist parable about the importance of trees.  The irony of the tree which supposedly inspired the story - and indeed, photos do seem to bear a vague resemblance to Seussian flora - being destroyed by mankind is too juicy for any green worthy of his Birkenstocks to ignore.  Bemoan the death of the last tree, just like "the very last Truffula tree of them all" from the book!

Except that it's not.  You have to read to the end of the article, which most people don't bother, to find the well-hidden truth:

While all that remained of the last tree at the end of The Lorax was a single seed, there are fortunately still plenty of Monterey Cypress trees in the real world. Native to California’s Monterey Peninsula, they can now be found throughout the state[emphasis added]

In other words, people in California have brought about more Monterey Cypress trees, more widely spread, in more habitats than in times past - the precise opposite of the thrust of the article, which goes on to claim that the tree is nevertheless "vulnerable" to wildfires, and to draw comparison with shrinking Brazilian forests.  No doubt your house is also vulnerable to fire, and we all know of houses that have indeed met their end that way; does that mean that we have fewer houses today than in the past?

There is no single statement in the article which can be identified as specifically false - and yet, like most environmental articles, the thing as a whole is one giant lie from top to bottom.

We've gotten used to the MSM telling blatant falsehoods over the past decades.  This is something special, however: its author has composed a story which contains no obvious individual falsehoods, but taken together, their collection of truths, partial truths, and misframing tells a lie which would warm the heart of even Joseph Goebbels.

One tree, two-thirds of its way through the average natural lifespan of its species, died.  So what?  There are millions more: no lesson to be learned, no sermon to be preached, barely even a paragraph's worth of human-interest.  And yet from this meager thread is spun a rope to hang the entire human race!

Lies of Omission

Which is funny, because there actually is a legitimate story here - just not one that the media cares to tell.

Dr. Seuss and his works have been world-famous for well over a half-century; the Lorax Tree existed for all of that time and more.  Is there some Californian Once-ler running around San Diego thwacking down trees without warning and leaving a clear-cut wasteland behind?  Of course not; this tree died of natural though unspecified causes.

Then - why on earth was it "the last of its kind in this park"?  Has San Diego no Department of Parks and Recreation to plant more trees as needed?  They clearly have a publicity officer, but have they no actual gardeners?

In this tree, San Diego had a minor tourist attraction, which could be added to the many major attractions both natural and artificial of its region.  Any privately-owned entity would have profited by this resource, using some of the revenues to take good care of it, and to plan ahead for the inevitable demise that eventually comes to all living things.

In contrast, the government minions of San Diego cared so little about this valuable asset in their trust that they didn't even know that it was troubled until too late - or why, even now!

This matters, because as we hear every day from our massed media chorus, socialism is the wave of the future, and necessarily so to save the planet.  Nothing could be further from the truth: capitalism created enough wealth that ordinary free citizens started caring about the environment.  How much do you think pollution bothered cavemen, or medieval peasants?  How environmentally-aware were the "noble savage" tribes who exterminated the megafauna of North and South America?

In modern western countries, the air is cleaner than it's been in 200 years, there are more trees in North America than there were a century ago - indeed more than just 35 years ago.  The Lorax is flat wrong.


63 percent of the forest land in the United States is privately owned, and many landowners are leaving their land intact instead of using it for agriculture or logging.  [emphasis added]

In other words - when somebody owns something and profits personally from it, they care about it and take care of it.  The Once-ler's clear-cutting, destructive Thneeds Inc. is utterly unrealistic for precisely the reason of greed: knowing that their future profits depend on a steady supply of Truffula trees, his board and stockholders would be asking questions about long-term sustainability of this vital raw material.  There is no way any CEO would be permitted to consume every last bit of a valuable resource while taking no action to provide for the future.

That's why oil companies are so concerned with proven oil reserves: at every annual meeting, they have to show where future oil production is coming from.  Although the general consensus is that no more oil is being created, companies invest heavily in technologies like fracking to ensure that the obtainable supply is ever-growing, far into the future.

Any real lumber company, unlike Seuss' fictional straw-man one, does in fact do exactly what his book prescribes as the solution:

Plant a new Truffula
Treat it with care
Give it fresh water
Feed it fresh air.

That way, there will be trees for future generations of capitalists to cut down and make Thneeds out of, forever and ever into the far distant future.

In contrast, when nobody owns something - or "everybody" owns it because it "belongs" to the government, which amounts to the same thing - nobody cares about long-term consequences past the next election.  It's just there to be exploited for the good of your voters or your own offshore bank account.  This "tragedy of the commons" is why communist countries give us environmental jaw-droppers like an entire sea turned into desert, or Beijing air pollution periodically hitting levels otherwise found only in smoking lounges.

Yet just that kind of top-down collectivist socialism is what, supposedly, today's millennials want!  Or so we're told.  In reality, they have no clue what socialism really is, because they have been so aggressively and intentionally mis-taught by our leftist-dominated educational and cultural systems.

They'd do better to carefully read The Lorax and think about it, because it contains profound wisdom:

I laughed at the Lorax, "You poor stupid guy!
You never can tell what some people will buy."

Sure enough, the Democrats, environmentalists, the media, and the entire panoply of anti-progress leftists are selling a bill of goods.  And the young are buying it.  Their vehement misinformation is becoming more and more frightening, because if we permit them, their unworkable demands will return us to the plague-riven and tree-barren, air-polluted poverty of centuries gone by.

Kermit Frosch is a guest writer for Scragged.com.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Kermit Frosch or other articles on Environment.
Reader Comments

Thanks you...and goodnight.

June 23, 2019 10:39 PM

Poland Bans Wind Turbines in 17 years

Now we have the nation of Poland examining the health damages of Wind turbines. They have discovered that the low frequency noise given off by wind turbines, affects cellular development and mimics heart problems. They are going to force REMOVAL of ALL wind turbines in 17 years! Check this out, https://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=poland+%2Cwind+turbines and read to the end and check the comments of Sommer, and watch the YouTube video for a real education in the subject.

Not only are they ugly and useless, they are actually dangerous to your health. Wake up folks, while there are still enough of us to save our country.

July 9, 2019 11:55 AM
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