Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. Suess!

"I am the Lorax ... I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues ..." from The Lorax by Dr. Suess

Today would have been Dr. Suess' 105th birthday. As a child, I loved hearing my father read Suess' rhyming tales. My favorite book was Horton Hears a Who with its now-famous refrain: "A person's a person, no matter how small."

But as an adult, I'm partial to The Lorax, Suess' "shortish ... oldish ... brownish ... and mossy" environmentalist. He speaks for the trees and the birds and fish under his care. The Lorax does his best to convince the Once-ler to think about how his manufacturing plant is harming the environment before it's too late.

At the time Suess published The Lorax in 1971, the environmental movement was in its infancy in the United States. People were just beginning to think about saving the planet on a global level. The first Earth Day was held in 1970; the Environmental Protection Agency was formed that same year.

Today, almost 40 years later, the Lorax has many friends standing behind him. On Earth Day 2008, Conservation International, Dr. Suess Enterprises, and Random House started The Lorax Project™ to raise environmental awareness. Visit the website to take a pledge to help the Lorax (to do things like recycling). Read about 20 ways that you can help reduce your environmental impact and learn what students across the world are doing to save the planet. You can also read about endangered species like Golden Lion Tamarins, Red Pandas, and Lemurs.

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