What’s in a name? What are Last Tree Laws?
Last Tree Laws reflects the importance of saving the trees, entire environment and humanity before the last tree falls by working to change laws and develop legislation. A lack of democracy, corruption, and poverty is, after all, a cause of environmental degradation and clear cutting: trees need healthy democracies.
The Lorax is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss which neatly explains the significance of the last tree to humanity. In the story, the Lorax is a little creature that speaks on behalf of trees, even as the Once-ler ignores him and continues to cut down the trees for profits until not a tree is left but for a seed.
The seed is all that is left behind in a world that is now dark, sad, and dreary from pollution, where before it was lush and bright from trees and sunlight. A child is given the seed, and told that nothing will get better unless “Someone like you cares a whole awful lot.”
This shows individual choices, from businesses to consumers and children, determine our path and create our environment. Only great passion and effort can effect global change.
A second connection is to the saying that, “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that we cannot eat money.” This points to the risks of starvation and death when our connection to the environment is ignored and sensible protections swept away by the illusions of greed. The illusion of economic wealth versus true wealth is key. Destroying Truffula trees leaves the Once-ler with a lonely future, pollution, and poverty. True wealth is in clean water, soil, plants, and sunlight, all of which as necessary to our life as air. Caring for our environment allows sustenance and beauty to coexist.
Details in too many proposed or existing Massachusetts laws favor special interests and personal gain, instead of support the people and our environment. For a livable world we need more Last Tree Laws.