I'm sick of these environmentalist films that promote saving the environment through irrational spirituality involving the worship of trees and demonization of science and capitalism. It's making environmentalists look like a bunch of nutjobs on the order of the right-wingers who say God would never let the Earth be hurt so we might as well dump our junk all over. So, here's my pitch for a progressive, relevant environmentalist film that doesn't demonize science or capitalism:
Setting: Twenty minutes into the future. Electronic readers are so commonplace that paper books are so obsolete that even grandparents hardly use them. Wood has been replaced as a building material with a modified form of Styrofoam that's as strong and doesn't rot, so it never needs to be replaced. The air can now be converted to oxygen using bioengineered plankton. As a result, trees are no longer profitable and are in danger. Unlike the shamefully misrepresentative The Lorax, it's acknowledged that the forestry industry is responsible for most of the planting of trees because trees are seen as a valuable resource that shouldn't be squandered.
So, now that trees are unwanted in this universe, a big forest is going to be wiped out. It's not going to be replaced with things recognized to be symbols of the evil capitalism the filmmakers oppose like "parking lots and shiny shopping malls" as in the case of FernGully, but instead something acknowledged to beneficial like schools. An environmentalist group then has to convince people that the trees are worthwhile enough to keep around. Appeals are made to the history of aesthetics, pointing out how inspiring nature has been to the development of art throughout the years and how trees can bring joy to people, a joy that should be shared across generations. People still aren't convinced, and the day is saved when a scientist comes forward and talks about the kinds of advances that have been made through studying nature, and we don't want to get rid of something that could one day prove valuable. The end shows a compromise where kids are learning in the middle of the forest with the help of gadgets with brand names.
Why can't we do something real like that and not propaganda that makes us all look like cultists?