The year is 2525. Lorax Industries is the last corporation on the planet that creates trees. The tree-making machines operate on solar energy, but the sun gets dimmer every year. The trees are the only thing that keeps humans alive anymore.
Living in Free Environment Non-Engineered Trees (LIFENETs) have been long extinct. Trees have been genetically engineered to fit into a unit that the person wears on their back when out and about and is then put into its special canister in every home when home that is climate controlled and provides the oxygen – carbon dioxide exchange and vents oxygen into the living quarters of each home.
The rest of the planet’s species have fallen by the wayside. Animals, until recently, were kept in oxygenated zoo pods, but as the need for the oxygen to keep humans alive demanded first consideration, the non-humans were euthanized, immortalized through taxidermy, and installed with recordings of their species, history, and sounds, much like when one visits a museum. Once non-human animals were downsized, the solar panels to their pods were removed and sold to the highest bidder.
Solar panel theft is a capital offense now. So is having more than one child per two-adult household.
No matter how tightly legislated reproductive health is in 2525, there will always be slip-ups, and the population continues to increase. Up until recently Lorax, with its factories across the globe, has been able to meet the demand of one tree – one human. At the last annual conference for Research and Development it was learned that Lorax could not continue meeting the demand after next year, due to the continued dimming of the sun and the continuing increase in the population. The goals of the conference were to establish committees on what measures world leaders would be expected to take to respond.
After 6 months of committee meetings, a general assembly was organized to present conclusions and to make recommendations. Conclusions: 1) anyone over the age of 60 is to be painlessly euthanized within 30 days of their birthday. 2) any female over the age of 25 is to have a complete hysterectomy within 30 days of their birthday. In conjunction with downsizing the human population, solar panel utilization would be shifted to off-planet development of ships and terraforming, where one-third of the tree-making plants across the globe would be downsized. Statistical research indicates that this will alleviate the human-tree ratio dilemma for another 5 years and get humans off planet and terraforming the moon.