Which one is your favourite?
You can catch a lot of Tezuka Osamu's work on Youtube (in English) from the early 1980s.
I wrote about the 9th International Manga Summit in Kyoto over at Treehugger. The main theme for this years convention was "Environmental Innovation". Those in charge of the summit note:
Kyoto was the site of the United Nation's Convention on Climate Change. We envision a convention that will boost awareness of sub-themes such as "global warming prevention", "dietary education", and "The 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)", while advocating the passing of the torch of a promising culture to the children and young people responsible for the next generation.
Comic arts in Japan has a long tradition of using the screen or manga book to convey environmental messages as important parts of the plot.
I think Tezuka Osamu was way ahead of the times with his early trailblazing works from the 1940s and 1950s, often set in a future filled with robots and high-tech gadgets.
Astroboy (aka Atom, as he is known here in Japan) is the hero helping the underdogs against unfair destructive development, as in the classic episode of Red Cat from 1980:
Tezuka in English (terrific site!) lists how Red Cat was first published as a manga in 1953, depicting Tokyo as it may be in 2013.
An electric city, a dream for some, a nightmare for others.
In the anime version from 1980, that date has been moved forward to the 2030s.
Not much forest remains, as the city continues to expand. But the mysterious character Red Cat has invited a select group of boys, whos fathers are all involved in the big development projects, to do something about saving the animals, and the environment...
Jungle Emperor Leo (later shamelessly copied by Disney) and Black Jack are also known here for their green themes, but it is worth noting how Tezuka Osamu and other manga creators are eager to explore the newest technology, yet always got that focus on the human heart.