Video Teaching Children To Respect The Planet Called “Anti-Capitalist”
A 20-minute video about human consumption, The Story of Stuff, is a big hit in classrooms, and causing controversy.
The video was created by Annie Leonard (r), a former Greenpeace employee and an independent lecturer who paints a picture of how American habits result in forests being felled, mountaintops being destroyed, water being polluted and people and animals being poisoned. Ms. Leonard, who describes herself as an “unapologetic activist,” is also critical of corporations and the federal government, which she says spends too much on the military.
It’s been online since the end of 2007, but it’s now gathering steam, as children are becoming more aware of how simple acts like buying cellphones or jeans contribute to hurting the planet. The video fills the gap between what textbooks say about the environment and what we now know scientifically, information that’s become available since most current textbooks were written. And Ms. Leonard explains things in a way that is easily understandable, which is why it’s gaining traction, especially in classrooms.
“We’ll start with extraction, which is a fancy word for natural resource exploitation, which is a fancy word for trashing the planet,” she says at one point. “What this looks like is we chop down the trees, we blow up mountains to get the metals inside, we use up all the water and we wipe out the animals.”
Along with its success, “The Story of Stuff” brings controversy. Mark Zuber, a parent in Missoula, MT, complained to his child’s school that the presentation is anti-capitalist. He got the school board on the case, and they voted the video down, 4-3. And as it gets more popular, expect “The Story of Stuff” to become even more of a lightening rod, as environmentalists embrace its message and regressives whine that it’s an attempt by “liberals” to spread green propaganda.Click here for reuse options!
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