The New York Times reports on a 21 minute video, “stuff” that is taking our classrooms by storm. Its a “lesson” put out by a self-described Greenpeace activist that denounces capitaism, disparages corporations and is filled with gross misstatements of fact. Naturally, the brain-dead people we graduate from teacher college love it and are exposing their students to this “truth”
What do you think the role of government is? I thought it was to defend our borders and possibly keep the peace. Nope. According to the video, “the government’s job is to watch out for us, to take care of us – that’s its job.”
How much of our budget is spent on national defense? If you said 21% , you’d be right. If you parroted this liar’s line and guessed 50%, you’d get an A from the communist in the front of your classroom.
No where is it mentioned in the video that that 21% compares to the 44% spent on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Ad so on. Animals are the earth’s friends, people its enemy, corporations are out to rob us, a $4.99 radio is not the wondrous result of world trade but a blatant rip off of poor people everywhere, etc. etc. As I said, teachers love it.
The video is a cheerful but brutal assessment of how much Americans waste, and it has its detractors. But it has been embraced by teachers eager to supplement textbooks that lag behind scientific findings on climate changeand pollution. And many children who watch it take it to heart: riding in the car one day with his parents in Tacoma, Wash., Rafael de la Torre Batker, 9, was worried about whether it would be bad for the planet if he got a new set of Legos.
“When driving by a big-box store, you could see he was struggling with it,” his father, David Batker, said. But then Rafael said, “It’s O.K. if I have Legos because I’m going to keep them for a very long time,” Mr. Batker recalled.
The video was created by Annie Leonard, 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.
Ms. Leonard put the video on the Internet in December 2007. Word quickly spread among teachers, who recommended it to one another as a brief, provocative way of drawing students into a dialogue about how buying a cellphone or jeans could contribute to environmental devastation.
So far, six million people have viewed the film at its site, storyofstuff.com, and millions more have seen it on YouTube. More than 7,000 schools, churches and others have ordered a DVD version, and hundreds of teachers have written Ms. Leonard to say they have assigned students to view it on the Web.
Environmental education is still a young and variable field, according to Frank Niepold, the climate education coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There are few state or local school mandates on how to teach the subject.
The agency is seeking to change that, but in the interim many teachers are developing their own lesson plans on climate change, taking some elements from established sources like the National Wildlife Federation and others from less conventional ones like “The Story of Stuff.”
Home schooling looks more and more like the only answer to state-sponsored idiocy. I’m not a conspiracist; I don’t think bad people deliberately designed a system that would dumb down successive generations by creating state certification for morons and have dimwits take charge of our children. It’s all been done with the best of intentions, but the results are as disastrous as if it had all been planned.