Earth Day is coming up, and it wouldn't be complete without a 14-hour marathon of Captain Planet. As you rack up a huge electricity bill taking part, ask yourself this question: Why does Captain Planet hate oil when it comes from deep within the bowels of Gaia?

Earth Day is coming up April 22nd. This year, besides the usual claptrap from academics who think the world would be a greener place if the United States became an irrelevant outpost in a world filled with tyranny, we get a 14-hour Captain Planet marathon on the Boomerang Network.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Captain Planet, the character was the end result of Ted Turner’s desire to inculcate a generation of kids with leftist environmental propaganda.

In an effort to inform younger viewers about serious environmental issues, legendary cable entrepreneur Ted Turner partnered with DIC Enterprises in 1990 to create the world’s first animated environmental series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The half-hour series was about a group of young people (The Planeteers) who combine their special individual powers (given to them by Gaia, the Spirit of the Earth) to summon Captain Planet, an environmental superhero, to battle the world’s worst eco-villains.

Week after week young kids were bombarded with the idea that corporations are inherently evil. For six years kids heard, “The power is yours!” when it came to stopping environmental damage, but the real message was that people were the problem.  Only recently (and from a liberal website, no less), did anyone of note bother to point out the weird self-loathing that was at the “heart” of the show.

Contrast Ted Turner’s message with that with individuals like Becky Norton Dunlop, who understands that we should be counting on more people and more corporations with new and exciting ideas to solve our problems—not less.

[We] need to clearly state and stick by the principle that people are our most valuable resource. Natural resources and energy policies should be judged first and foremost on how good they are for people. Meeting human needs should be paramount. This is because we value people’s well-being above other measures such as carbon emissions or the population of a rare insect and because we recognize that the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of a free people hold the keys to meeting our challenges. (emphasis added)

It isn’t less people and a smaller carbon footprint we should be aiming for to address environmental concerns. What we need to be doing is creating an environment where the best and brightest minds are cultivated in ways that will bear technological fruit.

The other day someone told me we were “running out of resources.” False. People have been saying that for ages. Humans keep inventing new ways to tap natural resources, allocating them differently as tastes and conditions change, finding new reserves, and becoming more efficient as a whole. Every time I hear someone talk about “population control” I cringe and think of Communist China. The world doesn’t need less people; it needs more free people. Free people come up with ideas that change the world. Free people find ways to raise the standard of living for hundreds of millions (or billions) at a time. As I’ve said before, ask Bill Gates about that. Look at what Steve Jobs accomplished. Those are only two recent examples using household names, but there are countless others.

This Earth Day, if you run up a large electric bill watching 14 hours of Captain Planet, don’t worry about it. What matters isn’t how you spend your recreational time as much as what you do when you’re on the clock.

And with that, I leave you with this question: If Captain Planet was standing at ground zero when Mount St. Helens erupted, spewing untold amounts of ash and soot into the atmosphere, would he gain the strength of a supernova, or would he die instantaneously?

15 comments

  1. Doug E., serious question for you:

    When do you buy toilet paper?

    a) When there’s one wipe left
    b) When there’s one + roll left
    c) When you’re already out and you just had to take a quick shower

    1. I find your “fully stocked” answer interesting. Your perception is that we are *not* “running out of resources,” yet the Aral Sea has shriveled up to a sliver of water, the Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean; Deforestation is causing a huge loss in biodiversity, and soil erosion which dramatically increases the potential for landslides, threatening the safety of *people* <–the animals you (& I) so greatly admire!
      You have the perception that we're not running out of resources. You almost always see your cabinets and pantries "fully stocked." That's a great way to help keep that perception alive.
      Jo waits until s/he is forced to use another resource before stocking back up on toilet paper. My sentiment is that a lot of people are like Jo. We have what we need, and nothing is a big deal, until it's already gone and we had to look for an alternative. Then we re-stock. That is exactly what we should *not* be doing with our natural resources. There really isn't a re-stocking option in regards to natural resources. Even for our synthetic biology we use natural resources. It's simple math: energy return on energy invested.

      I don't want to be blowing smoke up your blog, so I'll just leave the basic information to what I've stated here…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_depletion
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aral_Sea
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River

      (You're probably going to hate the title on this next one, but try to look past it)

      Because I *also* see where you are coming from… this may be what you're trying to support (btw, I very much support this too):

      The youtube montage above is actually insanely amazing…and needs to spread.

  2. Are you really going to cite a few places where there are water shortages to prove that we’re running out of water? If my memory from the 3rd grade serves me right, I believe roughly 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water. The job of the really smart humans is to find a way to desalinate it. I’m confident they’ll figure it out if necessary. In the mean time, other really smart people can find ways to harness the fresh water supplies we haven’t been able to reach up until now.

    Trees? Not running out of those any time soon, since they can be replanted. You might want to look at the demise of the newspaper industry or the explosion in online book sales as well. That’s a lot of paper saved, which falls in line nicely with my point that resources are used differently throughout the course of time. Technology keeps improving and changing the world for the better.

    I found it somewhat amazing that through my answer to a question about toilet paper
    consumption you were able to conclude that walked through life blindly believing my shelves are randomly stocked with goods. I’m acutely aware of the hard work that goes into turning raw materials into something worth buying in a grocery store.

    In regards to your video, I stopped watching 4 minutes in because it couldn’t even get its history lesson correct. U.S. oil production has dropped because we’ve run out of oil or coal or natural gas—it’s dropped because we made it nearly impossible for those industries to operate. In fact, the U.S. has more natural gas than it knows what to do with right now…

    The state of Washington, where it takes 20 years to build a bathroom along the side of the highway because of environmental concerns, is but a mircrocosm of the kind of insanity average citizens allow the administrative state to subject them to.

    http://freebeacon.com/washington-state-wastes-20-years-and-3-2-million-on-rest-area/

  3. Let me highlight the difference between the two of us in a way I think all readers will be able to understand. I’ll even promote your own blog in the process.

    When you came up with a metaphor for the human race, you decided chickens were a good match.

    When I describe the human race on my blog, it’s obvious that I see each person as a “natural resource” with untold amounts of creative energy and potential. The key is to cultivate a society that allows the people to tap those wells inside them, because they never run dry.

    I’ve found that when you imagine something in your mind’s eye and you truly believe in that vision, over the course of time your thoughts will impress themselves on the physical world. You will attract what you think and believe into your life. I don’t take pleasure in saying this, but if you believe that humanity can basically be boiled down to bunch of dumb birds, blindly pecking away at things until they die, you will attract the equivalent of dumb birds into your life. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I should also note that I never said we didn’t face environmental challenges. My piece wasn’t about that. It was about how best to go about dealing with them. I’m confident that more free people making more inventions and improvements on existing technology is the answer—not less.

  4. I do attract dumb birds. It’s incredibly annoying. I keep trying to get them to see something of value and 4 minutes in they quit!

    “is but a mircrocosm of the kind of insanity average citizens allow the administrative state to subject them to.”

    The kind of insanity average citizens allow… funny how me calling people chickens for the large scale destruction on Earth is somehow worse than what you have just stated.

    Your example is more of the insanity by politicians, or whoever wanted this rest area to begin with. It sounds like the town was desperate for people to stop there but not relieve themselves in a corner of the field. They don’t even have running water installed. This argument holds no water.

    If you’re unable to watch or read the information I have given, how can I have an honest conversation with you. 4 minutes and you’re done? Wow. You sound like a person who’s really interested in learning another’s perspective and then seeking out legitimate information to shoot that person’s perspective down. Again, weak arguments and extremely weak evidence.

    1. You give me hours of video to watch (from wikipedia, no less), and because I don’t sit around for all of it I’m somehow not willing to have a constructive conversation? I watched at least 45 minutes of the material you provided. That was more than generous.

      Why am I going to spend 30 minutes on a video when the first four minutes were nothing but lies and leftist propaganda that I’ve heard 100 times over? You make it sound like I’ve been living under a rock for the past decade. I hate to inform you, but my past few jobs have required me to learn both sides of the debate. You’re not presenting me with anything I haven’t heard before.

      You can call my arguments weak all you like, but that doesn’t make you correct. That’s the great thing about this blog; people can compare what we’ve said. I’m confident that the majority of independent people who land at this site will disagree with you.

    2. “independent” aaaaaaahahahaha

      You’re right. We are really planting trees as fast as we’re chopping them down.
      You’re right again. The Earth is 70% water and we could surely desalinate water for human use.
      We can go ahead and disregard all the fresh water we’ve used. No need to use the water we have in a sustainable way. Nothing else needs that water.

      You have a really good outlook. It’s like being able to eat all the fatty junk food I want, because you know what, I can always get liposuction. Who cares that all that fatty food is what my body has been feeding off of for years, right? Smart people have found a solution for me to have the “best” of both worlds.

      p.s. Thanks for your work history. That puts it all in perspective. You know both sides (because there are only two sides, duh). You’ve heard it “100 times over.”

    3. ab, my WordPress stats make it crystal clear that a lot of independents end up at my site. I’ll put my daily traffic up against yours any day.

      When you decide to do something more than sarcastically babble I’ll be happy to respond.

  5. First, I agree with the Captain Planet sentiment. That show was lame. I watched and odd mix of Smurfs and Voltron instead.

    Second, the logic of the Becky Norton Dunlop is skewed beyond belief. She works for a coal company. Her logic is idiotic at best.

    “[We] need to clearly state and stick by the principle that people are our most valuable resource.”

    My bullshit meter is already buzzing since this inane statement, taken face value, sounds good but actually means nothing. What does it mean exactly “people are our most valuable resource?” She advocating we plug people into the Matrix? (I kid, I kid)

    “Natural resources and energy policies should be judged first and foremost on how good they are for people.”

    What does “good for the people” mean exactly? What length of time are we talking about. Short or long term? Short term is great for profits. Pollution blowback becomes someone else’s problem. When a river or area of land is uninhabitable or drinking water polluted beyond use, that’s bad for the long term.

    “Meeting human needs should be paramount.”

    She deliberately obfuscates what she is really saying. What need? Sustainable energy? The need to have heat and power? The need for clean water? A clean environment? This also incipidly makes the argument that imposing environmental protection legislation that restricts pollution emissions is somehow detrimental to human need.

    “This is because we value people’s well-being above other measures such as carbon emissions or the population of a rare insect and because we recognize that the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of a free people hold the keys to meeting our challenges.”

    So we can think our way out of problems. Great. How about we think about how we can create the cleanest coal fire plants possible? Maybe try not to spew out so much carbon and not kill any rare wildlife (telling she chose the lowly insect, since they’re are only 10 currently endangered). Can we think our way out of that?

    Her argument self-immoliates here. “[P]eople’s well being?” How is that defined exactly? Meeting our challenges? What challenges is she talking about, exactly?

    Is this the same coal industry that was forced to clean up it’s emissions under The Clean Air Act? The same ones that are now basically gutting the Act with the help of their congressional lackeys under the guise of “pro-business legislation?” The same industry that now airs those “Hey, we’re West Virginia, and we love CLEAN COAL POWER” ads? They are paying lip service. Everyone knows that if the EPA ceased to exist tomorrow, the rivers would run black all in the sake of meeting next quarter’s income estimates.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no namby-pamby tree hugger. I’m all for a diversified power. But if the cost of that power is a trashed environment, then that I do have a problem with. Google “Coal Creek Superfund Site” and see exactly what happens when an unscrupulous coal company puts “people’s need first.” The “people,” via their tax dollars, are stuck with the bill.

    The question is: Can their be balance? Can corporations make a profit without trashing the environment? Can we harness natural resources wisely and with minimal long-term environmental impact?

  6. Let me try to ease your bulls**t meter. Becky was Virgina’s secretary of natural resources under George Allen. She knows a little bit about dealing with the EPA and fixing the environment using free market principles.

    Side note: She’s one of the fiercest defenders of freedom and liberty I have ever met, and she’s had an enormous impact on my professional and personal life. She was perhaps the greatest boss I have ever had. I can’t say enough good things about her.

    With that said, you also seem to be forgetting that there are already polluter pays laws in existence. For me to try and argue against that would be rather odd.

    What gets me is the idea put forth (not necessarily by you) that conservatives don’t want clean water or air. The last time I checked I liked not having lung cancer. If I have kids I don’t want them born with deformaties because of pollutants in the ground water. Come out against the “Captain Planet” philosophy and suddenly you’re portrayed as someone who wants to watch the world burn.

    I’d answer your other questions for Becky, but she does a better job of that in her book, Clearing the Air : How the People of Virginia Improved the State’s Air and Water Despite the EPA. She does an even BETTER job in person. Since she speaks all around the country, maybe one day she’ll be in your neck of the woods.

  7. I always hated this show, even when I was a little kid. Even back then I could see through the nonsense it was promoting. It was just Ted Turner getting on his soapbox and trying to brainwash kids. This show really lends itself to MST3K-style snarking because of how ham-fisted its “messages’ were.

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