Captain Planet’s Earth Day marathon: Ignore the utility bill?

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?

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Captain Planet Exposed By…Funny or Die?

Does it matter if a liberal website inadvertently exposes the self-loathing at the heart of the environmentalist movement? Nope. Someone needs to give Funny or Die writers a pat on the back (or just plant a tree in their honor) for this one.

A lot of people have been talking about Funny or Die’s new Captain Planet spoof featuring Don Cheadle, but no one has really analyzed why it’s funny.

As with almost all good comedy, there has to be an element of truth to it. The reason why something makes us laugh is because there’s usually truth at the heart of what the comedian is trying to say.

Given Funny or Die’s liberal reputation, it’s astonishing that someone would call out the green movement on its bizarre self-loathing and hatred for humanity. When Captain Planet goes from turning “evil” businessmen into trees, and instead aims at the guy walking his dog or the mom pushing a stroller, the writer highlights what conservatives know to be true: To environmentalists, humans are the problem.

Conservatives don’t hate the environment. They just look at human ingenuity and creativity as the main tool needed to care for the earth. Liberals want smaller “footprints” (i.e., less humans doing less of everything that gives life meaning).

Conservatives see the need for more space and get to work on taller skyscrapers. Running out of food? Get better bio-engineering that yields more crop on less land.

The planet was here for billions of years. It existed before us, and it will be here long after we’re gone. To think humans are able to permanently scar the earth requires an incredible amount of hubris, and until monkeys start ruminating on the meaning on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness let’s just agree that the earth and its raw materials are here for us to use as we see fit.

In the Captain Planet skit the “Planeteers” have a moment a truth, where they realize that a planet of trees—with no humans around to appreciate them—is a pretty useless thing. Absent us, the earth is just another big rock whirling around in space, suspended and maintained by the awesome laws of physics created by the ultimate mathematician; I usually call him God.

Is it possible that the Funny or Die writer who penned the script was so dumb that his only motivation was to have Captain Planet go off the deep end? Sure. But even if a dumb writer doesn’t realize where the road of environmentalist logic leads, it doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t read a map.

If Reagan was Obama, Challenger Explosion “Kennedy’s Fault.”

There’s been a lot of coverage about the BP oil spill, the political fallout, and the occasionally interesting article from guys like

If Reagan was Obama: “My fellow Americans: Blame Kennedy. ‘Space’ is so off the table right now it’s not even funny.”

Charles Krauthammer. However, if there is anything good to come out of this disaster, it’s the following observation by casual observers:

  • WE ARE NOT RUNNING OUT OF OIL.

At least twice a year I read some article trying to scare people into thinking we’re only “x” number of years from running out of oil. When I was in elementary school I remember being handed the occasional Weekly Reader that would do the same. Luckily, I made it through the Captain Planetization of America’s youth unscathed, but we can’t say that for most of my generation.

The oil is there. In fact, it’s quite a few places.  As Krauthammer notes, it’s kept from us for political reasons:

Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama’s tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, weve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Personally, I think it’s rather amazing that we can mine for oil in some of the deepest waters on earth, with landscapes and environments in many respects as exotic and unexplored as parts of the moon. Did we stop going to space after the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion? No. In fact, Reagan gave one of the most amazing eulogies I’ve ever heard…and then we regrouped:

…On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, “He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.” Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake’s, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

If Ronald Reagan was Barack Obama it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that he’d find a way to blame Kennedy…  The fact is, natural resources are abundant and waiting to be used. Decades of subsidies for wind and solar as an alternative to our energy needs have proven to be…lacking in the results department, to put it nicely. The kind of lifestyle we want will be provided by fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. Given that, it doesn’t make much sense to walk away from deep water drilling because of an environmental disaster.

What does make sense is to figure out what went wrong, fix it, and then cautiously continue creating and innovating our way to a better future.

I thought liberals owned science and technology as issues? I guess not.

Hank Johnson: When Captain Planet meets Congress, YOU Lose.

I was recently talking with a smart young woman when the conversation started to veer towards environmental public policy issues. It was intimated that I should tread carefully, because this person cared about

Captain Planet is telling me Gaum will sink into the ocean if there are too many people on it. And businesses all destroy the environment. Now hand over more control of your life to me.

the environment. Notice anything weird about that? Just as most of the liberal “anti-war” folks I’ve run across have a hard time contemplating how those who support efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan also abhor war (we just remember poster-boy “anti-war” hero Neville Chamberlain a little too well)—conservatives have also allowed their intentions to be defined by the left as it pertains to environmental policy. And, while I’m more interested in results instead of intentions, it’s tough to reach people when their knee-jerk reaction is to assume you don’t care about their feelings

Because guys like Mahmoud “there aren’t any gay people in Iran (probably because we kill them), and speaking of which can we get back to my desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth” Ahmadinejad exist, and the danger they pose to world peace so stark to the majority of Americans, self-congratulation as a form of social policy is often a hard sell on national defense. Environmental policy is not.

During a conversation I had a few weeks ago with a guy who knows a thing or two about environmental issues, I mentioned how conservatives slept in class as Professor Pop Culture was inculcating generations of kids with Al Gorwellian talking points. Ever watch Captain Planet, where big-bad businessmen were always plotting and planning ways to harm Mother Earth? Do you remember The Simpsons episode Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish? Then you know what I’m talking about.

The last time I checked (although not in the way President Obama did after he signed the Health Care bill) I liked breathing clean air and drinking clean water and not dying of rectal cancer caused by Sean Penn’s weird death wish or an Airborne Toxic Event: Sometime Around Midnight. I mean, I really, really like breathing clean air and drinking clean water. And I want a world where my kids and grandkids can experience that as well. I just don’t think handing over large chunks of the US economy to liberals like Hank Guam might tip over and sink into the ocean Johnson and his Planeteers is a good idea. I think the creativity of the American people, entrepreneurs, global markets, and a freeing-up of unnecessary artificial constraints on our energy infrastructure is a better bet.

Am I wrong? I don’t think so, but I also don’t think I care about the environment any less than someone who looks at rocks and cries. I’m just not insane.