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?