Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Propaganda For Kids!

My 6 year old daughter came home with a book from Enviro Kids, "Working Together for a Better Future". I've seen these booklets before, the kids come home with them pretty much every year. Fun colouring, activities, etc. This year the cover features a polar bear standing on a barely-there chunk of ice and large lettering above it says "Climate Change Explained"... so as you can imagine it caught my eye and my bf and I decided to read it.... to see what our very young lower elementary school aged children are being taught. I hoped to find lots of info on recycling, tidying up, keeping our parks and streets clear of rubbish - but I found so much more and am VERY angry about it.

Here are some samples: (bold words are my doing)

page 7 - The Greenhouse Effect: Scientists are sure about the greenhouse effect. They know that greenhouses gases make the Earth warmer by trapping energy in the atmosphere. [me: funny, no mention of how many scientists DO NOT KNOW, and in fact refute these claims]

page 17 - Scientists are not fortune-tellers. They don't know exactly what will happen in the future. But they can use special computer programs to find out how the climate may change in the years ahead. And the computer programs tell us that the Earth may continue to get warmer..... as long as we continue increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
[me: what? I thought you said on page seven that they are SURE about it and THEY KNOW it... I'm confused].

But my most shocking and surprising find started on page 63: 'Eat Your Vegetables'. The article begins with the line "Eating less meat and more fruits, grains and vegetables can help the enviroment more than you may realize." Excuse f-ing me??? You are really going to send a book out to 6 year old children and tell them to eat less MEAT?

The article goes on to say other things such as: "Eating meat, eggs and dairy products contributes heavily to global warming, because raising animals for food produces many more greenhouse gas emissions than growing plants."

"A 2006 report by the University of Chicago found that adopting a vegan diet does more to reduce global warming than switching to a hybrid car." UNFRICKEN REAL. I cannot believe I found this stuff in my 6 yr old's backpack.

"Making a salad doesn't take any more time than cooking a hamburger and it's better for you - and the environment." So what, are all our kids supposed to go around eating only salad? Even a vegan will tell you that is not enough. There is no protein in a regular salad, you have to find other things to add (perhaps tofu cubes, etc). But this book, peddled to children, is actually telling them that it is better for them to be a Vegan, not eat DAIRY EGGS OR MEAT (Milk doesn't do a body good???), in order to save the planet.

It then goes on to say that "Raising animals for food also uses enormous amounts of land, water, grain and fuel." Oh really? Well how about ETHANOL production using corn, wheat, and other food crops that environmentalists are pushing for? How many grain crops will go to that instead of to animal feed? Hmmm? Anyone have a guess for me or are you strangely silent. Could THAT be the ulterior motive of this publication? Free up more land and grain for this wonderful fuel replacement for the end days of gasoline? Just something to think about in your spare time...
____________________
That's as far as I have made it through this 144 page EnviroKids.ca booklet. If I can stomach reading the rest, I will be back to update this with my finds.

Update: some more honorable mentions are of course the energy efficient light bulbs, which came at excellent timing since last night another of our bulbs burnt out in less than 16 months. I think there are only 4 left in the whole house and we only just put them in Feb/Mar 2008.

And then at the end of the book is a curious thing -- a science experiment for kids to try that uses baking soda, water, vinegar, and cooking oil. The bubbles will appear when mixing with vinegar but it tells the children it's okay because the bubbles are only carbon dioxide, which is perfectly safe, we breathe it every day, and it's a normal part of the air. This after several pages talking of how we should not be putting CO2 into the skies. Also curious was that several of the advertisers in the booklet, who make it's production possible, are oil and lumber companies lol.

What upset me most was the backhanded way our children are being told to give up foods that the health unit just put out booklets for a month or so ago - like milk! There are always campaigns and milk programs going on at schools to get children to drink more milk, and yet this booklet appears telling children not to drink it because it is contributing to the destruction of our environment! Wow. That totally astonished me and I am not impressed.

9 comments:

  1. Ahhh ignorance, a conservative's best friend.

    What is said on page 7 is quite different from page 17. What you mention is on page 7 says NOTHING about global warming/climate change as you infer. The Greenhouse Effect is a reality and actually does trap energy in the atmosphere - but thanks to other processes in the atmosphere and releases of other energy, the earth does not continuously warm. This happens. Period.

    The wording on page 17 is a different story. That is actually about climate change, which can be disputable; not about the Greenhouse effect which is highly indisputable. Please get your facts straight.

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  2. Send the book back. What bugs me is that they target these messages at kids who are their captive audience and can't refuse what their teacher's handing them.

    I would have no qualms about taking it back to the school myself and raising this issue with an adult.

    Same goes for those fundraisers where they throw candy at the kids and lure them with prizes for the most sales.

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  3. Anonymous #1 - I am merely speaking of what gets peddled in the general media, suggesting that mad-made greenhouse gas emissions are going to destroy our planet. For example, from David Suzuki's page on Climate Change, it says "Climate change is considered by many scientists to be the most serious threat facing the world today. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Solutions include phasing out coal plants, expanding renewable energy sources and public transit, and creating new efficiency standards for vehicles and buildings. Find out what you can do to help make a difference!"

    We hear all the time on the news and in other media (such as this booklet my daughter brought home today) that greenhouse gases we create are destroying the planet. Call it ignorance, or call it seeing between the lines.

    In a child's book, if someone writes on one page that greenhouse gases DO warm the planet and provide examples of photos of distraught animals (such as the polar bear on the front cover), and on another page write that they don't know what will happen in the future, what exactly did the child learn that day? Did they learn that what we are doing is killing the poor polar bear who is going to drown with no land to reach? Did they learn that it 'might' happen but they 'don't really know', but we should conform anyway just in case? Or did they learn that they are two entirely different things, unrelated, but just put into the same booklet by happenstance?

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  4. Anonymous #2 - I am going to send the book back tomorrow with a note for the teacher, pointing her to pages talking about how if farmers sell off their cattle, a forest will grow on the land eventually (funny since in my region full of farms and ranches, there is no evidence of there ever being a forest here, or not for many thousands of years at the very least - or millions like the Petrified Forest near Drumheller); the pages telling children not to eat meat, dairy, or eggs; and pages saying that the new environmentally friendly fabric bags DO NOT effect the environment but plastic bags do (don't forget it was environmentalists trying to push us away from using paper bags in the past to Save The Trees who brought us the wonder of plastic, and not to mention that I would love to see how the new bags are made - is there an old woman weaving them in a mud hut with hand crafted bone tools, or are they made in a FACTORY and using fossil fuels and energy and emitting nasty emissions, hmmm?).I have no problem with the plastics thing, we need to sort out our dumps - but they conveniently leave out the rest of the story 'behind the scenes'.

    I haven't worded the letter properly yet but I will do that later.

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  5. Kez - unfreaking believable.

    But - don't you know, teachers will always assure that they provide a nice balanced perspective to the chidlren.. didn't you hear them all saying so with regard to their opposition to Bill 44.

    I'm sure they also provided your child with another coloring book entitled, "David Suzuki, the new Chicken-Little" didn't they?

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  6. My elementary school kids are constantly (at least once every week of the school year and several intense weeks) bombarded with this garbage to the point that they're sick of it. Google "The Story of Stuff." They actually showed this to my ten year old. They had my daughter's grade three class put on a play where one of the kids was the 'Corporation' and the rest were poor people who had no water. The 'corporation' refused to sell them the water and the rest of the class was dying as a result.

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  7. Think about that.

    And then imagine a Canada under the National Daycare program.

    Where the government takes control of our children's minds and molds them according to their version of "right thinking" Canadians.

    Orwell's "1984" wasn't wrong - it was just a little late in coming.

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  8. Oh that is already going on. I happen to work in daycare, and have since 1994. I've posted about this before... there have been a lot of changes and they sneak in under new regulations that we cannot buck or we lose our license. We already dictate to parents what they can send in their childs' lunches (such as having to leave a note for parents that send candy, chips, etc and ask them not to send them anymore), and since that wasn't good enough we are most likely going to be forced to provide hot lunch every day soon at the cost to parents because we will have to raise fees to pay for the extra groceries. We had photos of cute little animals and coloured shapes on the walls but were told we HAD to put up photos of children of various cultures (which we did with no problem, we were fine with that), but now this year we were told we had to find and put up photos of people with differing abilities. It's not the photos that is a problem, it's being FORCED to do it in order to receive our Accredited Center funding.

    Every year it becomes more constrictive and expensive and the only choice is to increase parent fees, or not raise pay for staff. I have worked there 15 years and only make $1.50 above minimum wage. The minimum required amount of staff for the center takes up 65% of the incoming fees from parents - so how are we supposed to run properly, cook hot meals every day, and buy new items for the kids (let alone that funny thing called a PROFIT for the owner) with all this going on? It's very frustrating.

    Several dayhomes and a few daycares in my city have shut down within the past couple of years due to money loss and the regulations. An inspector walked into the private bedroom of a dayhome owner I know while the woman's husband was sleeping in there! She quit and now that company is down to only 3 registered dayhomes. Parents meanwhile are being told the regulations are to protect their children - it USED to be, but now it seems to be more about molding their minds into what some govt agency people in Edmonton want and the govt funding set aside is disappearing into red tape long before the centers receive it. If I call to ask a question, I get put through to 3 or 4 different people before reaching the right one and all I can see is money flying away into the great blue yonder with each reconnection. It is truly disturbing.

    Soon we may all be forced to have a Level 2 in order to work in a center, which means many more will be increasing parent fees to compensate (they went to college for a year and therefore expect more money per hour). This also puts a LOT of people out of work who are level ones (like me, even though I have 15 years experience, or 20 if you count the preschool I worked in in Germany and my year as a student teacher for Grade 1). The regulations are endless and almost suffocating centers throughout Alberta right now. I see the next step as being like England where even a private babysitter has to get registered with the govt (Registered Childminder).

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  9. BTW.. rather than watching the indoctrination of a former Greenpeace employee.. watch this rational and "factual" critique:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5uJgG05xUY

    ReplyDelete

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