Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. School Days: Propaganda

 

Something on Ricochet recently reminded me of an event that happened when I was a schoolgirl.

I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade when my class watched a video at school about the inevitable destruction of the world coming soon where we would have no food because all the plants and animals would die due to humanity’s neglect. Then we would die from acid rain, complete with a vivid little enactment of people dying from acid rain. The only way to stop this Certain Death was to start telling grownups to tell people to stop cutting down the rain-forests. I went home bawling to Mom about acid rain death and rainforests. It took her some time to calm me down and I’m fairly certain she got a hold of someone at the school over that.

This got me thinking that most people my age are environmentalist/activists to some degree. I get weird looks or lectures for not recycling. I’ve had people remove me from Facebook for making a comment to the effect of “You might want to get all the facts before quitting your job to go protest for NoDAPL”. I’ve had less educated friends act like I’m a complete idiot because I didn’t “get” the rhetoric behind the Women’s March, or vote for Bernie Sanders, or attend the Science March as a woman in the STEM field.

Why is this?

I remember after school programming and Saturday morning kid shows that included Captain Planet, The Magic School Bus, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. We had movies that preached about environmental issues and animal rights such as Fern GullyPocahontasRescuers Down Under, and Free Willy. We celebrated Earth Day every year at school with each class doing a skit about humanity’s rampant destruction of the planet and we took pledges with teachers to “fight against environmental destruction” for the “good of the planet”.

When I was in school and all this was happening, it didn’t seem out of place to me. I also didn’t buy in hook, line, and sinker. There were a few times I came home to ask Mom if Dad was really a bad person because he burned off fields after harvesting or sprayed fertilizer on his crops. Why? Because Mrs. So-and-so said that farmers were contributing to the destruction of the planet. She would always assure me “No, your daddy’s a good man who works really hard to make sure his family doesn’t go without.” How could I possibly think any less of my dad when all he’d ever been was a good, hard-working man who loved me? The short answer was: I couldn’t. All my family were farmers and I, myself, helped out on the farm. I knew I certainly wasn’t a bad person, so they couldn’t be bad people either. Any time some teacher at school said farmers were bad, it just contributed to my ongoing problem with authority because I thought to myself well, she’s a liar because farmers are good.

The environmentalist propaganda started when I was very young, but it didn’t get me in the end. I truly believe my primary saving grace was growing up in a strong nuclear family uniquely full of love, honesty, and responsibility with bonds that couldn’t be broken by lies. I hope to provide that same home environment for my future children.

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  1. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    • #1
    • June 19, 2017, at 10:02 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. Ray Gunner Coolidge

    The environmentalist propaganda started when I was very young, but it didn’t get me in the end. I truly believe my primary saving grace was growing up in a strong nuclear family uniquely full of love, honesty, and responsibility with bonds that couldn’t be broken by lies. I hope to provide that same home environment for my future children.
    Touching post, J.D., and a great point. I got me thinking about my college age daughters and their friends. For the life of me, I have yet to meet a conservative young woman who was NOT raised in an intact home with a conservative dad.

    • #2
    • June 19, 2017, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    I know! I haven’t heard about it since the 90s, but I distinctly remember being told that people in impoverished Eastern countries were already suffering from acid rain as a result of humanity destroying the environment. Then you go on Wikipedia to look it up and see:

    Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure.

    It can peel paint, but apparently doesn’t peel flesh like in that video.

    • #3
    • June 19, 2017, at 10:19 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):
    Touching post, J.D., and a great point. I got me thinking about my college age daughters and their friends. For the life of me, I have yet to meet a conservative young woman who was NOT raised in an intact home with a conservative dad.

    Thank you! I am incredibly grateful to have a dad who dedicated himself to our family’s success.

    • #4
    • June 19, 2017, at 10:20 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. bridget Inactive

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    The environmentalist propaganda started when I was very young, but it didn’t get me in the end. I truly believe my primary saving grace was growing up in a strong nuclear family uniquely full of love, honesty, and responsibility with bonds that couldn’t be broken by lies. I hope to provide that same home environment for my future children.
    Touching post, J.D., and a great point. I got me thinking about my college age daughters and their friends. For the life of me, I have yet to meet a conservative young woman who was NOT raised in an intact home with a conservative dad.

    Me (home not intact since about two or three, but my dad is very conservative and was a very active and involved father).

    • #5
    • June 19, 2017, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We went to one of the national parks when I was a kid and they were showing some “documentary” on all the damage that was being done to the environment by the big ol’ nasty machines that were being used to knock all the trees down. My dad, being a big ol’ nasty machine designer, was a little miffed, and I got a bit of a rant from him about how all the roads to all the national parks were made by big ol’ nasty men driving big ol’ nasty machines, as were the schools, and the hospitals, and the houses where pencil-necked forest rangers with nothing better to do than to show propaganda to children grew up and lived.

    • #6
    • June 19, 2017, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 22 likes
  7. Seawriter Contributor

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    It had a base end, as I recall.

    Seawriter

    • #7
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:00 AM PDT
    • 27 likes
  8. Judge Mental Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    It had a base end, as I recall.

    Seawriter

    I love a good pH joke.

    • #8
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. bridget Inactive

    There were a few times I came home to ask Mom if Dad was really a bad person because he burned off fields after harvesting or sprayed fertilizer on his crops. Why? Because Mrs. So-and-so said that farmers were contributing to the destruction of the planet. She would always assure me “No, your daddy’s a good man who works really hard to make sure his family doesn’t go without.” How could I possibly think any less of my dad when all he’d ever been was a good, hard-working man who loved me? The short answer was: I couldn’t. All my family were farmers and I, myself, helped out on the farm. I knew I certainly wasn’t a bad person, so they couldn’t be bad people either. Any time some teacher at school said farmers were bad, it just contributed to my ongoing problem with authority because I thought to myself well, she’s a liar because farmers are good.

    Leaving aside the fact that this chickie should know where food comes from, there’s also the basic idea that you can help the environment by doing things that make sense in your own life and given your own circumstances.

    The “one size fits all” method of “helping” the environment is insane. Not everyone can afford it. Not everyone makes the same decisions or has the same circumstances. It makes sense for me to drive a station wagon that gets 30 mpg on the highway, but that doesn’t mean I get to snot down to people who need pick-up trucks for their construction companies, nor does it mean that people who walk to work have any right to get cranky with me for driving in from where I can afford to live.

    This isn’t rocket surgery.

    • #9
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  10. Dr. Jimmy Carter Member
    Dr. Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Our fear was nuclear annihilation and the propaganda film was The Day After. That movie scared the hell outta Me when I was a lil’ tyke.

    Oh, and killer bees.

    • #10
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:15 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. MarciN Member

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    Acid rain was caused largely by the environmentalists’ first successes in court. They sued a few air-polluting companies that responded by building taller smoke stacks that contained converters as secondary pollution controls. In the early days of environmentalism, “dilution was the solution.” The idea was to push the pollution high into the lower atmosphere, thereby letting the winds dilute it throughout a much larger area. The theory was based on the knowledge that pollution concentrates and sinks into the low-lying areas of land masses.

    Tragically, what those converters did was produce something far more toxic than was produced before, and the tall smoke stacks unleashed that substance into the rain clouds very high up where the wind could then blow the clouds around the country and harm everything they rained on. It was a scientist-created disaster. Whole mountain lakes were destroyed by it. We don’t hear about it anymore because it was the environmentalists who caused it.

    From a 1985 article in the New York Times:

    But dispersal of sulfur dioxide and other substances from the tall stacks has been found to cause acid rain and other environmentally damaging pollution. … was failing to enforce the Clean Air Act when it permitted the power plants to spread their pollution over a wider area rather than reduce it.

    • #11
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:28 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  12. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):
    Our fear was nuclear annihilation and the propaganda film was The Day After. That movie scared the hell outta Me when I was a lil’ tyke.

    Oh, and killer bees.

    Killer bees and quick sand were both big future problems in my mind as a child.

    • #12
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:38 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    Working from long-term memory, so I may have a fact incorrect here–I’ll go look it up and come back and fix this if I’ve made a mistake:

    Acid rain was caused largely by the environmentalists’ first successes in court. They sued a few air-polluting companies that responded by building taller smoke stacks that contained converters as secondary pollution controls. In the early days of environmentalism, “dilution was the solution.” The idea was to push the pollution high into the lower atmosphere, thereby letting the winds dilute it throughout a much larger area. Pollution does tend to sink and collect in the low areas of continents.

    What those converters did was produce something far more toxic than was produced before and the tall smoke stacks unleashed that substance into the rain clouds very high up where the wind could then blow the clouds around the country around and destroy everything they rained on. It was a scientist-created disaster. Whole mountain lakes were destroyed by it. We don’t hear about it anymore because it was the environmentalists who caused it.

    Interesting! I didn’t actually know that!

    • #13
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. tigerlily Member

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    There is a chapter in The Ultimate Resource 2 by Julian Simon (1996) that discusses environmental & resources scares. Here’s a little of what he says about that scare:

    “The acid rain scare has now been exposed as one of the great false alarms of our time. In 1980, the federal government initiated the huge National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) employing 700 scientists and costing $500 million. The NAPAP study found – to the surprise of most of its scientists – that acid rain was far less threatening than it had been assumed to be at the onset of the study. It is mainly a threat to a few lakes – about 2% of the lake surface in the Adirondacks – all of which could be made less acid with cheap and quick liming. Furthermore, before 1860, when forests around the lakes began to be cut and wood burned (which lowers acidity) the lakes were as acid as now. The Clean Air Act of 1990….was passed while the NAPAP findings were unknown to most or all of the Congress, the NAPAP director expressed disappointment in 1990 that ‘the science that NAPAP performed…has been largely ignored.’ Indeed, the NAPAP findings were systematically kept from public view until the television program 60 Minutes aired a broadcast of the scandal.

    In Europe, the supposed effects of acid rain in destroying forests and reducing tree growth have now been shown to be without foundation; forests are larger and trees grow more rapidly, than in the first half of this century.

    The acid rain scare reteaches an important lesson. It is quick and easy to raise a false alarm, but to quell the alarm is hard and slow. The necessary solid research requires considerable time. And by the time the research is complete, many people have a stake in wanting the scientific truth not to be heard – advocacy organizations who gain public support from the alarm; and bureaucrats who have a stake in not being shown to have been in error, and who already ahve built some empire on the supposed problem.”

    We always hear the initial charges of doom & gloom, but if and when the scare is de-bunked it is a non-story.

    • #14
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  15. MarciN Member

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    There is a chapter in The Ultimate Resource 2 by Julian Simon (1996) that discusses environmental & resources scares. Here’s a little of what he says about that scare: . . . .

    See my comment 11 above.

    It would have been a full-blown disaster had the businesses not realized what was happening. They changed the converter design. But this problem was caused by the environmentalists who insisted businesses do something against their better judgment at that time. Your quote above is evidence that the environmentalists have tried to cover up their role in this. They have succeeded. They are political. They get away with covering up their mistakes because they control the mass media. They are aided and abetted by the liberal left.

    I used to be an “environmentalist.” I like the thinking that they promoted, which was that we live in a complex ecosystem and a web of interconnected ecosystems and that whatever we do inside an ecosystem has ripple effects within that system and far-flung impacts in neighboring ecosystems. And I like considering the future in whatever we do today.

    But the movement became political and did not live by the principles it espoused. So I am no longer one of them. :) But I still agree with the principles that the movement was built on.

    • #15
    • June 19, 2017, at 11:44 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Dr. Jimmy Carter Member
    Dr. Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    J.D. Snapp (View Comment):
    Killer bees and quick sand were both big future problems in my mind as a child.

    Quick sand?! Really? That cracked Me up.

    I thought quick sand only existed in Tarzan movies and on Gilligan’s Island.

    • #16
    • June 19, 2017, at 12:13 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  17. RightAngles Member

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    The environmentalist propaganda started when I was very young, but it didn’t get me in the end. I truly believe my primary saving grace was growing up in a strong nuclear family uniquely full of love, honesty, and responsibility with bonds that couldn’t be broken by lies. I hope to provide that same home environment for my future children.
    Touching post, J.D., and a great point. I got me thinking about my college age daughters and their friends. For the life of me, I have yet to meet a conservative young woman who was NOT raised in an intact home with a conservative dad.

    I was divorced when my daughter was 7. But I de-programmed her every day after school for 15 years, setting her straight on the bilge they tried to cram into her head. Today she’s a 22-year-old college senior and a Republican.

    I recall the annual Earth Day celebrations at her school. One year she was dressed as a bumblebee for some kind of Earth Day pageant. Some of them almost bordered on pagan rites, if you ask me. In her 1st grade classroom was a poster of the Earth with various animals encircling it. This isn’t it but it was similar:

    Image result for Earth Day poster with animals

    The poster said, ‘THEY WERE HERE FIRST.” So I went home and did a little research after making a note of each animal. I found that not one of the animals depicted actually predated Man. But as usual, the Left never lets a few facts get in the way of a good narrative. Unfortunately, they’re teaching an awful lot of fact-free lessons in our schools these days.

    In addition, though, it’s disgraceful to frighten children the way they do, and to make them feel dirty and guilty for being born.

    • #17
    • June 19, 2017, at 12:16 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  18. MarciN Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    In addition, though. it’s disgraceful to frighten children the way they do, and to make them feel dirty and guilty for being born.

    This.

    • #18
    • June 19, 2017, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. MeandurΦ Member
    MeandurΦ Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    J.D. Snapp (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    I know! I haven’t heard about it since the 90s, but I distinctly remember being told that people in impoverished Eastern countries were already suffering from acid rain as a result of humanity destroying the environment. Then you go on Wikipedia to look it up and see:

    Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure.

    It can peel paint, but apparently doesn’t peel flesh like in that video.

    Didn’t someone find out that trees were causing acid rain?

    [edit] asked and answered.

    • #19
    • June 19, 2017, at 12:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dean Murphy (View Comment):

    J.D. Snapp (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    I know! I haven’t heard about it since the 90s, but I distinctly remember being told that people in impoverished Eastern countries were already suffering from acid rain as a result of humanity destroying the environment. Then you go on Wikipedia to look it up and see:

    Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure.

    It can peel paint, but apparently doesn’t peel flesh like in that video.

    Didn’t someone find out that trees were causing acid rain?

    I don’t think it was trees in general, but one particular species was a contributor. I don’t recall which species, though, and it’s possible that that claim has been debunked by now, too.

    • #20
    • June 19, 2017, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    Whatever happened to acid rain? You never hear about it anymore.

    It had a base end, as I recall.

    *GROAN…*

    (Darn it…why didn’t I think of this first?)

    • #21
    • June 19, 2017, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    J.D. Snapp (View Comment):
    Killer bees and quick sand were both big future problems in my mind as a child.

    Quick sand?! Really? That cracked Me up.

    I thought quick sand only existed in Tarzan movies and on Gilligan’s Island.

    Oh no! Just about every jungle/desert-based adventure show had quick sand in it somewhere when I was a kid. :) I thought it must be a HUGE problem outside of Northeast Arkansas.

    • #22
    • June 19, 2017, at 2:43 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  23. Hoyacon Member

    Every (acid rain) cloud has a silver lining. Without environmental alarmism, we might not have cultural icons like:

    • #23
    • June 19, 2017, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Seawriter Contributor

    Let’s not forget:

    Seawriter

    • #24
    • June 19, 2017, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    J.D. Snapp (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    J.D. Snapp (View Comment):
    Killer bees and quick sand were both big future problems in my mind as a child.

    Quick sand?! Really? That cracked Me up.

    I thought quick sand only existed in Tarzan movies and on Gilligan’s Island.

    Oh no! Just about every jungle/desert-based adventure show had quick sand in it somewhere when I was a kid. ? I thought it must be a HUGE problem outside of Northeast Arkansas.

    And ROUSes.

    • #25
    • June 19, 2017, at 4:11 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge

    The King Prawn (View Comment):
    And ROUSes.

    I don’t think they exist…

    • #26
    • June 19, 2017, at 4:14 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Sash Member

    I grew up in the Western US, and heard about Acid rain all my life, I was sure the entire Eastern US was defoliated by Acid Rain. I didn’t really give it much thought, I just assumed that the information I’d been spoon fed my whole life was accurate.

    I was an adult when my husband, I, and our children moved to upstate NY for a few years in the early 90s. I was shocked that it was a very healthy green forest! Lots and lots of very very green forest! I really did not expect it. The East is far greener than almost anywhere in the West! And the trees look very healthy.

    I don’t know what happened to Acid Rain, but it did not kill of all the trees East of the Mississippi.

    I often rebel against the recyclers and just waste stuff. And I use paper plates as often as I can. If I liked styrofoam, I’d use it too.

    • #27
    • June 19, 2017, at 4:20 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  28. Sash Member

    J.D. Snapp (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):
    Our fear was nuclear annihilation and the propaganda film was The Day After. That movie scared the hell outta Me when I was a lil’ tyke.

    Oh, and killer bees.

    Killer bees and quick sand were both big future problems in my mind as a child.

    Killer bees are a thing, and it’s serious. I’ve moved from AZ, but there used to be an attack several times a year, someone would die. I was back in AZ earlier this year, we did the Pink Jeep tours in Sedona, and they were on the look out for killer bees. My daughter got stung, but only once and only one bee…

    • #28
    • June 19, 2017, at 4:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Randy Webster Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Every (acid rain) cloud has a silver lining. Without environmental alarmism, we might not have cultural icons like:

    Is that Richard Widmark and Michael Caine in that bomb?

    • #29
    • June 19, 2017, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Judge Mental Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Every (acid rain) cloud has a silver lining. Without environmental alarmism, we might not have cultural icons like:

    Is that Richard Widmark and Michael Caine in that bomb?

    And Jose Ferrar.

    • #30
    • June 19, 2017, at 4:34 PM PDT
    • Like

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