Posted at 3:29 PM on January 29, 2007
by Sanden Totten
On Friday MPR hosted a discussion about how the world is dealing with Global Warming. It's pretty serious stuff and it got me thinking: "Boy, we could really use some help dealing with our environmental problems'. Who should we turn to?" Captain Planet, of course.
For those of you who didn't grow up in the 90's, Captain Planet was a cartoon show about a team of international teenagers who would summon a powerful mullet-sporting superhero to help them clean up the earth. Sounds like the perfect guy for the job, huh? Unfortunately, he's been hard to track down. His show was canceled in '93 and after a brief rap career, the Captain hit rock bottom. He was spotted at holiday parties after having a little too much organic "egg-nog". Now he's going back to his roots by working with the Captain Planet Foundation to help bring the message of reducing, reusing and recycling to kids around the world. (Captain Planet image via Turner.com)
But in all seriousness, it seems to me that when I was growing up eco-friendly cartoons were all the rage. I can think of at least three pro-environment cartoons off the top of my head. And there was the lovable Woodsy Owl telling kids to "give a hoot, don't pollute!" But after the mid-90's I can't think of a single green cartoon. It's like the environment suddenly stopped being hip. Maybe I just stopped watching cartoons. Either way, these cartoons deeply influenced the way I think about the environment today. I certainly still feel guilty every time I don't bother recycling and when I do, I catch myself reciting the Captain Planet mantra "the power is yours!"
Are kids getting the same kind of messages from their cartoons today? Who are the eco-heroes of the new decade?