"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

One Word: Plastics. And the Gentle Art of Seduction.

Do you remember this famous scene from the Graduate?

One Word: Plastics. It was a great opportunity according to Mr. McGuire (Walter Brooke) as he talks to the young graduate, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) in 1967.

Times have certainly changed in four decades. Now "plastics" is tossed around in the same sentence with the words "boycott" and "petition" by elementary children on Earth Day. Here is the video with the song performed by children at Riverwood Elementary in Cordova, TN:

"The sky is high and the ocean is deep,
But we can't treat the planet like a garbage heap,
Don't wreck it, protect it, keep part of it wild,
And think about the future of your great-grandchild.
Recycle, bicycle, don't you drive by yourself,
Don't buy those plastic products on the supermarket shelf.
Boycott, petition, let the big business know,
That is, we mess it up here, there's nowhere else we can go.
Don't shrug your shoulders, say "what can I do"?
Only one person can do it, and that person is you!"

I have a couple of thoughts about this little ditty: plastics are recyclable materials, like paper. When did a recyclable material become the target of boycotts? Do we want students to boycott and petition paper producers because the production of paper can cause pollution and add to trash collection? How many thousands of people will be unemployed if boycotts/petitions/regulatory actions are undertaken to weaken the industry?

Isn't STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) a HUGE push by this administration so the United States can become more globally competitive? I guess a student from this school could study boycotting and petitioning instead of learning how to become a scientist to help in our manufacturing abilities. That will certainly help our country be competitive, right?

Maybe the better idea for these children and teachers on Earth Day is not to malign an industry but to learn how to take care of resources and learn how to recycle instead of marginalizing a product. And perhaps the teachers should clue them in to how if industries are shut down, jobs are lost and the government has to pay unemployment to the people who lost the jobs it helped phase out.

Benjamin Braddock was seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). I wonder if these children have been seduced by political correctness.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.ecologycenter.org/ptf/misconceptions.html

    You should check out this site.


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