Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Captain Planet!

Recently, I was made aware of a playlist on YouTube of Captain Planet episodes. Captain Planet is one of the great old science-themed cartoon. (not the greatest, Magic School Bus holds that title, hands-down. And I am categorizing environmentalism as science). Unfortunately, the creation of Captain Planet preceeded me by a year. And since I didn't start watching TV when I was born (something this generation could probably claim), I missed it entirely. However, my interest in it came around 8, when playing a computer game which was themed on Captain Planet. I can't find that game, or remember where it was, but it was pretty good! It was one of those move-by-grid games where you control the planeteers and strategically place them to fight pollutant enemies.

Anyway, after watching a couple of episodes, I find the series AWESOME! Yet, it inspires mixed feelings. On one hand, it makes me proud of see how far back we've realized that we can make a significant impact on the environment. On the other hand, it shows that we've known about these issues for 18 years, but still haven't worked hard enough to solving them. Even though our cities are (thankfully) not like 19th century England or even present-day (well, right before the Olympics) Beijing, we still have problems with pollution. Though, these days, we have much LARGER problems to deal with, such as global warming which I don't think even Captain Planet saw coming (I haven't watched far enough into the series to tell, but I wouldn't have thought that it was that publicized back then) and the barrage of problems that come with it (like ocean acidification, glacial melting, etc.) There's also deforestation and habitat destruction, which hasn't slowed down at all in the last several years. I'm pretty sure I could start naming more as I keep watching.

Yet, things have still changed. Now, more than ever I believe, people are more aware of the environment and their impact on it. Especially with global warming and dying polar bears taking the head of the campaign. And now, with the internet, people are more able to communicate about these environmental impacts. Which brings up a point I'd like to address to Ted Turner or any of his affiliates who own the rights to this show. Keep the videos up on YouTube. While it would be good to have these episodes air on TV, TV is a very geographically limited medium. If some major network wants to air it, it might only be in a single region of the United States, and most certainly will not be broadcast outside of it. Only on Youtube could anyone from any place in the world (maybe except countries where Youtube is blocked, but that's still a significant increase) see this television series. And isn't that the point of Captain Planet? To spread the word on how to protect the environment? And additionally, saving the environment IS, in fact, a world-wide effort. The bulk of the degredation cannot be pinned to the United States as a superpower (a majority, yes. But nowhere near the entire problem) And with the spread of responsibility for harming the environment, shouldn't we also spread the information on why it occurs and how to protect it? So, there is more reason to leaving these up to be shared than me just wanting to freeload off of Youtube. Now, time to watch more episodes!

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