A new PBS web-based cartoon series that preaches to kids about environmentalism and the dangers of consumerism is being funded in part by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Loop Scoops,” an animated show created by liberal environmental activist and anti-Capitalist Annie Leonard, features elementary school-aged characters who learn that video game devices are “toxic” and that juice boxes are ecological “weapons” that will eventually destroy the planet.
Each show starts out with the children getting tricked into taking a test imposed by a powerful, all-knowing – and often faceless – administrator. On some episodes, the children are forced to answer questions about the environment after agreeing to play a game of riddles with a talking Egyptian sphinx. On other episodes, the kids are duped into taking a quiz given by a giant computer after they respond to a newspaper advertisement searching for “Kid's to Test the World's Coolest Video Game!” (while real-life kids would probably be ticked-off by this deception, the cheerful eco-zombie youth on the show don't appear to mind).
The administrators pose questions to the kids like “How do you make this pile of garbage smaller in 60 seconds?” (answer: by recycling and composting) and “Which is better, fresh-squeezed orange juice or bottled orange juice?” (answer: fresh-squeezed, because bottles clog up the environment). In each episode, the child-aged characters initially struggle with the questions, but quickly come to the “right” conclusions. Correct answers are rewarded by a large, bodyless hand stamping the word “PASSED” on a manila folder with the child's photograph and name on it.
Each show ends with one of the children explaining the moral that he or she has learned. “Think about it: Do you really need that new thing?” asks Oliver, after he discovers that video game devices are “toxic” and will eventually “go into a [garbage] dump somewhere and poison the Earth.” At the end of another episode, Brad tells viewers to “use a re-usable bottle!” after he learns that juice boxes are dangerous, non-biodegradable “weapons” that may eventually “bury” the planet.
The PBSkids.org website notes that Loop Scoops is “funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 83447601 to WGBH,” but maintains that the show “may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.”
“Loop Scoop” is certainly not the first environmentalist effort to indoctrinate kids. CMI has documented a children's book featuring a global warming-fighting Santa, CBS highlighting “eco-warrior children,” Nickelodeon's “Big Green Help” initiative, and Enviro-Elmo.