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Planeteers

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jv42244n
Words 1343
Pages 6
Jessica V. 04/12/2013 ENV 105 section# 22641

Captain Planet seeks Planeteers with real super hero powers
In the early 90s, the animated environmentalist television program Captain Planet and the Planeteers gained worldwide popularity; the show immediately grabs your attention from the opening theme.
“Our world is in peril; Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, can no longer stand the terrible destruction plaguing our planet. She sends magic five rings to 5 special young people” (A Hero for Earth. Captain Planet and the Planeteers. TBS. 15 September 1990. Television.)
In 2013 those 5 special young people sold the rings on EBay to pay off student loans and credit card debt. In society’s attempt to solve the ecological crisis in the 21st century, people living and breathing on this planet must contribute to making environmentally conscious sacrifices to ensure that there will be a planet Earth tomorrow. What we have done throughout the past has contributed to the erosion and deterioration of our ecosystem today. In order for a system of environmental policy to be enforced, the policy itself needs to be backed by governments. Unfortunately, a large number of corporations and businesses that contribute to the crimes against nature directly stimulate the economy and in addition act as huge sponsors in political campaigning. With each solution for every environmental issue, whether it is clean energy or animal cruelty, money plays a significant role. In order for change, media outlets, corporations, and politicians must utilize their power in order for society to become more environmentally responsible. The media directly influences society in the way we think and adds pressure to modify certain behaviors. Namely, one movie about the life-threatening effects to the human body after eating McDonald’s for one month grossed over $30 million at the box office alone and reached a massive audience. This documentary influenced the world in that major fast food companies restructured their menus and did away with super-sized portions of food items that were high in fat; they became more health conscious by adding healthier meal options and displaying the caloric content. Unfortunately, the movies that were made about the torturing and slaughtering of animals in order to attain the “high quality” steaks, burgers, and chicken one craves on a daily basis were not as highly publicized and backed up by the media in order to reach a greater audience. According to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), “In order to convince meat-eaters to stop eating animals, vegetarian options must be convenient and available in the places where meat-eaters munch. There will never be vegan or vegetarian options at restaurant chains unless vegetarians and vegans support them.” PETA even goes as far as listing the many restaurants that incorporate vegetarian and vegan items that include Baskin Robbins, Burger King, Chipotle and Taco Bell. These fast food chains have proven to have at least one cruelty free item on their menus but one item isn’t what brings in the crowd. To draw the potential customers into restaurants you have to make the right commercial so that you grab your audiences’ attention and get them excited enough to purchase your menu items. One particular commercial featured basketball pro Lebron James eating a Big Mac; When the audience sees their favorite stars eating already popular menu items then fast food chains are put in the position of selling food items that already sell themselves. The flame broiled veggie burgers don’t appear in any commercials or even on YouTube or have any celebrity endorsers. If fast food restaurants really want to show the world that they are truly supporting the cause of cruelty-free consumption then they would have to create more cruelty-free menu options and market them to the world with commercials that feature public figures that the media follows.
Sustainability is the long term maintenance of the environment. Emphasis on the long term which requires commitment and in a world with fifty one percent divorce rates, commitment isn’t really our strong suit. The key is to adopt sustainable practices that become routine. For instance, a huge sacrifice made that positively aided in the fight against air pollution was the introduction of hybrid electric vehicles in 1997 by Japan’s Toyota. Hybrid cars have built in electric propulsion systems that allow one to get more mileage for the gas purchased. An economy sized car that is not a hybrid car can get up to 35 miles per gallon; whereas the same economy sized hybrid car will get 95 miles per gallon. This translates to less gas emission and pollution in the air as well as more money saved from not buying as much gas and on one’s yearly tax credit, for driving a hybrid car, of up to $3,400. The world’s bestselling hybrid car remains to be the Toyota Prius thus other car companies including Honda, Lexus, Mercedes Benz have all followed suit and have created hybrid economy sized and sport utility vehicles in order to demonstrate that their companies are actively participating in corporate social responsibility. In today’s society, one tends to idolize and emulate celebrities; many celebrities such as Leonardo di Caprio and Cameron Diaz have adopted sustainable ways which include driving hybrid cars. Hence driving a hybrid car is becoming a norm rather than a fad simply because the newer hybrid cars are luxury brand, have celebrity endorsements, and of course put money back in one’s pockets.
Some environmentalists have urgencies so strong when it comes to environmental issues, specifically coal plants, they go as far as forming protests that started off as non-violent but become violent when police enforcement becomes involved. Substituting coal mining plants for wind mill turbines to produce electric and renewable energy is a positive step towards using sustainable energy. Nevertheless the CEOs of the coal mining plants are of the richest and powerful of the community. Unfortunately the environmental police academy doesn’t pay well so the police that one sees on the daily basis don’t fight crimes against the environment; Public disturbance is a crime and punishable by jail time which goes on one’s record. There aren’t going to be many people willing to miss a day of school and/or work wanting a free ride to jail and a misdemeanor. Thus the power lies in the hands of the corporations to ditch coal mining and switch over to renewable energy. There has to be a rag to riches story of a billionaire family who made their billions starting in renewable energy for corporations to gain interest. Denmark has efficiently implemented wind mill turbines along with 83 other countries including China. It seems a number of countries are utilizing wind energy however the bankability factor is missing. It will be a far easier sacrifice to make if the amount to money generated will be equal or even more. To influence the world to adopt sustainable ways and be environmentally responsible, the media influences and corporations have to change first. A handful of environmentalists, with their rings combined, don’t have enough money, power, or respect to change the world. The CEOs, politicians, celebrities, and the media have the real super hero powers. If they want something to change and want something to disappear, they attain the resources to do such. It’s time they show off a little more corporate social responsibility and change the world so that planet Earth doesn’t disappear.

Works Cited

Dill, Karen E. How Fantasy Becomes Reality: Seeing Through Media Influence
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Erjavec, Jack. Hybrid, Electric, and Fuel-Cell Vehicles.
New York, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning, 2012 . Print.

Park, Jacob. The Crisis of Global Environmental Governance: Towards a New Political Economy of Sustainability . New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2008. Print.
Steingraber, Sandra. Raising Elijah: Raising Our Children in An Age of Environmental Crisis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2011. Print.

United States Department of Energy. Twenty percent wind energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply. http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov, 2012

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