Originally Published by SUA – 1992
By Tom Pysdek
Has the epitome of family life entertainment thrown in with the environmental extremists pseudo-science?
I have always viewed the Disney Channel as a place where my five-year old son could find a safe haven from violent and frightening fare offered by commercial television. With the airing of the propaganda film This Island Earth, I have discovered that they have joined the ranks of fear mongers, and that they are trying to convince my child that the earth is about to be destroyed in an environmental disaster of unprecedented proportions.
The list of outright lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations that are presented as “scientific fact” in the program would take volumes to address. A typical example involves a pseudo-scientist Tom Lovejoy, announcing that we are headed for “…a biological disaster like this planet has never seen before.” Entertainers and children, who don’t even lay claim to pseudo-scientist status, proclaim solemnly that by the year 2050 the earth will become a barren desert, completely devoid of life.
This would come as a complete surprise to the 50 leading scientists who wrote Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992). These scientists conclude that although there are environmental issues that need to be dealt with in a rational manner, there is no environmental “crisis.” The crisis is being conducted by groups that are promoting their own special interests (and enriching themselves tremendously in the process) at the expense of the truth.
Obviously, this is part of the motivation behind This Island Earth. The Audubon Society can clearly expect a great deal of press (from organizations like the Disney Channel), and increased membership and contributions. One clip implores us to “save the planet” by using baking soda for doing our washing (Arm and Hammer is a sponsor). Another clip shows a demonstration where a banner proclaims “GRAPES ARE TOXIC,” the United Farm Workers are another sponsor and they happen to be boycotting grape growers.
There is a religious message that runs through the entire program. The religion being promoted is pantheism, an ancient form of paganism. In pantheism god lives in all things, animate and inanimate. Kenny Loggins proclaims that he has made a “connection” with a family of dolphins through his singing (could it be that they are merely attracted to his rhythmic movements?) A child proclaims “Every plant, every animal is a life. Just like a human life.” We are told that we should “Thank the eagle for allowing us to share its higher vision” and that alligators possess “natural wisdom.”
There is a clear message of hatred towards business. In one scene a female rock star sings “we can stop the hate” as footage of factories and mines is shown. Pictures are shown of 3rd world farmers harvesting their crops with crude knives while the singer intones, “love will show us the way. ” Are we being asked to abandon those things that doubled the human life span and return to a life of subsistence agriculture? The environmentalist’s answer is yes.
There is a steady barrage of political messages directed explicitly at children. Children are told to engage in political activism and to “act on your feelings.” After 40 minutes of the propaganda contained in This Island Earth, the only possible feelings a child can have is utter fear and dread. What sort of “action” do the producers expect? I suggest suicide is one possibility. Another is terrorism. Indeed, there is footage showing an Earth First! Eco-terrorist being pulled from in front of a logging truck, while a rock star sings of “love” being an answer. Numerous scenes show militant environmentalist groups such as Greenpeace engaged in acts of sabotage at sea.
This Island Earth is a propaganda piece of the kind that used to be shown only by totalitarian dictators who feared the truth. I hope the Disney Channel will refuse to participate in providing a forum for such propaganda in the future. If not, I will do my best to discourage anyone from supporting the Disney organization in any way. It is immoral to help finance your own destroyers.
Tom Pysdek is the president of Quality Publishing in Tucson AZ.