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Making Kids Eco-Crazy

It’s back to school time for kids and, of course, for the environmental crazies that means creating a huge mythology of things that will kill them the minute they venture into the jungle of hazards and horrors that await them in school.

The biggest hazard I encountered was a kid named Mario who, not surprisingly, ended up in jail. I did not worry about what my clothes were made from, if the acrylic paints would poison me, or the importance of using both sides of the piece of paper.

Let’s understand that, for years now, children have been taught that the Earth is virtually on its last legs and that Global Warming is sufficient for them to abandon all hope of ever being as old as their grandparents, most of whom are probably already dead from inhaling asbestos, having their lungs destroyed by radon, or being slowly poisoned from having used pesticides to kill bugs in their bedroom. Plus, those old people all ate fast foods, drank soda, and probably smoked. If they aren’t dead, they are obviously just a freak of nature.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to receive an email from something called “EcoMall.com” described as “one of the oldest and largest portals for environmental shopping.” According to the folks at EcoMall.com, back-to-school time is also the perfect time to “start introducing earth-friendly concepts into their children’s everyday lives.”

Or, to put it another way, time to start scaring the living daylights out of them by ruining what fun they might have in the few, short years of their childhood.

One hardly knows where to begin in the long list of life-threatening things the mere act of going to school involves. For example, “Petroleum oil, a non-renewable resource, is used in the manufacture of chemicals and plastic commonly found in most school supplies. Environmentally speaking, using supplies made from natural ingredients is always preferable.”

Wait a minute! Are these loonies telling me that oil is not a “natural” substance produced by the Earth? Are they suggesting that all chemicals are automatically a hazard? That plastic is a bad thing? Yes, they are. And they are telling your children this as well.

For the environmentally demented, recycling is as much a religious duty as facing Mecca five times a day is for Muslims. “Schools should remember to use both sides of the paper, save and reused paper clips, thumbtacks, rubber bands, etc., and recycle newspapers, cans, and bottles.”

Suffice it to say, recycling is expensive, requires a lot of power, and many states and cities have concluded it is a huge waste of money and manpower. It has no practical value other than to make people feel bad about using stuff.

EcoMall.com is determined to warn parents to dress their children only in “organic cotton and hemp” because “conventional cotton cultivation uses 25% of the world’s pesticides.” It is also one of the most popular cloths in the world and under attack from a wide range of insect predators such as the famed Boll Weevil. You want cotton? You have to kill the bugs. EcoMall.com actually says that their cotton products “do not contain toxic pesticides.” What do you want to bet that ordinary cotton clothing doesn’t either?

It is important, too, to make sure the school only provides “organic food and juice, as well as rBGH-free milk.” Have you checked the cost of organic food versus the food that all the rest of us buy at the supermarket?

Perhaps most important of all is to “Make your school a toxin-free zone.”  Parents should storm the local school board and demand the use of non-toxic cleaners “which can impact indoor air quality.” Whatever else is going on in school, it is essential that “toxic pesticides” are not used “in or around the school” because of the “significant health risks to your children if exposed.”

Oddly, I know something about pest control, having worked with the industry for several decades. None of the pest control professionals I have known are bent on killing every child in every school in America. Quite the contrary, they are concerned with killing the legions of cockroaches, mice, rats, and other disease-spreading pests that routinely invade school cafeterias and anywhere else food can be found such as desks, lockers, and the teacher’s lounge!

They fend off pigeons whose droppings degrade school structures and, universally these days, they do this work at night when schools are empty. Despite being around pesticides all day, these people actually have families of their own and their children are as healthy as yours. Many of them go into the business!

Here are just a few of the school items EcoMall.com warns against: magic markers, disposable pens, plastic folders and notebooks, acrylic paints and scented art products, epoxy or instant bonding glues, artist’s pastel crayons, and glossy paper used for art projects. You have been warned!

Somewhere in this great land of ours, some eco-scientists are conducting experiments that will conclusively prove that your children are in more danger in school than if they lived in downtown Baghdad.

It’s all foolishness, of course, but it is a dangerous, malign and evil foolishness. It adds levels of anxiety to the daunting challenge of learning anything in today’s horrid schools that routinely fail to teach the basic knowledge children will need to survive in a world where the competition will be truly global.

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Written By

Mr. Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet site of the National Anxiety Center.

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