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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 23, 2011 / 17 Adar II, 5771

‘Human Footprint’ gives capitalism the boot

By Marybeth Hicks





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's that time of year — time for teachers to infuse some life into the curriculum with that reliable instructional tool: the educational video.

Those of us who rode woolly mammoths to school recall the evolutionary cousin of the educational video — the filmstrip. With fitting fanfare, the classroom lights were dimmed, the accompanying recording cued up, and the projection screen illuminated the room as well as the minds of the assembled students.

Today's educational media is more than just instructional. It's entertaining, informative and persuasive, not to mention — unfortunately — wildly political.

This month, my daughter's eighth-grade science class watched "Human Footprint," a 2008 production from National Geographic on the impact of consumption on the environment, specifically that of U.S. citizens.

According to National Geographic, the film uses "science and revelatory visual events" to deliver "an extraordinary personal audit of how much of the world's resources each of us consumes, illustrating the average American's human footprint."

You're probably wondering what a "revelatory visual event" is. Essentially it's another way to say "images that are meant to shock and shame you" — such as, for example, a massive American flag created from the 4,476 loaves of bread each of us will consume in a lifetime, an assemblage of 28,443 rubber ducks to represent the showers we will take while using 700,000 gallons of water, and a forklift dropping 19,826 eggs to create a disgusting, yolk-soaked symbol for the omelets and deviled eggs we will eat before we die.

My daughter thinks "Human Footprint" is interesting, and who wouldn't? We love knowing statistics about ourselves. Who knew each of us will use 156 toothbrushes and 389 tubes of toothpaste in a lifetime?

Of course, the purpose of "Human Footprint" isn't just to create awareness of consumption. Its true aim is to convict Americans of the social sin of living in an affluent nation.

There's even a teacher's guide available online to help instructors convey this message that reads, "By their first birthday, the average American will be responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than a person in Tanzania generates in a lifetime."

Ann McElhinney, co-creator of the documentary "Not Evil Just Wrong," which challenges much of the "settled science" about global warming and climate change, says the message behind "educational" films such as "Human Footprint" is nothing more than propaganda.

"It is not only disingenuous, but also shabby education, not to point out that, according to the World Health Organization, average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.4 years and rising, while that number is as low as 48 years in Tanzania," she says.

"It is unconscionable for anyone to fail to point out also that in Tanzania more than one in 10 children die before their fifth birthday, not from carbon dioxide emissions or climate change, but mostly from preventable conditions such as diarrhea (17 percent), malaria (23 percent), and pneumonia (21 percent). I think any self-respecting educator ought to point that out."

Unfortunately, Mrs. McElhinney says, science in our classrooms is as politically slanted as it is everywhere else in our culture.

"All over the U.S., schools are using films produced by groups like the World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club and the Tides Foundation that all tell essentially the same story: America is bad, consumerism is bad, capitalism bad and the human footprint is bad," Mrs. McElhinney says. "This film also challenges children to come up with ways to counter all that bad behavior, including references to population control."

Unfortunately, American children aren't being educated on the whole issue.

"The implication from 'The Human Footprint' is that the U.S. more than any other country is responsible for this catastrophe," Mrs. McElhinney says. "They're completely ignoring the human achievements fueled by coal, gas and oil that have made our lives splendid, magnificent and free from the fear and drudgery that is such a part of everyday life in places like Tanzania."

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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© 2009, Marybeth Hicks