Growing up, there was no shortage of kid-focused ad campaigns and animated heroes dedicated to teaching children the importance of healthy living.
There was the Got Milk? campaign, which urged children and young adults to increase their calcium intake; McGruff the Crime Dog, who took a proverbial bite out of crime; and The Lorax, a short story written by a fake doctor wherein a free market entrepreneur known as the Once-ler manufactures Thneeds (a thing that everyone needs) while overcoming the socialist propaganda of a moustache-clad, tree-hugging hippie, thus teaching children the crucial economic principle of supply and demand.
As a child, those ads and characters had a big effect on me. I drank a lot of milk as a kid; I'm now terrified of dogs dressed in trench coats, and when it comes to environmentalism, I do my best to recycle. I only litter when visiting Cincinnati, Ohio (because that city is garbage anyways), and I always make sure to cut up those plastic beer can rings that would otherwise strangle seagulls (even though seagulls are abominations sent from hell by the devil to ruin family beach excursions).
But times have changed.
It's since been revealed that Big Dairy spent years hiding the fact that milk is apparently bad for you; McGruff the Crime Dog had to be put down after mauling an unarmed teenager, and it's become increasingly obvious that cartoon heroes like Captain Planet and Crysta the fairy didn't quite inspire us to save the world.
The Great Barrier Reef is bleaching for the second year in a row, the extent of ice covering the North pole has fallen to an all time low for the third straight year; and I'm pretty sure we're still running out of bees, leaving only an abundance of wasps: the bitter, honeyless curmudgeons of the arthropod phylum.
Luckily, people are finding new ways to combat climate change. Protesters try (and often fail) to thwart unsustainable corporate interests. Al Gore continues to make documentaries I have no intention of watching.
The Amazon even has the Specialized Inspection Group, an armed team of scientists and veterans dedicated to protecting the rainforest led by a former high school science teacher named Roberto Cabral (who I assume chain-smokes oversized cigars and mumbles the words, "schools out" every time he shoots someone).
As global efforts to curb climate change become increasingly more drastic, maybe it's time to present these more radical means to kids. After all, children are our future. And assuming we still have a future, it's important we teach today's youths to step up their environmentalism.
So perhaps we should consider bringing back The Magic School Bus, but this time, Ms. Frizzle converts the bus into an armored vehicle and fucks shit up Rambo-style. Or we could revamp The Wild Thornberrys to depict Eliza using her ability to communicate with animals to stage an international anti-human revolt. (But, as we all know, animal rebellions always lead to pigs staging a coup, taking over the farm, and causing a huge Orwellian metaphor). And we definitely need to change it so that when Smokey The Bear says, "Only you can prevent forest fires," he then picked up a gun and adds, "by any means necessary" before ripping off some of his fur to reveal a calligraphy chest tattoo that reads, "The right to BEAR arms."
Or we could just cancel science classes and instead have kids watch dystopian movies like The Road, Mad Max, and—more realistically—Idiocracy. That way, when plant life dies, they'll at least know how to survive. Because in times like this, it's important we remember the everlasting words of Dr. Seuss: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot…Actually, never mind. At this point, we're pretty much fucked."