I recall growing up watching the Planeteers get together, combine powers, and tackle big environmental problems. “We’re gonna put pollution down to zero” is how the line goes I believe. This cartoon was such an inspiration to me growing up, I felt empowered to do anything! That riding my bike to school would make a real difference against the evil goblins behind the ocean levels rising, and the natural disasters that plague our societies. Now, older and wiser, I realize that there are not goblins to fight but human habit. How could Captain Planet be of any use now if he’s only a cartoon? Or is he?
GFA hosted a Friday speaker, whose opening line was a conch shell horn call, certain to get anyone’s attention. His second line was laying out a goal for the next ten minutes, “to change something about the way we are thinking.” Chris Maxey, part of the Island School program dedicates his time to making secondary education part of the environmental solution. He presented the students with a challenge: to purchase a solar power suitcase. This suitcase (pictured below) is not meant to move by solar power, but is a device that actually collects solar power. The benefit of such a small, compact, object is that it can be transported to some of the furthest locations in the world, solving not only a power shortage for a city that may not have infrastructure for more, but also makes use of renewable energy.
Mr. Maxey reminded me that while Captain Planet is a cartoon, there is some truth to being able to inflict small change to better the world around us. He makes change seem possible, not just an idea in a textbook. After the presentation it dawned on me that Chris Maxey might just be the new, and very real Captain Planet encouraging us to put our resources together to preserve the world where we live.
“And with your powers combined…”
-Rebekah Skoog, US French