The inconvenient truth about the Inconvenient Truth approach to green pedagogy is that by the time Gore moves past the gloom to What You Can Do, you’re too depressed to do more than clutch the nearest stuffed penguin and click on Animal Planet. Not so Annie Leonard‘s 20-minute Story of Stuff viral kiddie video, an adorable, doomtastic, animated homage to How We’re All Killing the Planet (with cuteness and plastic bottles, mainly).
The thick-lined drawings of the Earth, a factory and a house, meant to convey the cycle of human consumption, are straightforward and child-friendly. So are the pictures of dark puffs of factory smoke and an outlined skull and crossbones, representing polluting chemicals floating in the air…
Mark Lukach, who teaches global studies at Woodside Priory, a Catholic college-preparatory school in Portola Valley, Calif., acknowledged that the film is edgy, but said the 20-minute length gives students time to challenge it in class after viewing it.
“Compared to ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ ” he said, referring to Al Gore’s one-and-a-half-hour documentary on climate change, “it is much shorter and easier to compact into a class segment. You can watch it and then segue into a discussion.”