January 25, 2019

The Green Reaper mascot the Department of Energy created is not merely ludicrous, it's evil, because the idea was to scare children.



From Hit & Run:
Thanks to a FOIA request from journalist Emma Best... we now know... the Green Reaper... was designed in 2012, was intended to be used in "community outreach presentations to local elementary school children" and in internal memos reminding government workers to conserve energy and carpool when possible....

The Green Reaper costume cost about $5,000 to manufacture, but the documents... don't give a full accounting of how much time public employees spent brainstorming and designing it. Regardless, the government liked the design so much that Dawn Starett, the program manager who invented the Green Reaper, won a 2013 Environmental Stewardship Award from the NNSA for it.... [S]queezing that much existential terror out of a mere $5,000 is pretty damn efficient for government work.
I found that through my son John's Facebook post, and here's what I wrote there:
Wow! It was designed to scare children! I remember being scared through my entire childhood by the threat of nuclear bombs. And for thousands of years people have scared children about Hell. The fact that you're sure a threat is real doesn't justify scaring children. I laughed at this mascot at first, but it really shows how evil people are toward children.
I'm giving this post my "using children in politics" tag, because I am inferring that the Department of Energy wanted to enlist children in amping up political pressure on adults and to shape future adults at an undefended emotional level.

And, yes, this is from the Obama Era.

This also needs the "religion substitutes" tag.

ADDED: Would this propaganda work? The Grim Reaper is Death. He's scary. You don't want him coming for you. You try to avoid Death as long as you can. The Green Reaper is an environmentalist. He's scary. You don't want him coming for you. Isn't this teaching the kids to avoid environmentalists?

81 comments:

tim maguire said...

I am assuming (hoping) they never rolled this out.

JML said...

Evil has no boundaries.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Not a very charitable interpretation Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

@Bill

I know and I thought about that as I was writing it.

I'm not willing to apply the Principle of Charity to government actions.

MayBee said...

I remember in the 70's being in middle school "earth science" class, watching movie after movie about how the earth was dying from man's pollution. As if middle school wasn't angsty enough, it would leave me feeling full of despair. Why do adults want to do this to kids?

MayBee said...

It looks a little bit like the Statue of Liberty too, which is weird.

Ralph L said...

I remember in first grade that Tony the Tiger scared us into eating breakfast every day. Somehow, tiny stickers were involved.

Ralph L said...

They had to put the outer hood on it so it wouldn't look like a green Klansman, which might have been more effective--except with White Trash children.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Remember the 'Exploding School Kids' vid? Scrubbed of course

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread615885/pg1

use of fear is acceptable when progLibDems deem it so

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm not willing to apply the Principle of Charity to government actions.

Pvt Awol Maytag is an elder in his tribe and he was working to promote tribal interests at the time. That sounds like government action to me.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ralph L said...

They had to put the outer hood on it...

I can never figure out if I'm supposed to pull back the outer hood, or just apply stimulation through it. That is, when I can find the damn thing at all...

ALP said...

Count me as another kid that was terrified by "duck and cover" drills of the 1970's. We also had some Mafia gang bombings in the area as well (very Italian-American area of NY state). Would make a great book/movie some day as it involved FBI fabricating evidence and 'copycat' bombings of African American churches and synagouges to try and distract from internal murder attempts via car bomb. Our Brownie troop had presentations on life in a bomb shelter and what radiation poisoning looked like.

However, when you consider how little death and disease I've had to deal with in my life - I wonder if the level of terror and fear I felt back then was no different than a kid living in say, 1815. They might have lost a parent after weeks of trying to beat the flu. One parent might be mangled from a work accident. Their sister died in childbirth. Etc..etc... Sounds scary to me. Maybe we should give kids more credit.

traditionalguy said...

The kids just need to suffer through it. If they survived the government funded abortion racquet, the Catholic Priests, and their parents getting hooked on CIA trafficked heroin, then They are winners.

Danno said...

Blogger Bill, Republic of Texas said...Not a very charitable interpretation Althouse.

I thought she was spot on.

rehajm said...

...and in internal memos reminding government workers to conserve energy and carpool when possible

The government used to try to catch more flies with honey than with terror, like in this wonderful carpooling commercial, which obviously had a big impact on me, since I remember it from 1974...

I don't carpool though.

Danno said...

Blogger MayBee said...I remember in the 70's being in middle school "earth science" class, watching movie after movie about how the earth was dying from man's pollution. As if middle school wasn't angsty enough, it would leave me feeling full of despair. Why do adults want to do this to kids?

Public education has been about indoctrination rather than education for many years now. That is why so many young people are open to socialism and are "pick-a-cause nazis".

Ralph L said...

That is, when I can find the damn thing at all...
There's a Faulkner story in which one character is so fat, he has a retarded? boy or young man find it for him so he can pee because he can't reach it.

tim maguire said...

Ann Althouse said...I'm not willing to apply the Principle of Charity to government actions.

Principle of Charity posts should get your civility bullshit tag.

rehajm said...

Green Reapers are easily startled, but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

Achilles said...

“Millenials and Gen Z and all these folks that came after us are looking up and we’re like ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we going to pay for it?'” Ocasio Cortez said. She added, “And, like, this is the war, this is our World War II.”

Alexandria Occasion Cortez.

She is not stupid.

She is evil.

rcocean said...

AOC - not evil

Chuck Schumer = Pure Evil.

EDH said...

Don't fear the Green Reaper?

It's like even more "cowbell" in your face than Nathan Phillips.

Jump to @3:00 mark in the video.

Carol said...

How many kids called it the "green raper"?

How many kids know what reaping is, anyway?

rcocean said...

I don't remember being scared of anything as a Kid. But then unlike Jimmy Carter my Dad never asked what I thought about Nuclear War.

Nor - unlike Bill Scheer - did anyone care what I thought about the Presidential elections.

Bob Boyd said...

I thought the Green Reaper was rhhardin cutting his lawn.

Not Sure said...

Add vertically oriented black pupils to the scary figure's eyes and he'd look like a friendly Druid priest.

Bob Boyd said...

This is the kind of thing furloughed government workers aren't doing at the moment.

Hagar said...

Plays into what I was trying to say about the whole educational system being excessively feminized and aimed at indoctrination rather than teaching.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

@rehajim
like in 'Omega Man' with Charlton Hesstation

rhhardin said...

The nuclear threat didn't bother me. I got a civil defense identificion card and got to test my ham station with secret call letters (so the Russian bombers couldn't home on them). 3MI10 was my secret call. Now the story can be told. Great stuff for a kid.

Supposed to form a spare local communication network.

rhhardin said...

You can take your secret decoder ring and stuff it.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

@BBoyd
luv ya!

Kay said...

I can’t deny that I like the costume and think it’s a very cool-looking character. Reminds me of the protagonist of the old LucasArts video game, “Loom.”

Barry Dauphin said...

It makes Greeens look like the bad guys--was that their intention?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

it's ultimately the IRS that will reap your green

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Ludicrous, evil, and painfully lame design.

I've always been in interested in people's claims that they were "terrified" as children about things like nuclear war, or hell. I don't discount those memories, I just find them very alien to my experience.

I grew up in Florida in the '60s, I remember the regular air-raid siren testing, and I paid a good deal more attention to news than the average child. Yet I don't recall it impinging on my emotional state at all. Nuclear armageddon didn't even make the list of things I was likely to be anxious about as a child. Same with "hell", though I was raised among people who took their Catholicism seriously, and was educated in Catholic schools.

Maybe I was an unusually insensitive child (I wasn't) or sanguine by nature (I'm not), but I'm skeptical that children in a safe, secure environment - even children attentive to the news or their religious instruction - are naturally prone to getting anxious about what are, to them, abstract concepts, intangible things that don't exist in their daily lives.

Even most children in insecure or dangerous environments would be anxious about up-close-and-personal real dangers, not the possibility of nuclear war or global warming. I suspect most children have to be made anxious "on purpose" by adults about these things. A strain of Munchhausen-by-proxy going on there somewhere.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"mommy says if we throw money at it, it will go away!"

Fernandistein said...

The Green Reaper mascot the Department of Energy created is not merely ludicrous, it's evil, because the idea was to scare children.

No, it's not meant to scare children. That's why it looks like some soft and cuddly thing from Sesame St.

The background document has a picture of the silly reaper with a bunch of kids who were so scared that their faces contorted into rictuses of laughter. (pg 24).

jimbino said...

Isn't it much worse to ruin children's brains with visions of holy ghosts, giants, talking snakes and donkeys, unicorns, eating flesh and drinking blood of the bible, together with other non-biblical visions of non-existing phantasmas like Santa Claus, Rudolph, Ogres, Easter Bunnies and Tooth Fairies?

Larry J said...

Achilles said...
“Millenials and Gen Z and all these folks that came after us are looking up and we’re like ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we going to pay for it?'” Ocasio Cortez said. She added, “And, like, this is the war, this is our World War II.”

Alexandria Occasion Cortez.

She is not stupid.

She is evil.


Evil and stupid aren't mutually exclusive. Bolshevik Barbie is the product of educational malpractice. As others have noted, public school has gone in heavy on indoctrination. I recall reading about kids watching Al Gore's propaganda flick "An Inconvenient Truth" in class after class with no provision to offer countering evidence.

Known Unknown said...

"The background document has a picture of the silly reaper with a bunch of kids who were so scared that their faces contorted into rictuses of laughter. (pg 24)."

Yeah, those kids don't look that happy. They are putting on their "making the best of an awkward photo op" faces.

Phidippus said...

"Isn't this teaching the kids to avoid environmentalists?"

The environmentalists themselves are doing a pretty good job of that. This is what happens when an organization successfully completes the mission it was set up to do: it turns into a self-perpetuating racket. (SPLC anyone?)

One would hope that it teaches children to avoid voting for Democrats when they grow up, but probably not.

Not Sure said...

Isn't this teaching the kids to avoid environmentalists?

The original Ghostbusters did that much better.

tommyesq said...

$5k seems like an awfully high amount to "manufacture" the costume. Also, I find it very disturbing that it took a FOIA request to get this information. Who was trying to hide it, and why?

Phidippus said...

By the way, with the crap on TV that many parents let their kids watch all day (not to mention the crap they have access to using the 21st Century babysitter of choice, the internet), no child is likely to be frightened by this soft, cartoon-looking character. Some of the brighter or more sensitive ones may end up with a vague sense that they should feel guilty about something or other, though.

But of course that was the idea, wasn't it?

Not Sure said...

Thanks to a FOIA request from journalist Emma Best.

So when the FLILF said "Be Best" was she telling journalists to be like Emma, and do some actual reporting?

Chris N said...

Because many adults remain rather childish if they can, and need something to believe. They need a sense of meaning and purpose, and belonging, and it’s a way to stave off their own deaths and likely, in their minds, include others in their salvational project. They feel connected with a matrix of ‘Nature’ through their own experiences as much as the Natural World.

A lot of Marxists had nowhere to go with their religion-deep belief structure, and glommed on to the environment too (they like to think of what they do as a ‘science.’)

Most everyday people don’t do science, most don’t have the time and frankly some are pretty dumb, especially a lot of people who enter into institutions at low levels or seek to co-opt institutions without understanding why they are there. All of us are incentivized to advance in institutions as far as our knowledge/ignorance/behavior will allow, we like to play games that push us to our limits.

You’ve really got to get the incentives right, and as I see things, many Secular idealists don’t have a good enough map of human nature nor the Natural World to avoid the pitfalls of a constant regression to ignorance in human affairs.

FleetUSA said...

Or as the Japanese call him "the Glim Leaper"

Jupiter said...

"I laughed at this mascot at first, but it really shows how evil people are toward children."

Uh, no. It's about how evil the people running the schools are to other people's children.

Paul Zrimsek said...

True fact: the Reaper started out as the Olympic mascot for Chicago 2016, hastily repurposed after the bid's failure.

Fernandistein said...

Yeah, those kids don't look that happy. They are putting on their "making the best of an awkward photo op" faces.

They're Indian kids, so maybe they're being confronted by some asswipe lunatic with a drum.

Leland said...

Lots of discussion of Tom Wolfe today, but it was Michael Crichton that wrote State of Fear. He even modelled his characters after real life people.

heyboom said...

My most traumatic experience in elementary school was being shown a fire safety film that ended in tragedy and loss of life. At the end, they showed a charred kid's toy (one of those Fisher-Price Teaching Clocks) still playing a tune.

The next couple of weeks I was terrified to go to sleep thinking our house was going to burn down. And that clock scene still haunts me to this day.

Ann Althouse said...

Environmentalists have no mercy in this land
Environmentalists have no mercy in this land
They'll come to your house and they won't stay long
You'll look in the garage and your cars will be gone
Environmentalists don't have no mercy in this land...

Seeing Red said...

We had a discussion in science class in middle school if there was only 1 tree left what would you do, live or sacrifice yourself?

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

jimbino: Isn't it much worse to ruin children's brains with visions of holy ghosts, giants, talking snakes and donkeys, unicorns, eating flesh and drinking blood of the bible, together with other non-biblical visions of non-existing phantasmas like Santa Claus, Rudolph, Ogres, Easter Bunnies and Tooth Fairies?

You have the same mentality as some religious crackpots I knew of: wouldn't let their kids read myths or fairy tales because talking animals and sprites and ogres and imps were satanic. You put a different gloss on your objections, but they arise from the same unfortunate affliction, an abnormal literal-mindedness.

(Hey, maybe fear of running into talking animals and anthropomorphic bunnies explains your phobia about National Parks.)

Kevin said...

The Grim Reaper is someone you can't ultimately avoid and who's just doing his job. He's scary to those uncertain of what lies beyond this life.

The Green Reaper is someone you can avoid if you adopt the proscribed behaviors. He's just a government-conjured bully behind a mask.

Fernandistein said...

"I laughed at this mascot at first, but it really shows how evil people are toward children."

Uh, no. It's about how evil the people running the schools are to other people's children.


It's not scary looking and apparently children are not scared of it, so I don't understand why anyone thinks it's supposed to be scary, or that it's purpose is to scare children - the extraneous (but cute!) use of the word "haunt" in the Reason article?

tim maguire said...

Fernandistein said...It's not scary looking and apparently children are not scared of it, so I don't understand why anyone thinks it's supposed to be scary...

It's scary to me as a taxpayer that this is what they spend my money on.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wilbur said...

I started grade school in 1960. There was an air raid siren that would go off at 10:30 the first Tuesday of every month. We would have periodic fire drills, which we loved for getting us up out of our desks if only for a few minutes. I never heard of an atomic bomb drill (duck and cover) until I was an adult; I figure the Civil Defense people realized the inanity of it by 1960.

My reaction to claims of childhood trauma from fear of nuclear war (and I've been hearing them for many years): you were either a snowflake or you're just making it up later. Nobody ever experienced that when I were to school.

And I remember the Cuban Missle Crisis in '62. I was eight but remember it was a big deal on the news. But traumatized by it? Please.

PM said...

The Green Reaper is a pun that doesn't work. It's at cross-purposes. EOS.
Now, The Green Rapers, a gang of anthropomorphized Oil Derricks, Smokestacks, a figure like Marvel's Thing made of coal does work - except who wants to explain Raper to a child? They should've just revitalized Parky, the trash-collecting kangaroo.

Gk1 said...

When I see crap like this I wonder if we really need a government this big? 21 trillion in the hole and we apparently have plenty of money to piss away like this. Fuck. I hope the government is closed down for the rest of the year.

Darrell said...

Remember, the Green Reaper IS the Red Reaper.
A repackaged Soviet Op.

Unknown said...

Anyone remember the scary vaccination "mascots" from the 1960s?

I think there were three, but I only remember "Rolly Polio" who had a wheelchair and a crutch, and "Locky Lockjaw" who, I think, had a bandage wrapped over his head and under his jaw (to keep is mouth open? closed?).

They were a big thing for a while, but when I run internet searches on them now, I find hardly anything. Were they government created? I always assumed so.

Fernandistein said...

Speaking of scary, a man poorly disguised as a woman hit a stranger in the face with an ax, then wandered off. (Linked text refers to the part of the video they edited out; article headline is false).

chuck said...

When I was about eight I was scared of tornadoes and Tyrannosaurs, neither of which posed much of an actual threat, but there you go. It is pretty easy to scare children.

McGehee said...

John D. MacDonald's estate should have sued.

OldManRick said...

I know it's pointless to cite a real science story rather than the "consensus" and the "models" but .....

From - https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/01/global-warming-the-big-picture.php citing a

But for the global warming hysterics, theory predominates over observation. That is the opposite of the scientific method.

Forty years of comprehensive atmospheric temperature trends, the last twenty years with no statistically significant warming, and 60 years of balloon observations show that the global atmosphere is not warming in a way indicating that the process is intensifying. The weather engine is not becoming more extreme. Thus, projections / forecasts / predictions from climate models or other means that CO2 warming is causing more extreme weather events are not supported by the hard evidence of temperature trends in the atmosphere.

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their followers, there is a water vapor component of release of latent heat in the upper troposphere. This is the so called “hot spot,” which is assumed to be located over the tropics and strongest at a pressure between 300 to 200 millibars (mb) (roughly 9 to 11 km, 30,000 to 36,000 feet above the tropics). Over 50% of the atmosphere is below 6 km.

This “hot spot” has not been found and is not increasing as it should if the water vapor component of “CO2- caused global warming” is as strong as claimed in the Charney Report and repeated by the IPCC and others for 40 years. The recent McKitrick and Christy paper demonstrated that 60 years of weather balloon data have shown no such warming is taking place. Many other publications have likewise not found it.


To summarize -
1. doubling CO2 would probably increase global temperatures by 1 degree. Every one (including "skeptics") agrees with this.
2. In order to get "catastrophic", you need to assume that the CO2 drives water vapor which would increase temperatures by another 4-5 degrees.
3. Number 2 is not happening, we can not find the predicted effect - the models are wrong.
4. If the models are wrong....? you can figure it out for yourself.

rhhardin said...

The grim reaper isn't a violent guy, he just touches you
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhhardin/2373431345/sizes/o

The scythe is there as a symbol of harvest.

Unknown said...

Scaring children out of unacceptable behavior by invoking scary monsters is an old phenomenon. Consider, fir example, the 19th century German compendium if cationary tales for children, Der Struwwelpeter, by Heinrich Hoffmann. In one of the stories, a mad tailor leaps out from behind the door to cut off the thumbs of a child who won’t quit his thumb sucking habit. Check it out (link below). And the translation is by Mark Twain.
https://germanstories.vcu.edu/struwwel/daumen_e.html

Unknown said...

Scaring children out of unacceptable behavior by invoking scary monsters is an old phenomenon. Consider, fir example, the 19th century German compendium if cationary tales for children, Der Struwwelpeter, by Heinrich Hoffmann. In one of the stories, a mad tailor leaps out from behind the door to cut off the thumbs of a child who won’t quit his thumb sucking habit. Check it out (link below). And the translation is by Mark Twain.
https://germanstories.vcu.edu/struwwel/daumen_e.html

tkdkerry said...

@Wilbur 1/25/19, 10:26 AM --

Interesting that you never encountered the "duck and cover" drills. I also started grade school in 1960, and well remember the D&C drills in the early years, along with Civil Defense pamphlets being handed out to help us know what to do if we were somewhere else when the Russians A-bombed us. They were an integral part of our disaster training along with fire and tornado drills.

Martha Ball said...

On Feb 13, 2018: The judge dismissed all charges in the lawsuit brought against Dr Tim Ball by BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. It is a great victory for free speech.
‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzpPXuASY8
“Human Caused Global Warming”, 'The Biggest Deception in History’.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzpPXuASY8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO08Hhjes_0
https://www.technocracy.news/dr-tim-ball-on-climate-lies-wrapped-in-deception-smothered-with-delusion/
www.drtimball.com

JaimeRoberto said...

Won't somebody please think of the poor bureaucrats who came up with this idea? They are probably on furlough right now without a paycheck. There's nothing left to cut.

Wilbur said...

@tkdkerry:

I grew up in east central Illinois. Maybe the authorities figured we wouldn't be near an atomic blast anyway, so why bother? Or maybe the fact it was a Catholic school had something to do with it.

I certainly don't question your memories of it. I hope you weren't among those traumatized by it.

ken in tx said...

I was scared of Tornadoes. I had actually seen them and the results. Nothing I was taught in Jr. High scared me--late 50s-60s. Cuban missile crises--meh. I knew I was smarter than most of my teachers. Were't you?

walter said...

PM said...The Green Reaper is a pun that doesn't work. It's at cross-purposes. EOS.
Now, The Green Rapers, a gang of anthropomorphized Oil Derricks, Smokestacks, a figure like Marvel's Thing made of coal does work
--
Completely agree. This makes no sense..much like CAGW advocacy itself.

I remember 2 campaigns that struck a chord with me in k-about 3rd grade:
-Mr. Stranger Danger
-A preserved cross section of a smoke/tar damaged lung. My smoker parents got an earful of pleading for quite some time.

walter said...

(the lung chunk, preserved in a plexi case, was passed around the crowd as the anti-smoking lecture went on.)

In high school, the macabre actual scene corpse-strewn driver's ed films left their mark. I doubt they show anything remotely similar now.

Char Char Binks said...

Mr. Yuck is mean, Mr. Yuck is green.

Unknown said...

In answer to Ingachuck's mentioning of the "Exploding School Kids" vid[eo] ... yes, I see it's been scrubbed from your abovetopsecret.com source. I assume you're referring to the 10:10 Minimovie.
It's still can be seen on Youtube!! Just do a youtube search of "10:10 minimovie"

My takeaway from the minimovie is this: ... If 7 individuals deserve being explosively dismembered for being only INSUFFICIENTLY ENTHUSIASTIC, what kind of "justice" ought be meted out to any avowed deniers?