On his radio and television programs today, Glenn Beck offered up a “critique” of The Story of Stuff—a 20-minute web-film that examines the underside of America’s production and consumption patterns. In Beck’s world, an honest exploration of the environmental and social challenges our children are inheriting is worthy of scorn and ridicule, not honest engagement.
In May 2009, the New York Times called The Story of Stuff “a sleeper hit in classrooms across the country.” We’re honored that teachers from middle school through university are using our film to spark debate and engage students in critical thinking.
While it may be hard for climate change deniers like Beck and his friends at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Evergreen Freedom Foundation to swallow, there is a real hunger in this country for a straightforward, honest discussion of our environmental future. Teachers have told us that The Story of Stuff has been a valuable supplement to textbooks that give short shrift to issues like climate change by creating spirited debate and inspiring students to look deeper into what are truly some of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.
Beck didn’t have the courtesy to contact The Story of Stuff Project for comment or offer a spot on his show to rebut the claims of his guests. While playing fast and loose with the facts is nothing new for Beck, we stand behind our presentation.
Viewers are welcome to visit www.storyofstuff.org to watch the film and, as Fox News would put it, decide for themselves. While on the site, visitors can check out the annotated script, which provides references for all the facts used in the film. For those who would like to use The Story of Stuff to stimulate discussions in classrooms, living rooms, community meetings or other venues, there are a number of resources, including sample discussion questions and group exercise ideas, in the resources section of the Story of Stuff webpage.