Ever since Walt Disney's "Bambi" became a hit, a lot of far, far left members of our society have used animation and children's stories to indoctrinate the young into having unrealistic understanding of nature as well as a dim view of industry. Now, there's nothing wrong with teaching children to respect nature. Nature is a marvelous thing to behold in it's splendor, and it's interesting to watch the actions of an ecosytem. But nature is not a utopia: she is a harsh mistress and life outside the realms of society is often, to quote Thomas Hobbes "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." And yet, nature has been deified as perfect, harmless and even as an ideal state for mankind, and on the flipside civilization is seen as a metaphor for selfishness, pollution and conspicuous consumption. Naturally, like all stereotypes there is a grain of truth to that, but the people making the loudest noise often make the least sense, and they have been militant for the past 50 years. What's worse is, they fight dirty. They target the young, that is, people under the age of 10 who do not yet have fully developed cognizance of the issues affecting human society. They use scare tactics and straw man arguments to belittle the actions of those who oppose them, and try to impart to children that the world is on the edge of destruction unless they *act* So who are the worst offenders? I must point first, unfortunately, at the late Dr. Seuss. Seuss worked wonders with the written word, and his stories still remain fascinating all these years later. But even he wasn't above sermonizing, with subtle political messages sneaking into his later works, including "The Butter Battle Book," a knock at the Reagan-era mutually assured destruction policies. But Seuss' most one-sided tirade was his 1971 book "The Lorax," where a magical impish creature tries to denounce the actions of the Once-ler, a not-quite-evil character who is still shown as being indifferent to the damage he does to the environment. By the end of the story, the Once-ler has cleared an entire forest of trees, poisoned the air and driven off the wild animals from the area. The scene is practically post-apocalyptic. The other major offender? That would be Ted Turner's pet project, the hokey cartoon series "Captain Planet." The show, for those of you who might have missed it, concerns an international group of teenagers who travel around the world fighting against pollution, capitalism run amok and various other crimes against the Earth. It should surprise no one that the Earth herself, represented by the Greek goddess Gaea, has assigned these kids to go about trying to change people's minds and even wreck destruction on private property from time to time. Their antagonists are a rogue's gallery of various mutants, twisted capitalists and weirdo scientists who for some reason really, really like pollution. The message kids get out of this is that pollution isn't just bad, it's evil, and those who cause the pollution are likewise twisted and evil. So what, you might ask, is my point with all this? Why am I bringing up stuff from the '70s and '90s? Well, dear people in the oil and gas industry... have you checked your rosters lately? Just about every company has named personnel as one of their biggest concerns, specifically the failure to attract new people into the industry. Ever wonder why people are being steered away from oil and gas? Or why the average oilfield worker is in his 50s? An entire generation has been born being indoctrinated with the values that pollution is evil, industry is run by indifferent capitalists, and if they join into the industry they will be helping facilitate the end of the world. Pretty heavy stuff for "children's entertainment," eh? Want to stem this tide? Energy companies are going to have to crank up the counter-argument if they want to be taken seriously, because the opposition is in this to win, and they don't use kid gloves. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; spayne@hartenergy.com