Right wing bullies Build-A-Bear into removing videos about manmade climate change

The anti-science crowd is all for “teaching” our kids about dirty energy (see “Let’s Learn About Coal”: Industry front group distributes coloring book on the “advantages” of coal).  But when it comes to climate science, their motto seems to be “We don’t need no education,” as Think Progress reports.

Until recently, the Build-A-Bearville website (part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop) featured online videos telling children about manmade global warming and the dangers it holds for the North Pole. In the videos, little animals learn about the problem and teach Santa Claus about it. The right wing has been outraged over the antics of these bears and penguins. One conservative called for a boycott of Build-A-Bear, and another said the the videos amount to “indoctrination.” In response to this right-wing pressure, Build-A-Bear has taken down the educational videos. A statement from “Founder and Chief Executive Bear” Maxine Clark:

Our goal is to entertain and engage the imagination of children with our stuffed animals, our store environment, and online. Our intention with the Polar Bear story was to inspire children, through the voices of our animal characters, to make a difference in their own individual ways. We did not intend to politicize the topic of global climate change or offend anyone in any way. The webisodes concluded this week with Santa successfully leaving on his journey to deliver gifts around the world. The webisodes will no longer be available on the site.

The scientific consensus remains as strong as ever that manmade global warming is real. In the past, conservatives have also attacked the popular movie “Wall-E,” saying that it was filled with “leftist propaganda” and taught children that “human beings are bad for planet earth.”

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19 Responses to Right wing bullies Build-A-Bear into removing videos about manmade climate change

  1. mike roddy says:

    The kind of cowardice Maxine Clark showed here is just unacceptable. Global warming is too serious an issue to tolerate our educators being bullied by far right or fossil fuel interests. People like Clark are going to have to fight back.

  2. Leif says:

    Teaching science is “indoctrination” and promoting Anti-Science clapt trap is good for little minds. Sweet Jesus, we are truly living “1984” and “NEW SPEAK”
    And people acquiesce.

  3. Tim says:

    What a disgrace!

  4. Stepshep says:

    So why doesn’t Climate Progress setup an auto-email form and we pressure them until they put the videos back up? Sounds like a good Christmas mission!

  5. Build-a-Bear – and anyone else is welcome to my rewritten parable of “The Boy Who Denied Wolf”

    Appropriate for children of all ages… the message is that denial is very dangerous and can get us into real trouble.

    “Sometimes when we deny, but eventually realize the truth, we learn it too late to say. We will deny once, deny twice — but then perish when we deny our own plight.”

    Stories are a way of preparing us for a future in this world.

  6. DWPittelli says:

    I disagree. I don’t think the parents of preschool children want toy companies scaring and depressing their children, regardless of whether the scary scenario is likely to be accurate. I can’t speak to the motivations of those who leaned on Build-A-Bear, but I would oppose such videos just as I would oppose videos teaching us that Osama Bin Laden is aiming to kill all non-Muslims, or to kill fuzzy Teddy bears, because I think it is up to me to tailor news about terrorism to the level appropriate to my children.

  7. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    The younger generations should be filled with hope. I would not want my future view imposed on the children.

    Never the less, knowledge is power.

    So there is a fine line between protecting the young, and leaving them unprepared. However, in this case I tend to agree with DW Pittelli.

  8. John Mashey says:

    Well, considering teaching kids, a case I don’t quite understand yet is The Environmental Literacy Council. I suggest taking a look at their materials, especially the topics at the right on Air, Climate & Weather.
    Anyone interested might tell me what they think is going on.

    I’ll post some additional facts later.

  9. JimB says:

    Obvious Moral: Whenever an honest, insightful well made vidio for our side appears on the web, it is our job to copy it to insure that it will be preserved in situations like this. Beside Utube and similar sites there are literally hundreds of sites that would make it available to all as an example of censorship.

  10. Leif says:

    Try # 8?

    It is one thing to be taught things to fear especially if solutions seem to be unavailable. It is quite another thing to not be taught the necessary science and background education to recognize danger when one is old enough to put two and two together. Having not viewed the “offending” material, I cannot give a final verdict.
    However the Anti-Science Folks appear perfectly willing to fill their youth as well as mine, with unreasonable fears of Gods and devils, I tend to lean on the side of science and reason.

    [JR: #8? The others must go to spam, but I’ve no idea what you’re doing to go into spam.]

  11. Peter Wood says:

    Giving in to bullying from deniers is worse than feeding trolls!

  12. Leif says:

    Personal, Joe:
    I have a Mac X ? It is not out of the question that it is operator error. I do not understand all that I know about these contraptions. My son is computer literate and will be holding my hand for a few days. I hope that I have not caused too much hassle.

    If I try to post the “same” message my screen tells me that I have already posted that message. Yet I see no evidence like I am in moderation. This is #2

    Best wishes,


  13. Anna Haynes says:

    Leif and Joe, I don’t know if this is your problem, but sometimes people’s comments contain a word like (phonetically) “so-shul-list”, containing an embedded brand name that the spam filter finds objectionable. It can seem quite mysterious.

  14. Anna Haynes says:

    John Mashey, we need a separate thread for talking about the ELC. Joe, any chance could you give us one?
    (Yes, I know I could make one elsewhere, but Climate Progress has readers and commenters, both of which are mighty helpful to have.)

  15. Anna Haynes says:

    s/could you/you could/

  16. Dan B says:

    Maxine Clark and we have a problem. Therefore the solution is plain to see.

    Isn’t this what every Bear would realize?

    Great Bears realize that problems are simply opportunities to steer in a different direction than towards the problem.

    What Maxine has done is steer in the opposite direction from a complaint from someone who is panicked.

    She should check out the source of the panic, as any good Bear would. Is it a genuine emergency? Is it because the panic is coming from people who are afraid of change? Is it coming from people who believe we can’t say anything scary? Is it coming from people who believe we can’t do anything, like clean energy, about global warming? Or is it because we’re really doomed unless…. the panicked people are wrong, and when we tell them how we’ll all get through global warming and have green energy and a clean world, they’ll all figure out how to make enough money to live a wonderful life?

    Because we’ll all do better if we focus on a bright future, a realistic future, where energy comes from the sun and the wind and the sea, not from burning fossils.

    That’s a Maxine who will be worshipped by almost every child on planet earth.

  17. Leif says:

    It appears clear that Man is incapable of governing himself in a rational manor. More and more as I ponder solutions to global climatic disruption the circle returns to politics. We cannot make meaningful progress decreasing CO2 output because of vested interest in the status quo.
    We cannot educate our youth with the necessary acumen to understand the dilemma before it is too late to mitigate.
    We cannot motivate the will to spend the necessary funds, again the status quo has it’s priorities and gosh there is just no money left.
    We cannot tap into defense funds to save humanity even though we allocate ~7.7 times as much for defense as our present closest rival, China. Anyone see Chine getting attacked soon?
    In fact IMO, a large military has gotten us into more trouble than it has got us out of. We tend to turn toward using a big stick in preference to other approaches simply because we have a BIG stick.
    We cannot motivate capitalism to dedicate the lions share of its impressive and obvious abilities to generate capital to work for the well-being of sustainability and humanity in total as opposed concentrating that wealth in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.
    We cannot put a tax on International Finance to underweight mitigation strategy. Again the status quo works just so well for the fat cats and the powers that depend on them… Well, it just ain’t gonna happen.
    Joe: If I have strayed too far from climatic disruption on my early morning ramblings I apologize and you can slap my wrists. However my sons and were discussing the above late into the winter night and I needed to try in my humble fashion articulate some of it.

  18. Kate says:

    Maxine didn’t do anything wrong. She just made a movie about Santa leaving to give out presents. It has nothing to do with Global Warming.
    She made the movie with creativity and skills. She only wanted to entertain the kids, like me.

  19. espiritwater says:

    Maybe that’s why the fossil fuel industry is winning and we’re not: they’re willing to fight with all their might to win; we’re not.