ABC kids’ website demonises farmers and forestry workers

May 26th, 2008 - 10:57 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne , May 26 (ANI): Voices have been raised against an ABC kids website, The Planet Slayer, for depicting farmers and forestry workers as evil, and also telling children how much carbon they can produce before dying.

One can log onto this website via the science section on the ABC home page. The site has several features including a cartoon series, Adventures of Greena, and a tool called Prof Schpinkee’s Greenhouse Calculator to help kids work out their carbon footprint.

It also looks down upon non vegetarians and those who work in the nuclear industry, a Senate estimates committee heard.

The Greenhouse Calculator would enable the users to match their own carbon output to the “average Aussie greenhouse pig” and would also calculate the age of a person in which he should die in order to avoid using more than their fair share of the Earth’s resources.

The site shows that excessive carbon production causes a cartoon pig to explode, leaving behind a pool of blood. This has led Victorian Liberal senator Mitch Fifield to question the accuracy and appropriateness of some of the graphics and content on the website.

“I know there’s a little bit of goth in all of us, but this might be taking it just a little too far. Do you think it’s appropriate that the ABC portray the average Australian as a pig and is it appropriate for a website obviously geared towards kids to depict people who are average Australians as massive overweight ugly pigs, oozing slime from their mouths, and then to have these pigs blow up in a mass of blood and guts?” quoted senator Fifield, as talking of the quasi life-expectancy calculator.

According to Senator Fifield, questions were also raised against Adventures of Greena cartoon series, which follows the exploits of a young female activist. He commented on episode two of the 12-part series, Fistful of Woodchips, by saying that it portrayed a logger as “rough and evil”.

“I don’t think that it’s a particularly helpful way of depicting hard-working Australians who are trying to go about making an honest living, as though they’re these rough and evil dudes out to do bad,” he said.

He indicated that other episodes in the series showed that meat consuming people, those involved in the nuclear industry and farmers who grow GM crops were evil.

“I’m not sure if it’s helpful to portray struggling farmers who are looking at GM technology to help them improve their yield in a period of drought as some sort of evil promoters of (these) products,” said Senator Fifield

However, ABC managing director Mark Scott defended the site and said that it was not designed for offending certain quarters of the community but to get children involved in environmental issues.

“The site has been developed to appeal to children and its been done in an irreverent way … to make it engaging. It’s not an attempt to write public policy … it’s an attempt to educate school students on the impact of the modern Western lifestyle on carbon emissions and the whole issue that we are dealing with,” said Mr Scott.

Mr Scott further said that the ABC would still review the content on the site. (ANI)

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