During the too-warm New York winter of 2007, a parent at Brooklyn’s PS 58 started Little Grassroots as a place for children to blog about global warming. On it, the children of PS 58 are joined by kids from as far afield as France, the UK, and Singapore. Their contributions to the blog are lightly curated, but the children and their words really take center stage.
March 11, 2007
A six-year-old I’d like to nominate for President
This email from a first-grader at Brooklyn’s PS 58 came in this weekend:
We have to work harder the ice is melting and some people believe that in fifty years a few places are gonna be flooded alot. I want to meet you. I like what you are doing. I want to ask you a question: Can you help us by making posters and hanging them places so people will know more about pollution and global warming? We don’t eat McDonalds food because it is unhealthy and the food is not homemade. It is made from a factory and I don’t like it. I don’t eat Dunkin Donuts unless I didn’t do it on the rest of the week. It just opened in my neighborhood and it is really hard to not eat there because even though the donuts come from a factory they taste good. And I usually don’t eat it because my mom forgets her wallet or I don’t want to. I like to make bird feeders with toilet paper rolls and peanut butter and birdseeds and I like to make bird puppets out of toilet paper rolls too. And we only use recycled toilet paper and paper towels and kleenex. Almost my whole school is trying to stop global warming. It seems like the only things that open are Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins and McDonalds.
I love this because it seems to me that Olive’s grasped one of the main dilemmas of conservationism in a consumerist world—our high-minded beliefs and wishes (like that fast food restaurants are bad for health and the planet) constantly struggle agaginst other orders of desire (like our knowledge that mass-produced donuts taste great). That kind of nuanced understanding of how the practice of environmentalism interacts with the real, everyday workings of the human brain is something that we truly need going forward.
Also, you have to love a six-year-old who can sound this forceful and businesslike: “I want to meet you. I like what you are doing.”
If you’re a parent or teacher who thinks that the kids in your life might like to become involved with the community over at Little Grassroots, don’t hesistate to visit the blog and get in touch.
Image of PS 58 from Little Grassroots