The nation’s largest children’s radio network, Radio Disney, has joined forces with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association to deliver a musical roadshow to kids that promotes fossil fuel extraction and fracking under the guise of teaching them “science.” (1) The show has already been delivered dozens of times at schools and county fairs across the state. Worse yet, it is being considered for expansion in 2014.
As the mom of two young boys who love Disney movies and music, and also as the Director of Climate Parents, I believe that a family-focused brand like Disney has no business peddling dirty energy to our kids. At Radio Disney’s “Rocking in Ohio” roadshow, popular DJ’s lead kids in games—such as a pipeline building contest—that promote oil and gas drilling in a festive atmosphere where pop music blares and kids receive Disney-themed prizes. There is no mention of the fact that burning fossil fuels is polluting our air and water, giving our kids asthma, and creating dangerous climate impacts like superstorms and droughts that endanger our communities.
It's no surprise that the fossil fuel industry would want to partner with Radio Disney, which broadcasts in more than 35 markets around the country and online and calls itself the "unrivaled broadcast radio network for kids and families." (2) Rhonda Reda, who works for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, said of the roadshow, "It allows science to be fun. Who better to help than Radio Disney?" (3)
But if Radio Disney were really interested in teaching kids about the relationship between science and energy, it would champion energy that is "kid safe and climate safe"--not carbon polluting fossil fuels that put children at risk.
Parents and families are Disney's most important customers. If enough of us speak out, we can compel them to end this misguided roadshow immediately. Please sign our petition.
1. "Disney and Oil Industry Team Up for 'Rocking in Ohio" Even, Huffington Post, 12-21-13
2. Radio Disney, ABC Television Group
3. "Radio Disney visits Newark to make STEM fun," Newark Advocate, 12-15-13