Keep America Beautiful and the "Crying Indian" Ad: Background information when reading The Parrot and the Igloo

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The Parrot and the Igloo

Climate and the Science of Denial

by David Lipsky

The Parrot and the Igloo by David Lipsky X
The Parrot and the Igloo by David Lipsky
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    Jul 2023, 496 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Katharine Blatchford
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About this Book

Keep America Beautiful and the "Crying Indian" Ad

This article relates to The Parrot and the Igloo

Black and white photo of Iron Eyes Cody in Native American headdressDavid Lipsky's history of climate change denial, The Parrot and the Igloo, exposes many of the strategies deniers have used to prevent governmental action on environmental issues. One of the key approaches has been to shift responsibility for pollution off of industries and onto individuals. An excellent example of this strategy in action is the famous 1971 public service announcement produced by anti-litter nonprofit Keep America Beautiful. First aired on Earth Day, the ad showed an ostensibly Native American man steering a canoe down a river covered in floating trash, with industrial smokestacks puffing away on the banks. The ad has a brief voiceover: "Some people have a deep, abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country. And some people don't. People start pollution. People can stop it." It ends with a closeup of the actor's face, where a single tear falls.

For many Americans, the ad was a defining moment of the environmental movement. It won two Clio Awards ...

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