From the “Greta the Grinch” department.
By H. Sterling Burnett
For the religious among us, at least those professing to be Christians, Christmas is a time of reflection on the birth of the Savior, signified in hearts by love and wishes of peace and goodwill towards peoples worldwide, and sometimes on lawns and rooftops by manger scenes and large illuminated stars.
Under the best conditions, for Christians and non-Christians alike, the Christmas season is a time of peace, love, and of sharing home, hearth, and meals with family and friends.
For some, it is a time to give back to the community, to help the homeless and provide blankets, coats, and food to those in need, and toys for poor families with children and for the families of our veterans who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice or who are serving far from home.
Yet since the latter part of the twentieth century, Christmas has also become a time of gifts, gifts, gifts and toys, toys, toys — the rampant consumerism that generation after generation complains has come to overshadow the holiday’s true meaning. Despite the complaining, most people seem to participate — some to a joyous degree — in the purchase and exchange-fest Christmas has become. Both givers’ and recipients’ faces light up when the gifts are unwrapped, and we all know retailers love Christmas.
Another Christmas tradition, since televisions have populated nearly every home, is the watching of Christmas specials. Christmas, like no other time of year, is a time to experience love, joy, and nostalgia through the shared watching of television shows viewed year after year. One of the most beloved shared Christmas viewing experience is How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The story is actually mistitled, because although it details humorous machinations the Grinch goes through to steal Christmas joy from all the Whos in Whoville, Christmas is not stolen. In the end, The Grinch is a tale of redemption, with a message of the healing power of love and salvation, gained through the true understanding of the holiday.
Sadly, climate scolds are attempting to rob people of the joy and hope inherent in Christmas. They are playing the role of the unredeemed Grinch, telling everyone that unless they turn off their Christmas lights, give up their Christmas sweaters, and stop buying and exchanging gifts, the world will end. Climate Grinches proclaim celebrating Christmas is bad for the planet.
It all began on the much feared and anticipated “Black Friday,” when around the world climate protestors attempted to block the entrances of retailers opening their doors to what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. Based on sales figures, most holiday shoppers ignored the protestors.
In Germany, after years of indoctrination by the cult of climate alarmism, a recent survey revealed 57 percent of households that celebrate Christmas expect to reduce their use of Christmas lights, with 11 percent of those surveyed saying they will not use Christmas lights at all this year; another 10 percent said they expect to not use Christmas lights in future years.
Claiming, “We’re in a climate emergency,” various climate websites and institutes admonish Christmas shoppers to consider their “carbon footprint” when travelling and making purchases, directing people to change their holiday behavior to save the planet. Their directives include using public transit or shared rides and to stop online shopping altogether. “[A]ll the packaging and transportation that goes into delivering that gift (next day!) to your doorstep leaves a way bigger carbon footprint than just going to the store yourself.”
And in the United Kingdom, the charity Hubbub warns people to stop buying new Christmas sweaters, ugly or otherwise, as their analysis shows 95 percent of them are made using plastics (most likely plastics made using fossil fuels), with microparticles of these plastics winding up in our oceans and streams as they break down in the wash.
It’s time to tell climate nannies to relax, share the love, and have a cup of good cheer — and most importantly, if they can’t be happy, to leave the rest of us alone, at least for the duration of the Christmas season, so that we can dream our little dreams of hope and love for all the peoples of the world!
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (email@example.com) is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.