By Don Corrigan
Just days before Santa Claus launches his sleigh for the 2015 worldwide, whirlwind Christmas gift tour, the less-than jolly fat man blasted man-made global warming. He said climate change threatens the future of his work at the holidays and he predicted that Christmas as we know it could end before 2020.
“It takes a pack of snow and ice to launch a heavy sleigh,” snorted Old St.Nick. “My North Pole launch pad is in danger of disappearing. I haven’t seen a polar bear drinking a Coke near the launch pad in years. The pad is mushy and slushy even in the winter months now.
“I used to worry about hitting a polar bear on the pad,” added Santa. “Now I worry about whether my whole transportation system will crash and sink below the ice on the Dec. 24 countdown. And who knows what lies below the polar ice cap.”
It’s not just the launch pad that is endangered by rising global temperatures. On the miles-long Santa Claus Lane in northern Alaska, Claus Incorporated toy factories are crumbling from the melting and refreezing of the permafrost. Concrete pillars that have withstood the test of time are failing – failing the test of climate change.
“When the pillars crumble, the roofs will fall in and the toys will be crushed,” explained Santa. “I am even concerned that OSHA will demand that I evacuate the elves as the toy factories become more unstable. I care about my elves and I can see a need to evacuate them and to shut down operations in a matter of years — maybe even months.”
Santa echoed some politicians in America who say they “are not scientists” and cannot speak about man-made global warming.
“I am not a scientist either, but I can tell you what I see before my very eyes — even with my old bifocals,” noted Santa. “The permafrost is melting and huge amounts of methane are being released up here. And this is not your grandmother’s methane.
“I am all too familiar with the methane from Donner and Blitzen after they’ve gorged on grandma’s leftover three-bean salad from the Christmas Eve parties. But the methane I am talking about, from this warming, is being released in the millions of tons. Donner and Blitzen’s methane would not hold a candle to it. But we should not be talking about candles near methane of any kind.”
Santa did say he is taking some solace in the recent Paris Climate Summit where countries pledged to bring down rising temperatures by ending fossil fuel use. Santa said he is all for renewables and recycling, although he has always taken a dim view of re-gifting. He did say he will be packing more solar-powered toys in his sack this year than ever before.
Santa said he is making a list, and checking it twice for the deniers of man-made climate change. He said the deniers will be denied precisely because they are in denial. He said that they should listen to officials from the more than 170 nations at the Paris Climate Summit who acknowledged man-made global warming and the need to address it.
“The elves are losing sleep over global warming even with our 24-hour nights,” said Santa.
“They are urging me to put a big lump of coal in the stockings of every climate-change denier. But I am seriously thinking of discontinuing the lump of coal practice all together, even though I always give a big lump of coal as a gift and try to re-gift it to electric utility companies,” said Santa. “I have almost put down the sleigh in coal ash ponds near utility plants on several different Christmases. They are in flood plains, close to rivers, and that’s where I put down the sleigh to try to give Rudolph a needed natural drink on our trips.”
Santa praised Rudolph for switching to a more reliable red LED light on his nose. He said that the new glow on his nose has helped him avoid landing in coal ash ponds and sewage lagoons full of invasive carp.
“Rudolph with his LED light so bright, can guide my sleigh every Christmas Eve night,” said Santa. “But I worry about the future of Christmas. We don’t stand a Ghost of Christmas chance if global warming continues. There may come a time when the Earth just gets too warm, and that will lead to a very silent night on Christmas Eve. Hate to say it, but I am talking no more jingle bells.”
Yes, a very silent night, indeed, Santa sighed.
The best gift Santa could give to American’s this year is a revenue neutral carbon tax like the one that is being proposed by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. If we an get a steadily increasing price on carbon Santa can be guaranteed a safe workplace for decades to come.
Keep up the good work Santa and don’t despair. The climate deniers are on very, very thin ice.
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Excellent essay Don Corrigan. Thank you for using the voice of Santa Claus and trouble at the North Pole to shine a light on the huge problem of climate change. Climate change is the issue of our times.
I have seen the negative impacts working in the national parks with sea level rise in the Everglades and a diminishing longterm snowpack with an expanding and more serve fire season at Crater Lake National Park.
The good news though is that there are solutions to lessen the impact of climate change. Larry Lazar mentioned an excellent solution that I concur: Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend proposal. This is the best solution I know to reduce carbon pollution to give Santa and his elves a chance to keep living and working in the North Pole.
Let’s give Santa and all of us the best Christmas gift possible of doing what we can in 2016 to reduce the threat of climate change.
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Terrifically entertaining way to make the vital point. I will follow Santa’s sage advise and not give deniers a lump of coal.
Thanks to Larry, Brian and Marty for the great comments. Given the number of hits on this post, it makes me think that a little humor and the lighter touch can be persuasive on the issue of climate change. I will try to do more of this to bring attention to the issue. However, climate change is such a serious matter, it’s hard not to be a climate comedy skeptic — it’s just not a laughing matter.
EnvironmentalEcho will soon post an interview with a serious fellow named Carl Campbell who puts out his Carl’s Climate letters on a daily basis. They provide links to some alarming scientific information. For example, a couple from today:
— A recap of extreme weather events around the globe in 2015. These are presented month by month in a short, fast-moving video. The true list is of course much longer.
—– The “Arctic Report Card” for 2015 is presented here in a 4-minute video. Much wonderful photography included.
I am proud to say this man taught me how to write and how to do it correctly. For those who do not know, I was a journalism major because of Don Corrigan. Santa could not have said it better because there is no better than DC!