Eco-Fanatic Urges Grinchlike Christmas
Nothing says âpeace on earth and goodwill to menâ like proclaiming the âproblem with Christmasâ is that âno one much likes it anymore.â
Bill McKibben, a left-wing climate-change extremist and author of âFight Global Warming Now,â thinks that society would be better served if people didnât spend any money on Christmas this year and gave gifts like âa coupon for a back rub, or a trip to the museum, or a dinner prepared someday in the future.â
In a December 4 post on Alternet.org, McKibben made it clear that he views the holiday shopping season as undermining the true meaning of Christmas, despite the fact that the season in large part determines retailersâ profitability and is thereby important to many middle-class familiesâ living.
â[M]aybe the economy isnât therefore quite as rational and as obvious as we would like to believe, if in fact it depends on a corrupted celebration of Jesusâ birth to stagger on for another year,â McKibben wrote.
How should people celebrate the season, instead of giving gifts to one another? McKibben suggested giving gifts on behalf of others:
âAsk yourself what you'd rather receive: another thing, or a homemade card saying that, say, a cow had been purchased in your name and was now providing milk for a Tanzanian family that hadnât had milk before,â wrote McKibben.
Of course, since McKibben is an eco-extremist there was also the environmental reason for not consuming this year.
âOur environmental problem is that we consume way too much because we've agreed to try and meet basic human needs â status, respect, affection â with material ends,â McKibben wrote.
âStep It Upâ was an eco-initiative that called for a mandatory 80-percent decrease in U.S. emissions by 2050. Those rallies were previewed or covered by a number of media outlets, but more reports left out the economic reality of such a decrease.
As Myron Ebell of the Competitive enterprise Institute told the Business & Media Institute, âif you really wanted to cut emissions by 80 percent most people would have to give up their cars, get rid of air conditioning and only heat one room of their house.â
Perhaps McKibben should have suggested making plenty of quilts to give for Christmas this winter.