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December 24, 2005
Was 'Pull My Finger' One Of The Reindeer Games?

The problems with fanatics for any cause is that they make the reasonable proponents look like idiots by association. Today in Britain, I suspect that many otherwise reasonable environmentalists are reading about Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Tom Brake and spitting their rainforest-supporting java all over the pages of The Scotsman. Brake apparently decided to celebrate this Christmas season by informing the world that Santa Claus is a major polluter, as his reindeer would emit almost the equivalent amount of greenhouses gases as a jet airplane from ... methane emissions:

REINDEER-drawn sleds have been slammed as environmentally unfriendly, because the carrot-munching animals produce the greenhouse gas methane in their wind. Now Santa has been urged to ditch his sleigh team and start travelling on public transport to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

It has been calculated that Santa's team of nine reindeer would emit methane with a global warming impact equivalent to more than 40,600 tonnes of greenhouse gases on the 122 million mile Christmas Eve dash to deliver presents around the world. ...

The methane calculations were made by Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Tom Brake.

He said the best Christmas present for the environment would be if Santa took the bus, which would keep his total emissions output down to just 10,980 tonnes of - although he admitted the annual trip might take a bit longer than usual.

Mr Brake said: "Boys and girls up and down the country will be eagerly waiting for Father Christmas to arrive with their presents on Christmas morning. What they may not realise however is that Santa would be better off taking public transport."

What the Liberal Democrats might not realize is that the world takes them as a joke, right along with the Greens in the USA, mainly because of stupid stunts like this (and running Ralph Nader for President here, twice). I may not agree with many of the positions that environmentalists take, but I do consider most of them at least somewhat tied to reality and recognize that we need advocates for conservancy in order to maintain a balance between growth and devastation. It's people like Brake who make it easy for his opponents to paint the entire environmental movement as Birkenstock-wearing, patchouli-smelling, hemp-worshipping nutcases that require medical rather than media attention.

When officials of a political party decide to hold public scoldings of Santa Claus based on measures of reindeer farts, they've officially jumped the shark. I'd recommend a lump of coal for Brake this Christmas, but he'd probably wind up suing Santa Claus on behalf of non-union elf miners.

BREATHLESS MEDIA UPDATE: ASH just announced that Santa has also quit smoking. Not a moment too soon, either, considering all that methane in the air around the sleigh. Next up, Fergie will get Santa on Weight Watchers, and we can all toss our Christmas cookies ... if we haven't already.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 24, 2005 6:27 AM

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