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The green Grinches

Christmas always brings out the joyless puritanism of environmentalists.

Lauren Smith

Topics Politics UK World

Do greens hate Christmas? In cities across Germany, members of Letzte Generation (Last Generation), the German offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, are attacking Christmas trees. In videos posted on X, activists can be seen spray-painting trees with orange paint in Berlin, Oldenburg, Kiel, Leipzig, Rostock, Nuremberg and Munich.

In a follow-up post on X, Letzte Generation explained why it was attacking Christmas trees: ‘Amid the flashing lights, glittering decorations and festive atmosphere, it’s easy to forget that we are racing full-speed towards catastrophe, and our governments are failing miserably to pull the emergency brake.’ In other words, don’t have too much fun this Christmas, lest we forget that the world is on the verge of the apocalypse.

Environmentalists certainly have a history of being Grinches. Last year, some tried and failed to hijack a televised Christmas service in a church in Möhringen. They did, however, succeed in sawing off the top of Berlin’s 15-metre-high Christmas tree, all to call attention to the so-called climate emergency. This week, in the UK, Just Stop Oil has promised to pull a similar stunt.

As ever with green activists, these stunts are essentially temper tantrums, designed to provoke and get our attention. But there is something about the festive season that really brings out the puritanical nature of the green zealots – who are always furious at the prospect of people having fun.

They seem to see any expression of Christmas joy as irresponsible – a frivolous distraction from the coming heat death. Earlier this month, one of Britain’s biggest catering suppliers announced that it would no longer be producing Christmas crackers with the traditional snap, so as to make them more eco-friendly. Across the country, councils have been defending their pathetic-looking festive displays on the grounds that they are more ‘sustainable’. Oxford almost cancelled its incredibly popular Christmas market on the grounds that it would obstruct the cycle path and force our lycra-clad betters to make a short detour.

Even the famous Trafalgar Square Christmas tree could soon be under threat from environmentalists. It’s a long-cherished tradition that the Trafalgar Square tree is felled in Norway and then transported to London, to thank Britain for its support during the Second World War. But Oslo mayor Anne Lindboe, who is responsible for maintaining Norway’s part of the tradition, has herself raised concerns about the tree’s ‘carbon footprint’ – because it has to be taken to Britain by truck and then sea.

Everything fun and festive is apparently now bad for the environment. Christmas trees – both real and fake – are killing the Earth, we’re told. Glitter is apparently full of deadly microplastics. Christmas markets are going to destroy the planet for some reason. Christmas, po-faced commentators tell us, is the ‘world’s greatest annual environmental disaster’.

How utterly miserable. If only these green Grinches would eat their nut roasts and leave the rest of us in peace.

Lauren Smith is an editorial assistant at spiked.

Picture by: YouTube.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Politics UK World

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