Christmas Gifts: The Newest Target of Climate Change Activists

People need to realize the Left is using the alleged “existential” threat of global warming to wage war against liberty, against the Western world’s (not China’s) economy, and against joy.

The automobile, that magnificent enhancement to human freedom and joy, is a target of the Left. The idea that individuals should be able to go where they want when they want in their own car is anathema to the Left – it provides way too much individual liberty. Ideally, almost no one should own a car. We should all aspire to live in a high-rise apartment building in a major metropolis and use public transportation, ride bicycles or walk. If for some reason we have to travel a longer distance, let us say to conservative relatives who selfishly own their own homes in the suburbs, we can use public transportation; and if none is available, we can use Uber or Lyft.

Even the family, one of life’s greatest sources of joy and meaning, is a target of the climate change activists. They believe that there are way too many people in the world. Kids are carbon-emitting machines. So, an increasing number of women, including married women, are choosing not to have children. They don’t see how they can justify bringing children into a world in which they will be roasted to death. And frequently their progressive parents (the would-be grandparents) agree with them. As I wrote in a previous column, based on the many comments of New York Times readers on an opinion piece written by a woman who has decided not to have children because of global warming, many readers wrote that despite the fact that they long for grandchildren, they support their child’s decision to go childless.

Now we have another joy of life that progressives are targeting in the name of combating global warming: Christmas gifts. Many progressives have long opposed giving Christmas gifts in the name of combating “consumerism” (to be fair, some religious conservatives share that ascetic view). But climate change will soon constitute the greater moral reason.

In the Daily Mail this week, a woman wrote an article making this case.

“Last year,” she wrote, “surrounded by wrapping paper and abandoned gifts, I suggested to my husband Chris that next time we shouldn’t buy anything — for each other or the children.

“Not buying anything for my husband is trivial because he can buy for himself. But not buying presents for our two girls, aged six and three, is a trickier proposition…

“We’re increasingly aware of the global impact of our purchases. Everything we buy the kids will go into landfill…

“With the planet on fire and plastics everywhere it seems like we are at a moment of reckoning and have been for some time…

“I’ve forced this rule on the family, telling my mother, in-laws and the brothers and sisters not to buy the girls anything.

“My sister was appalled and very cross that she will be thought of as the mean old aunt. Just because I want to strip the joy out of Christmas, why should she have to?”

This woman’s article encapsulates much of the darkness the Left represents and creates.

First is the war on joy. Part of the joy of Christmas, especially for children, is receiving gifts. To deny this is to deny reality. This can be verified by asking any adult to describe the joy they experienced as a child looking under the Christmas tree for their gifts.

Second, it is a war on altruism. Gift-giving may be animated by a number of factors, but one fact is undeniable: Giving people gifts is an altruistic act. If people stop doing so – whether to combat “consumerism” or to combat global warming – they are ending one of the most widespread expressions of altruism in our society.

Third, children are the primary targets of this nonsense. Progressives seem to have a particular animus for children. They wage war on children’s innocence with early “sex education,” with LGBTQ activism in elementary school, and by promoting drag queen “story hours” beginning at age 5; by their closing schools for nearly two years for no valid reason; by depriving children of God, religion and patriotism; by their irrationally frightening children about their future (they will essentially be burned alive); and now by depriving children of Christmas gifts and, presumably, birthday gifts (they, too, add to landfills).

Fourth, the woman who wrote this article has no qualms about imposing her beliefs on everyone else. It is not enough for her to tell her husband not to give her 6- and 3-year-old daughters Christmas gifts. She has ordered the girls’ grandparents, aunts and uncles not to do so: “I’ve forced this rule on the family.”

Fifth, progressive reasoning is not only morally defective, but also factually defective. If no one in the United Kingdom gave a single Christmas gift, nothing would be accomplished with regard to global warming. But a whole society would be deprived of a major joy of life, and the country’s economy would take a major hit.

Just remember this rule of life: Everything the Left touches, it destroys.

That includes joy.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His commentary on Deuteronomy, the third volume of “The Rational Bible,” his five-volume commentary on the first five books of the Bible, was published in October 2022. He is the co-founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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About Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest books include The Rational Passover Haggadah and The Rational Bible, a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, "No Safe Spaces," is now available on DVD and BluRay. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

Photo: Pomona, CA - December 17: Los Angeles County captain Brook Gage, left, helps a joyous child pick out Christmas gifts from a large selection during a toy giveaway after the original donated toys burned in an early Sunday-morning fire that destroyed Victory Outreach Church along with more than 500 toys set to be given away in a toy drive. Photo taken across the street from the Victory Outreach Church in Pomona Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. It didn't take long for the spirit of Christmas to sweep through the community. The Los Angeles County Fire Department sent 100 firefighters to fight the blaze and then to knock down walls stamping out hotspots. But before the smoke had even cleared, fire officials hatched a plan to send two Search and Rescue trucks loaded with toys back to the disaster site later in the day. A Pomona church went up in flames early Sunday morning, bringing out dozens of firefighters to battle the blaze. The fire at Victory Outreach Church Pomona at 177 W. Monterey Ave. broke out at about 2:45 a.m. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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