The Huffington Post, in what’s probably going to go down as the stupidest idea in American history, put out a post calling for the outright skipping of some serious Thanksgiving traditions — like travel, like turkey — as a means, get this, of saving the planet from environmental damage.
Holy crap, Batman.
“You may want to consider skipping the turkey altogether — and, more importantly, the travel,” HuffPost tweeted, with a link to its posted opinion piece, “The Environmental Impact Of Your Thanksgiving Dinner.”
I’m sorry — but does anyone this side of Loonsville give a rat’s you-know-what about the “environmental impact” of Thanksgiving?
Talk about buzzkill.
“A recent report from National Geographic and the Climate Action Tracker found that we are far from reaching our 2020 goal of lower emissions,” the HuffPost piece opens, before making this dubious mental jump: “With that in mind, one wonders: How much damage are we doing with our epic Thanksgiving meal every year?”
Who are these wondering ones?
HuffPost actually reached out to three researchers to determine “Thanksgiving’s carbon footprint.”
And as luck would have it — Thanksgiving dining fare is just downright bad for the environment. So, too, Thanksgiving travel.
So what’s a poor radical environmentalist to do when that fateful Thursday in November rolls around? Eat plants, not meat, for one. And for God’s sake, stay home.
“The biggest carbon impact is caused by people, not food, traveling extensive distances,” the report continues.
Message clear: Do not drive.
Memo sent: Eat vegetables.
“Meat and meat byproducts (cheese, butter and heavy cream, for example) have a larger environmental footprint than plant-based ingredients,” HuffPost reported. “[T]he carbon footprint of a 16-pound turkey creates a total of 34.2 pounds of CO2 — the same amount produced by turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, rolled biscuits and apple pie combined.”
There’s more; not all vegetables are alike.
“Want to get into the nitty gritty? On the hierarchy of vegetables, asparagus and celery produce the highest quantity of CO2 per pound, with 7.33 and 7.09 respectively,” HuffPost goes on. “[S]quash and pumpkin only create 0.10 and 0.11 pounds of CO2 per pound, respectively. So instead of more turkey, help yourself to an extra slice of pumpkin pie or an additional serving of squash soup.”
Don’t like squash soup?
Too bad. That’s not the point.
Thanksgiving, after all, is the time to be thankful. And that means being thankful for the kind and helpful nannies in the environmental field who take the time out from things that matter to shame the nation into remembering that holidays have consequences — and not just for the waist line. For Planet Earth.
“The takeaway? Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and family for many people,” the piece goes on. “Some simple recommendations for your meal include choosing a smaller turkey … or finding a spot that requires less travel.”
What a pinhead post.
Wait for it, wait for it. Next up: Christmas trees, and the environmental costs of cutting wood.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.