'Twas the night before Christmas, and across the North Pole
The war against Xmas was taking its toll
But the words "Happy holidays" weren't what broke Santa's heart
'Twas the warming that had set the Pole cracking apart.
In the face of the crisis, Santa gathered his team
His beard soaked with sweat and his forehead agleam.
“Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Blitzen,
We don’t have all day, and this heat has me schvitzin’.
“I’m beloved worldwide for my rotund good cheer
But you’ve probably noticed it’s been a tough year.
And I’m now in no mood for stockings and holly
Climate change has me feeling not the slightest bit jolly.
“As most of you know, my workshop’s foundation
Is built on sea ice in a secluded location
For years our toy workshop was solid, secure
But as the ice melts, I’m no longer so sure!
“For the ice pack this summer was the smallest it’s been
Since human-built satellites came on the scene
And if projections are right — and we’ve no reason to doubt —
In a matter of years we will have to move out.”
“Move out?!” cried Mrs. Claus. “But where would we go?”
“To the South Pole,” said Santa, “where I hear there’s still snow.”
The reindeer all shuddered, their knobby knees weak
And a single moist tear slid down an elf’s cheek.
“It gets worse,” Santa pressed, his deep voice grown thin,
“As the ice disappears, Big Oil moves in.
Shell’s been trying all year to dig in their drills
Off the coast of Alaska, regardless of spills.”
“If they spill,” asked an elf, “can’t they clean up their mess?”
"Not likely,” barked Santa, now clearly distressed.
“Their barges don’t work, and their great big Plan B,
Relies on skimmers and booms that once failed BP.
“So don’t be surprised if somewhere down the road
Endangered bowhead whales find their Arctic abode
Slimy and slick with an oily sheen
And fat globs of gunk stuck up in their baleen.”
In the silence that followed came a great hacking wheeze:
“Sorry,” coughed Rudolph, “but it’s this foul dirty breeze.
The pollution up here is as gross as it comes
And I can’t drive the sleigh with black grit in my lungs.”
“Is there any hope left?” all the elves wailed together
“Or has Christmas been doomed by this too-balmy weather?
Will carbon dioxide melt what’s left of our ice?
Is everyone naughty? Is nobody nice?”
“There’s a solution,” said Santa, “though it calls for ambition:
In each dangling stocking, we shall leave a petition,
That children can mail to their congressional rep
Demanding a carbon tax, cap-and-trade, or some similar step.”
Interjected Mrs. Claus: “Don’t you think that’s naïve?
In this age of fiscal cliffs, do you really believe
That a Republican house hell-bent on obstruction
Would allow carbon taxes to enter production?”
“Perhaps not,” Santa said, “but I hope for the best
Even Norquist the Grinch has remarkably blessed
The idea of progressive CO2 legislation
As long as it’s revenue-neutral taxation.
“When I fly over this land, I see climate deniers,
And hundreds of coal plants, fanning their fires
But I also see activists, filled with true zeal
Reminding Americans that global warming is real.”
The elves raised a cheer, and Santa leapt like a bolt
“Forget the sleigh!” yelled St. Nick, “let’s hop in the Volt!”
The deer piled in, the electric car sprung into flight.
“Merry Christmas to all, and KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!”