Santa Claus Visits Santa Cruz to “Stop Global Warming!

By Bradley, V-Man, and Max

On June 12, 2004, Santa Claus came to Main Beach in Santa Cruz to talk with beach goers about global warming while delivering home the message that, “Santa Doesn’t Want To Be Ho-Ho-Homeless.”

As soon as next week, the US Senate may vote on the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. This is a bill that would require polluting industries to make modest cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions, the pollutant that thickens the “carbon blanket” around the planet and leads to global warming. The measure was last voted on in the fall. At that time both Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) voted for the bill.

“Global warming will have devastating consequences for the economy of California among other things”, said Max Boykoff of Duyure Adelante. “It is clear that our Senators here in California recognize that. But we need more Senators on board, so to speak. We are urging all people to call on their Senators to vote for this first step to stop global warming.”

The popularity of the new film, “The Day After Tomorrow,” has put the issue of global climate change at the forefront of American consciousness. While most movie-goers dismiss the film’s doomsday predictions as sci-fi fantasy, some climatologists and concerned citizens are seizing on the opportunity to talk about the realities of global warming.

From Freak Radio Santa Cruz, V-Man Reports. (7 minutes)

Christmas came early to Santa Cruz. A homeless Santa – in flippers and a diving mask – visited the Santa Cruz Promenade at Main Beach (next to the Beach Boardwalk).

Santa has been forced to flee the North Pole as thinning Arctic ice has left his traditional home on the polar ice-cap unstable in the summer time.

“It has been heartbreaking,” said Santa, in an interview last week. “The Pole has been our year round home for thousands of years. Mrs. Santa, the elves, our reindeer, and I are now homeless nomads each summer. If global warming continues, our toy workshops will disappear permanently.”

The North Pole melted completely for the first time on record in the summer of 2000, and overall, the Arctic Ice cap has thinned by over 40% over the last 50 years. The melting of the ice at the North Pole is the latest consequence of a 100-year global warming trend that most scientists blame on air pollution from cars and power plants. Average Arctic temperatures in the winter have risen 11 degrees over the past 30 years, threatening polar bears, seals and other arctic inhabitants who depend on the ice pack for hunting and feeding grounds.

Santa and his helpers are looking for a new summer home. Their top priority is finding a workshop and relocating some toy production: “We need 2 million square feet,” said Santa. Immigration officials are considering granting a special waiver to Santa, allowing them to work in the US for a 5-year period. The INS reportedly remains skeptical.

A group of forward thinking folks plans to take advantage of Santa’s plight to demonstrate their concern about global warming. “This is the biggest environmental challenge that humans have ever faced,” said Max Boykoff of Duyure Adelante, a co-sponsor of Santa’s visit. “But it is a challenge we can meet. There are affordable clean energy solutions that can both create jobs and stop to global warming.”

As soon as next week, the US Senate may vote on the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. This is a bill that would require polluting industries to make modest cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions, the pollutant that thickens the “carbon blanket” around the planet and leads to global warming. The measure was last voted on in the fall. At that time both Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) voted for the bill. “Global warming will have devastating consequences for the economy of California among other things”, said Max Boykoff of Duyure Adelante. “It is clear that our Senators here in California recognize that. But we need more Senators on board, so to speak. We are urging all people to call on their Senators to vote for this first step to stop global warming”.

Santa has not specifically endorsed the McCain-Lieberman bill, but in a statement he recently released, he simply said: “We have to stop global warming. Santa doesn’t want to be ho-ho-homeless”.

Crossposted at Santa Cruz Indymedia.

Updated links to Max Boykoff:
@boykoff on Twitter
Center for Science and Technology Policy Research
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.