Fredericton — It seems as though all of those lumps of coal given out at Christmas are doing more than just crushing the spirits of naughty children: they may also be destroying the world. A recent study released by researchers at UNB’s Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management supports some shocking claims that old Saint Nick himself may be the driving force behind global warming.
“We started graphing the influx of air pollution and instantly we saw a huge spike during the last week of the year and the first week of the new year,” explained third-year student Eugene McCue. “At first we simply thought it was attributed to the fact that it’s colder and people are using furnaces more. The next step in our research put that theory out the window, though. We started graphing these increases compared to the temperatures, and as it gets much colder in the later stages of January the pollution actually decreases pretty drastically — it had us baffled.”
“We were having a Christmas party for the faculty,” he recalled proudly, “and we had some old Christmas movie on in the background while everyone was mingling and picking away at the gluten-free fruit cake I had made. That’s when I overheard someone on the movie say something like ‘Santa’s going to give you some coal this year.’ It struck me like a ton of fruit cake! Santa giving out all of that coal every year has got to be bad for the environment.”
Burning coal produces greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants, including carbon dioxide, mercury compounds, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Coal produces more pollution than any other fuel source, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Furthermore, coal contains methane, a combustible and potent greenhouse gas. Methane’s global warming potential is 23 times greater than carbon dioxide, according to an enthralling one-sided website read by this reporter during his 3 minutes of research.
The Manatee was able to interview an elf from the Regent Mall during his break from Santa Claus photos where he supported this outrageous claim. “Santa hasn’t given out a present for ages — not to anyone,” said Elfred the Elf. “People are just so awful nowadays; everyone is on the naughty list so everyone gets a big lump of coal each year. It’s hard for the big man to keep up. Us elves aren’t even in the workshop anymore — we’re slaving away in the mines. Most of us even have black lung.”
The report released by UNB has sparked an investigation into Santa’s mining practices by the Federal government, and sources have told The Manatee that Santa should be expecting a large carbon tax in his own stocking this coming year.