WaPo’s Environment Scold Earns a “Jacques Brel” For Halloween!

As the Ethics Alarms glossary explains, the Jacques Brel is a special Ethics Alarms award bestowed on those who evoke the late, great French troubadour’s observation, “If you leave it up to them, they’ll crochet the world the color of goose shit.” Seldom have I encountered a more deserving recipient than Washington Post environment reporter Allyson Chiu, who was allowed by apparently standard-less editors to inflict on the world her essay, “How you can make more socially conscious Halloween candy choices.”

To be fair, it isn’t quite as obnoxious and deranged as the article I encountered a while back that instructed climate change phobics to carefully divide the plies in each roll of toilet paper to double the utility of each roll (and save trees, see), but its headline is funnier. What has to happen to someone—indoctrination, a bad experience at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory—to think like this?

Here are what some of Allyson’s fellow travelers tell her to relay to readers:

  • Judith Enck, a former senior Environmental Protection Agency official under Barack Obama who heads the Beyond Plastics advocacy organization says Halloween “is a plastic and solid waste disaster.”
  • John Buchanan, vice president of sustainable production for Conservation International, says that white chocolate “has some pretty close associations with two of the biggest environmental crises that we face right now, and that’s the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis,”

So, dressing up as an environment Nazi for Halloween, Allyson informs us, means avoiding wrapped candy, doing extensive research on all candy companies, checking the ingredients for the presence of palm oil and cocoa (while keeping in mind that these products are essential to the employment and livelihood of poor foreign farmers, so you don’t want to “boycott entirely”) recycling old candy, and replacing candy kids will actually enjoy with crap like Dots because they come in recyclable boxes.

Halloween is a single day in the year, sane people have more important things to do than worry about all these things, and the rational reaction of anyone who takes the Post article seriously would be, “To hell with it. No more Halloween at this house.

There is hope, however. Even among the largely woke readers of the Washington Post, the predominant reaction was to mock Chiu’s passion or to ignore it. The piece, which was published two weeks ago, has attracted just 33 comments, and with the notable exception of “Ithaca Reader” who wrote, “In Ithaca, most people offer a selection of organic tofu and small bags of kale as treats at Halloween,” nicely demonstrating Poe’s Law, the majority of the responses were more in line with…

  • “…Here’s an idea.. Mars, Hershey pay attention here. New candy idea- no chocolate, recyclable brown paper wrapper. Call it the Nut Job. Don’t make too many though.”
  • “It’s stories like this that make people think the climate change crowd are just whacked out crazy.”
  • “I can’t believe this pile of garbage was even printed.”

Oh, believe it. People who think like this are teaching our children and directing our national policies.

24 thoughts on “WaPo’s Environment Scold Earns a “Jacques Brel” For Halloween!

  1. I’m a crocheter, and in all likelihood I probably own some goose-poop-colored yarn — BUT I pity the fools who actually follow the advice of that Washington Post reporter. (When my spouse heard about that reporter’s essay, he predicted that households dispensing “socially conscious” treats to trick-or-treaters were liable to be “tricked.” At least they’ll be able to recycle the toilet paper garlands which’ll be festooning the trees & bushes in their yards the next morning!)

  2. Or they’re just trying to get published. I think half the articles I read were written just to get a paycheck.

    Full disclosure: I love Dots.

    But I don’t hand them out on Halloween. Our decorations are up, the six big bags of mostly chocolate (but also including skittles and jolly ranchers) are opened and over 60 individual sandwich bags have between four and five pieces of candy in them (the ones with five have more because, to our horror, one of the candy bags had many literal pinky finger-sized individually wrapped Swedish fish and bubble gum that should not count as Halloween booty in any home) and we are ready to hand out to anyone who braves the expected rain.

    It’s like they don’t want kids to have fun anymore.

  3. Dots are crap? Who knew? I guess we all have different taste.

    We’re handing out small bags of potato chips and doritos this Halloween. Last year we went with the Kit Kats. When I was a kid, some people gave out cookies; so, I thought maybe chips would be okay this year. I’ll keep an eye on the reactions; however, most of the kids don’t even seem to notice what you drop in the bag.

    I didn’t hear that one about Ithaca; though it isn’t surprising. We live 25 miles from Ithaca. I really doubt “most” people in Ithaca are handing out tofu and kale. If I was a parent of a trick or treater, I wouldn’t let them eat tofu or kale given out for Halloween. Those two items definitely fall into the crap category!!!

  4. Still no clarity on what the heck happened in Chez Pelosi over the weekend. The Dem talking points seem to have vanished. Even Nancy isn’t shooting off her mouth. But no one’s really digging to find out what transpired either.

    • Instead it’s turned into “Republicans pounce!” thanks to Elon who masterfully trolled both Hilary Clinton and the NYT.

    • An article I just read about Musk’s Twitter purchase made sure to reference his reply to Clinton’s tweet calling it a link to an article that factcheckers call low credibility and that make the claims “without evidence” a parenthetical phrase used often during the Trump years to criticize his claims.

  5. Out here in SF, with so many employees still working at home, the fun is gone from the corporate offices. No costumes, no decorations and definitely no candy. At least reading all of your posts brought some laughter to the day now that the lefties have banished it as part of a normal holiday experience.

    • EA has a reporter on the ground in the City by the Bay? What’s the scoop on the goings on over the weekend at Nancy’s house?

    • I anticipate that recycling old candy assumes one of:
      1. Your kids didn’t eat it all last year and neither did you
      2. The candy you bought last year, you didn’t give out fully and didn’t consume.
      3. You still have Easter candy where 1 and 2 apply
      4. You have Fourth of July Parade candy where 1 and 2 apply
      5. You have Christmas candy where 1 and 2 apply

      Most of that candy is the stuff that you find offensive. Jolly Ranchers, Gum anything, and Paydays are the leftover candy that always gets thrown out somehow in my house.

      As the daughter of a Knight of Columbus who always had to sell Tootsie Rolls for fundraising… even decent candy that is now year old candy- YUCK!

      Take the fun out of everything indeed!

  6. So the real question for all these Ithaca folks is CU or IC…the fruit to nut ratio there has certainly not gone down on the forty years since I grew up there.

  7. My go to favorite Halloween candy was Chuckles. Could not wait till I got to the black/licorice one in the center.
    Coming from a family with four brothers, my mother would sometime recycle from our cache toward the evening’s end. As long as it was not chocolate or chuckles!

  8. … checking the ingredients for the presence of palm oil and cocoa (while keeping in mind that these products are essential to the employment and livelihood of poor foreign farmers, so you don’t want to “boycott entirely”) …

    That isn’t precisely the case. Rather, those activities were deliberately introduced by practical philanthropists (like certain Quaker families in the North of England) to displace the previous mainstay in West Africa: the slave trade. Conceivably, that might revive.

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