A Columbia University professor called for the canceling of the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree last week, calling it emblematic of a “toxic relationship” with nature and unfettered capitalism.
“This year’s tree is also perfectly poised to reflect something more than our national mood: It reflects the absolutely toxic relationship we have with the natural world and the need to rapidly reverse course,” Brian Kahn wrote for Gizmodo, where he covers climate change. “If this year’s tree sees any justice, it’s that it should be the last.”
Kahn added any “iota” of the tree’s dignity had been lost with its move from upstate New York to Manhattan, and he rued what he called nature’s subjugation before the “towering Norway spruce set at the center of the beating, concrete-and-steel heart of capitalism.”
The Rockefeller tree’s annual unveiling has been a Christmas staple since 1933, and it draws an estimated 125 million visitors each holiday season.
This year’s Rockefeller tree drew scorn online when it appeared barren and misshapen upon arrival, leading to Kahn’s suggestion it was a sign the tradition should end. An owl was also discovered in its branches after it arrived at the center, but it was unharmed.
Kahn did not see a positive omen there, however, writing it was miraculous the owl was not crushed after its “harrowing” 170-mile journey.
He also predicted people might call him an effective Grinch for his opinion.
“I know I’ll likely receive many a furious email cussing me out for being a tree hugger perpetrating the war on Christmas and a total killjoy. But my point isn’t that we should end joy and piss on Santa,” he wrote.
The Blaze called Kahn’s take an example of “cancel culture” even coming for a tree.
“Bah humbug,” writer Sarah Taylor joked.