This Year’s Environmental Turkey is …

by Bill Chameides | November 30th, 2012
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

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Environmental Turkey 2012

Before letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak, let’s review the turkey award.

Loyal readers of TheGreenGrok might recall that last year I inaugurated this award of dubious distinction to acknowledge a “failure,” “flop” or “stupid, foolish, or inept person” when it comes to things environmental.

Noting that there were many contenders, I ultimately chose Newt Gingrich, then a hopeful to become the Republican presidential nominee, for his stupendous flip-flopping on matters of the environment. The quotes from Gingrich’s 2007 book A Contract With the Earth alongside his views espoused on the campaign trail make for especially riveting reading on a man’s incredible knack for complete 180-degree turns — that whole “he was for it before he was against it” thang.

Talking turkey

This year, we decided we should open up the award to a popular vote. Who do readers think have shown their true colors as the green turkey this year? While I suspect many readers had already begun their Thanksgiving holidays by the time we put the call out, we received eight entries, and today we reveal our winner.

But before doing so, let me review the parameters of the contest and mention our two runners-up. The challenge was not to simply identify the environmental turkey of 2012 but to do so within the rhyme and meter of a limerick — you know, a five-line poem with an AABBA rhyme scheme. Interestingly, the entries we received tended to get the limerick part of the challenge a bit better than the identifying-the-turkey part.

Our second runner-up, Kellie Gutman, crafted a pretty good limerick that shows a decent understanding of science but left out the turkey.

As the global temperature warms
Our planet reacts with fierce storms.
The impact is felt
When our glaciers melt
And the coastline around us re-forms

Jeff Crunk, our first runner-up, mentions the “Kochs” and “our leaders,” but doesn’t directly identify either as the turkey. So a decent effort but more specificity and hewing to the rules required here.

As sea ice begins its death spiral
The silence on climate goes viral.
A partisan joke,
Big money from Kochs,
Our leaders remain in denial.

Our limerick winner

And now we arrive at our winner. It is my pleasure to congratulate Amanda Lovall-Cole for writing this year’s winning limerick. Not only did she talk turkey about how we all play a role for the callous ways we use our planet’s resources and tend to take our environment for granted — homo sapiens gets her Enviro Turkey of the Year — but she did so in a well-crafted limerick. Plus, she was the ice-breaker to the contest, taking that bold step of being the first entrant.

Without further ado, here is her winning limerick:

There once was a planet on pace
To run out of space and make waste
The people were greedy
When their planet was needy
The turkey is the human race.

Congratulations again, Amanda! Look for an iPad arriving in your mailbox soon.

TheGreenGrok goes hog wild with turkey limericks

Here at TheGreenGrok we always like a turn at creativity. While Amanda is the official winner and gets the iPad, we thought it would be fun to pen our own limericks around our own picks for the year’s Environmental Turkey. So here’s two for the road:

First up, a limerick that’ll warm your Heart(land) blood.

There once was a fellow named Joe
Who thought climate change was a no-go
Billboards were the modus
That made him odorous
The stink, tho, confirmed he’s a schmo.

And finally our five-stanza limerick about … well, check it out for yourself.

It finally came to a stop
That “Mann hunt” so over the top.
Two years in the making
Trumped-up charges a’baking
“Cooch” sought a climate head to lop.
In aught 10 as VA’s new AG
Cuccinnelli went on quite a spree.
Climate science in his sights
With no reason but might
He spent funds, abused power, you’ll see.
He demanded records galore
On Michael Mann‘s work and much more.
Email fishing and such
Cost UVa so much*.
Showing proof he pooh-poohed out the door.
His hunch was all that he needed
For actions that act’ally bleeded
The State’s ability to focus
On big matters to the populace.
Stopping official waste — he should have heeded.
The tale’s moral is clear as can be:
When one rules from ideology,
One can get so apoplectic —
‘Specially a climate skeptic.
It’s bad news electing an enviro turkey.

Thanks to all who participated. You can read all the entries here. And if the urge to wax poetic moves you, you can add your own environmentally themed limerick here, just for fun.


End Note

* The university ended up spending just under $600,000 in legal fees fighting Cuccinnelli’s “civil investigative demand,” which the State’s high court eventually found to be invalid.

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