Claim of Grinch-like Christmas plot is a real turkey

A video on Facebook, originating from a prolific disinformation website, claims that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched an initiative to scrap Christmas traditions in an effort to save the environment.

The claim is false. While the video claims that the WEF, CNN and The Guardian are pushing for the abolition of Christmas traditions for the sake of the environment, the only evidence it provides are out-of-context news clips and articles. In contrast, the recent content produced by all three organizations is very much in the traditional Christmas spirit.

The video (screenshot here ) has received over 55,000 views at the time of writing and has been shared on Facebook ( here , here , here and here ), on Twitter ( here , here and here ) and elsewhere.Here And Here), and on YouTube.

The video features Sean Addl-Tabatabai, the creator of a website listed in FactCheck.org’s misinformation directory. He began by saying: “The World Economic Forum recently launched a controversial new initiative that will bring Christians up in arms. The World Economic Forum is now calling for Christmas holiday traditions to be scrapped in coming years as part of an effort to save the environment.

He provided no evidence to substantiate WEF’s new initiative and AAP Fact Check WEF has not been able to identify any content produced by WEF that demonstrates intentions to abolish Christmas.

Screenshot of Facebook video
The video states that the WEF wants to introduce a policy for governments to phase out Christmas traditions.

In December 2020, the WEF published a video entitled “4 Tips to Make Your Christmas Tree Really Green”. The video suggests buying a real tree instead of plastic, buying from a local supplier or charity, renting a replantable tree and disposing of the tree properly after use. At no point does the WEF advocate putting up a tree, nor does it call for the abolition of Christmas.

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There is also no evidence that the WEF is averse to the Christmas tradition of gift-giving. In December 2022, WEF published an article titled “10 Sustainable Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season” and another about the Icelandic tradition of giving books at Christmas.

At the 15-second mark of the video, Adl-Tabatabai continues: “The WEF has ordered mainstream media outlets to push an anti-Christmas narrative and wants governments to introduce an international policy to phase out Christmas traditions in their countries. Suitable for carbon neutral celebrations.”

He said: “CNN, always at the forefront of the globalist agenda, ordered its audience to cancel Christmas last year because of COVID.” At this point in the video, a clip from a CNN segment is played, where Dr. Lena Wen, professor of health policy and management, says: “Anyone who hasn’t canceled their plans for Christmas and New Year should cancel their travel. Plans and should definitely not gather indoors with those not in their immediate family.

But the clip was taken out of context and misrepresented. The original segment was from December 2020 — not 2021 — before large-scale vaccination began and after a spike in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving, experts urged caution for the holiday season, as well as staying home instead of traveling. Fox News reported on the CNN segment here, and a longer version of the clip can be found here.

However, in 2021, the same expert wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post in which she said people who have been vaccinated don’t need to cancel their vacation plans. Dr. Wen reiterated this in an interview with CNN.

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Ahead of Christmas 2022, CNN has published content about traditional Christmas dinners, Christmas markets, Christmas vacation spots and gift ideas — contradicting the news network’s claim that the anti-Christmas WEF is in the pocket.

Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany.
CNN publishes content about traditional Christmas markets in the lead up to Christmas 2022.

At 52 seconds into the video, Adl-Tabatabai said: “The Guardian, another globalist mouthpiece controlled by the WEF, tells its readers that giving gifts and enjoying traditional Christmas meals is vulgar and should stop”. The ad was accompanied by a screenshot of the Guardian headline: “Dreaming of a green Christmas? Here’s how to make it a reality. “

But this article was published in 2019 and doesn’t say that enjoying a traditional Christmas meal is rude or should be stopped. Instead, according to the report, people in the UK are “turning their backs on the vulgarity of Christmas consumerism”, with Britain still generating 30 per cent more waste than usual over Christmas. It suggested various ways to reduce waste at Christmas – none of which abolished traditional Christmas food and gift-giving.

In fact, in December 2022, The Guardian published several articles about gift-giving, none of which proposed getting rid of the tradition (see here, here and here).

“Instead of turkey and all the trimmings,” the video continues, “The Guardian wants you to scrap your traditional Christmas meal and replace it with artificial fake meat of insects, bugs, crickets and Bill Gates” (video mark 1min 5sec). The ad is accompanied by a screenshot of another Guardian article titled “Reasons for putting insects on the Christmas menu”.

Stick insects
The video claims that the traditional Christmas meal will be replaced by insects and bugs.

This article was published in 2016 and says nothing about Bill Gates or synthetic meat.

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In fact, the “Christmas Food Recipes” section of The Guardian’s website doesn’t contain a single recipe with bugs or “Bill Gates’ synthetic fake meat.” However, it has many recipes that contain meat (see examples here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

The video says: “Incoming House Democratic Whip Catherine Clark is in control of the WEF and has taken it upon herself to lead the congressional charge to abolish Christmas, declaring she wants to do it for her children” (video mark 1min 15sec).

But in an original NBC News segment, Clark was asked about the diversity of the incoming minority House Democratic caucus and what changes the average Democratic House member might see in the new leadership team. As someone from a younger generation than previous Democratic House leaders, Clark said she brings to her role a variety of life experiences, including children’s concerns about climate change and gun violence. Neither Clark nor her interviewer mentioned anything about Christmas in the segment.

judgment

The claim that the WEF has launched an initiative to abolish Christmas traditions to protect the environment is false. There is no evidence that the WEF or WEF-influenced media outlets have encouraged the abolition of Christmas traditions.

Instead, the video uses out-of-context news clips and articles to push the claim.

wrong – The claim is incorrect.

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