Christmas is a time for trees. Stockings. The crackling of logs on a fire. Except that the last one causes emissions and ruins the planet! You bastards! In towns around the country, the government is battling this menace. With spies.

'Experts' say, in this New York Times article, that old stoves and fireplaces can put out as much bad stuff (a technical term) as seven diesel buses. So they've started a kind of cash-for-clunkers program to replace these bad, dreadful, beautiful, romantic old stoves with microwaves and toasters. Well, more efficient new stoves. Whatever.

Some old-stove-havers are calling bullshit on the whole thing and refusing to take the $1000 cash in and buy a new one (which costs from $1500 to $4000). Others have gone all Stasi about it and are reporting their neighbors to the Man if they spot smoke coming from chimneys. Here's what happened to a California woman. Probably a rosy-cheeked California woman at that:

I get nasty notes from someone here in town on my woodpile," Mrs. Clark, 65, said. "There is one woman who walks up and down the street looking for smoke in people's chimneys. She has her own spies - kids and other women who walk around with notebooks, looking for smoke.

Even worse — the San Francisco bay area has banned wood fires today — on Christmas motherfucking day — because weather conditions are not conducive to dispersing the emissions. You'll have to watch our Gawker Internet Yule Log™ instead.

In other news: Bing Crosby is to be replaced by Jar-Jar Binks in a new, all-CGI version of White Christmas. Michael Bay is slated to direct. Santa, played by Jason Statham, is graphically eviscerated by a reindeer at the end. In 3-D. While this (NSFW — but who cares today) plays.