Get ready for the "battle for America's behinds," as the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold puts it.
In what might stop "Mr. Whipple" from ever squeezing the Charmin toilet paper without reproof, some environmentalists are calling soft toilet paper a threat to the planet.
Greenpeace and other like-minded groups want Americans to swap more comfortable, softer tissue for the recycled, tougher-on-the-behind tissue most Europeans use.
Here is what's behind all of the fuss. Extra soft, quilted tissue comes from old-growth trees, many in Canada and the United States. These elderly trees have very long wood fibers that are essential to produce the soft tissue. These older, powerful trees help limit carbon dioxide into the air. They help scrub it away.
The environmentalists' campaign against soft tissue is serious business. Greenpeace, we kid you not, offers a page of environmentally approved toilet paper sellers: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/forests/tissueguide
We concede that there will always be lifestyle changes that might help the environment in little ways, but this toilet paper crusade seems rather fluffy to us. Tissue production is a very small percentage of what we take from forests and making the Charmin less attractive to squeeze seems a waste of time.
Frankly, there are more important environmental concerns than the rough versus velvety toilet tissue debate. Environmentalists might prefer respecting Americans' common sense rather than obsessing on what they use to wipe. Soft tissue production is not going to decimate the planet. These criticized "luxury" tissues already cost a healthy bit more than recycled tissue products.
Consumers can choose what they want. If they want to stop pampering their behinds for the planet, that's their right. Others might choose to focus on less personal efforts to help improve the environment.