Another day, another NHL player becomes known as an eco-athlete. And it’s not just any player, but rather one of the best and most decorated players in the league; Chicago Blackhawks captain and 3-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Toews, who recently spoke out on climate change.
GreenSportsBlog never faces a shortage of stories to chase, thanks in part to the NHL and its cutting edge leadership in the Green-Sports arena. Just last week, we highlighted how NBCSN, the league’s cable-caster, brought the sports greening movement to its airwaves through its interview with Hall of Fame goaltender and eco-preneur Mike Richter. Prior to that, stories about the league’s carbon emission partnership with Constellation Energy to reduce carbon emissions, Commissioner Gary Bettman’s long-term commitment to sustainability, and eco-athlete and Edmonton Oiler Andrew Ference graced our pages. And today, we welcome one of the league’s true stars, Chicago Blackhawks Captain and 3-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Toews (TAYVS) to the NHL’s GreenSportsBlog pantheon.
Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews on climate change: ‘It’s sad that it’s still a debate in this country’
So blares the headline of a March 16 For The Win story by Maggie Hendricks and Hemal Jhaveri in which Toews shared his passion for the environment and for doing something about climate change.
Toews’ passion was stoked through a change in diet. Here’s the 3-time NHL All Star in the Hendricks/Jhaveri piece: “I started to learn where my food comes from, and one thing led to another, and I grew passionate about learning about environmental changes and climate change and the energy that we use, food and water consumption…Sometimes, I think we live in a world where we’re so disconnected with that. We don’t really realize, we don’t see it first hand, we don’t feel the aftermath of our lifestyle.”
Per the story’s headline, Toews is incredulous that there is still a debate in the US and Canada about the existence of climate change and thinks increased access to climate change education will eventually turn the tide: “If we can start having the [climate change] conversation, at least make people more aware of what’s going on. We live in an age of information. People want to know, and it’s right in front of them. You have access to the information, and once you get that going, people will demand change.”
A poll released last week from Gallup shows that, in the US, climate change education and awareness is gradually paying off: 64% of Americans worry about climate change “a great deal/fair amount,” the highest percentage recorded since 2006 and the release of Al Gore’s Academy Award winning climate change documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Gallup Poll results showing concern about climate change in US is on the rise.
Toews has taken to Twitter to spread his “fight climate change” message. Here he praises Best Actor Winner Leonardo DiCaprio for bringing up climate change during his recent acceptance speech at the Oscars:
And here Toews praises the NHL for its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint:
Toews has received some criticism for his comments–witness this snark from Ezra Levant, a conservative Canadian writer and broadcaster (think a Canadian Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity and you have the picture,) via his TheRebel.media site: “Don’t lecture me about carbon dioxide, when you couldn’t even find carbon on the periodic table.” A typical Red Herring from a climate change denier: divert attention from the issue with schoolyard insults and invective. Whatever.
I have no doubt that Toews can take on goons like Levant just like he handles goons on the ice, with toughness, intelligence and hard work. On the latter point, Toews has “walked the climate change walk,” attending Sierra Club Illinois meetings and offering support to the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition.
Jonathan Toews, Captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, at a 2015 Sierra Club Illinois meeting. (Photo credit: Twitter)
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