I’ve decided to start a blog on the intersection of sustainability, (better known as “green”), and sports. Your first reaction might be “What the heck does the ‘intersection of green and sports’ mean?
At first glance, there seem to be no obvious commonalities between, say, the severity of the Climate Crisis and how the Mets are doing. Actually this is a bad example because both the Climate and the Mets are doing quite badly at the moment. But, I digress. One commonality that is interesting to me and, hopefully, to my readers, is PASSION.
That sports fans are passionate is the ultimate “duh”. All you need to know is the word “fan” is derived from fanatic to know that sports fans are, well, NUTS. We scream, call radio stations to vent (especially “Vinnie From Queens”), paint our faces, cry, and spend tons of $ to buy merchandise, travel to games and buy super-sized HD LCD TVs. We bet, get into verbal and physical fights.
A University of Alabama Crimson Tide fan, upset that in-state rival Auburn won the College Football National Championship in 2011, went to Auburn, poisoned a 150 year old tree that had become a symbol for Auburn football (fans, after a big win, would throw rolls of toilet paper all over the tree. I never said sports fans make sense), called a radio show to brag about it, got arrested and was proud of it and finally copped a plea. Roll Tide! indeed. And there are lots of us. Think about it–if no one cared about sports a 30 second spot on the Super Bowl wouldn’t fetch $3 much less the $3+ million it went for this past February.
People who care about the climate crisis, doing something to turn the crisis around and thus save the Future of Humanity As We Know It are also passionate about it. And yes, we do call in radio shows and scream (see the protest at the White House against the Keystone XL Pipeline in February that drew upwards of 30,000 people) and get arrested. Thing is, there are not enough of us, at least not yet, to exert enough pressure on governments and businesses to push through the policies and change the behaviors to change climate “field position”. Sorry for the first sports analogy of this blog. I promise you it will be the first of many.
The problem is, according to roughly 99% of scientists publishing in the climate science-related fields, that humans are the cause of climate change that is on pace to essentially destroy ourselves, if nothing is done to limit carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions–the main sources of climate change.
This seems a much bigger problem than whether the Jets will ever win another Super Bowl in my lifetime.
Yet, as someone who is passionate about both sports and solving the climate crisis, I know that I often get more wrapped up in the Jets, Knicks, whatever, than figuring out how to help companies become more successful by being more environmentally friendly.
An answer to the question “can we solve climate change in time” may depend, in large part, on whether humanity can muster the consistent passion of sports fans.
This blog will examine this issue, and others related to sports and the climate crisis. It will hopefully be informative, provocative, sometimes humorous. And, if it gets you to scream about doing something serious about the climate (in addition to screaming about the refs in the Knicks/Pacers series), well, then I’ll consider this blog a success.