Sporting Green…

When is a tipping point reached? When has changed occurred? When will we know it? This is a question asked about Global Warming in many ways. The Globe has clearly passed the tipping point where there is no way to avoid some Global Climate Change (already occurring), to avoid more warming (will occur), and species extinctions (already occurring). We know that other forms of damage have occurred — and are likely to worsen. The question, of course, is to what extent can we minimize / restrict future damage.

But, Tipping Point is also discussed critically re the political discussion and society.

Well, the same place that the world checks out the top bikinis on the top models has now ‘gone green’. This month’s Sports Illustrated cover page: “Sports and Global Warming: As the Planet Changes, So Do the Games We Play: Time to Pay Attention”.

In the article Going, Going Green, SI examines the growing interaction of sports and Global Warming.

Global warming is not coming; it is here.

No skeptics allowed in the sporting world …

All of which is changing the way we play and the sports we watch

To be honest, other than skiing, hadn’t really considered this before. (By the way, a quite “Red” executive at a major Corporation has become rabid green — as he explained it to me, “I’m selfish about my life and protective of my kids. I care about global warming because I want to see my grandkids skiing down the slopes 20 years from now.” He also said, “And, I’m cheap. I think we can fight this in ways that will save me money. Putting in CFLs cut my electricity bill at home by 20 percent. I noticed that.”)

So, as for skiing:

Sports condition us to notice first those things that happen at scatback speed, and until recently climate change took place in world-historical fashion, the way a nil-nil soccer match unfolds. But that perception is changing fast, especially for skiers, whose season has endured a whipsaw of extremes: One day in November enough snow fell at Colorado’s Beaver Creek to cause the cancellation of practice for the men’s downhill at a World Cup event. A day later on the other side of the globe, officials at the French resort of Val d’Isère called off another World Cup event on account of too little snow, as well as a forecast of prolonged warm temperatures — one of seven World Cup events in Europe this season to have all races canceled for the same reason.

But, the effects are getting noticed off the ski slopes as well. Outdoor skating, for example:

the world’s signature dogsled race, Alaska’s Iditarod, hasn’t begun at its traditional starting point in Wasilla since 2002 because of too little snow there. The Elfstedentocht, an 11-city skating marathon that the Dutch stage whenever the canals freeze over, has been run only once in the past two decades.It seems to be touching football …

Searing heat is turning that rite of passage of Texas high school football, the August two-a-day, into a one-at-night, while at the game’s highest level the Miami Dolphins, once famous for sweating players into shape, have thrown in the soggy towel and built a climate-controlled practice bubble.

And, well, there is NASCAR:

By going green, motor sports could have the quickest impact on public awareness of the planet’s fate. The Formula One circuit has already discovered hybrids and biofuels, and Indy cars are mixing ethanol into their fuel. NASCAR is poised to phase out leaded gasoline, a neurotoxin. (The Clean Air Act of 1970 included an exemption for race cars even as the public was barred from buying cars that ran on leaded gas.) It’s only a short jump from a NASCAR driver with a raised consciousness to a NASCAR fan with the same.

In other words, there is the direct impact on and from sports … but there is also sports as marketeer. To what extent does this all facilitate a changing weltanschauung (worldview) re Global Warming? Sport stars sell everything in the market … more sensible energy usage could certainly join the list.

A stadium of the future, which draws its power from the sun and wind.

Grist had a good discussion of this (evidently SI mentioned them) but also links to / discussions of other sports & GW discussions.


One response to “Sporting Green…

  1. Is this what it takes to get people’s attention? “If we don’t fix Global Warming now, you can kiss your Sunday football game goodbye!”

    One has to wonder how quickly mandatory caps would be in place if Global Warming only affected hops, barley and whatever else they make beer out of.

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