Sports Can Bring Change

The human race has shown a remarkable capacity throughout history to ignore physical reality and embrace demonstrably false facts. When Galileo was bold enough to assert that the sun rather than the earth was the center of the universe he was put under house arrest for the remainder of his life by religious authorities. Those unfortunate souls who claimed that the earth was round and not flat risked being put to death. Once again our species is in denial about the reality of climate change.

As polar ice caps melt, oceans are rising around the world wreaking havoc with worldwide weather patterns and threatening to overrun low lying areas. Mountain ice packs are melting and water supply is threatened, we will soon see water wars. Tornadoes, hurricanes and other dramatic storms are increasing. The ozone layer is dissolving with unprecedented greenhouse gases. The earth is one eco-system, pollution from China travels to Southern California. This is science -- the only debate is how quickly the changes will impact human and animal life. The earth is not in danger, our species is. We don't want to be the first parents in U.S. history to hand a degraded quality of life down to our children and grandchildren. The debt crisis is already threat enough.

Sports can lead the way in changing attitudes. I am resurrecting the Sporting Green Alliance to take sustainable technologies in water, solar, resurfacing and recycling and integrate them into professional, collegiate and high school stadia, arenas and practice facilities. Add in golf courses and that is a substantial amount of real estate. The purpose is to drop energy costs and carbon emissions and turn these venues into actual energy providers for the grid. These facilities can function as educational platforms enabling the hundreds of millions of fans who attend events to see a waterless urinal or a solar panel and think about how they can incorporate these energy saving practices into their own homes and businesses. If there is demand for these technologies, American industry will respond and start to make products the world wants to buy. This would force China to compete and modify there current toxic practices.

Sports can be a rich source of content supply to stimulate attitudinal change in the public.

Saturday morning cartoon shows with Superhero athletes fighting for the environment or comic books promoting these themes could start the educational process early. Owners could establish local forests and nature preserves. Green technologies can become the subject of naming rights and signage. Warren Moon and I were employed as spokesmen in sports-themed public service advertisements for the Sierra Club. I gave the keynote speech at the United Nations Convention on Sports and the Environment several years ago in Lausanne, Switzerland. Some of my clients participated in Laurie David's virtual Million Person Environmental March on Washington.

Certain threats to our children seem so colossal and overwhelming that they create a sense of powerlessness and apathy in parents, My father used to say that "there is no 'they' when it comes to solving problems and taking action -- the 'they' is you son, and me!". The Sporting Green Alliance can be a helpful first step.