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Yes, Even Football

1 February 2008

We all know that global warming is changing our natural environment, affecting species survival and impacting human life on many levels. But do we all know that global warming could threaten the VIKINGS? That’s right – football is not immune to the global scurge of climate change, and according to Environment America, cold weather teams are going to bear the brunt.

“As if we needed another reason to tackle global warming, now even football could be affected,” said Nathan Willcox, Energy & Clean Air Advocate with Environment America. “Congress must get serious about global warming before rising temperatures fumble away cold weather teams’ home field advantage.”

Perhaps this threat is the reason that this year the NFL is making a concerted effort to green Super Bowl XLII. Apparently, the League is purchasing enough renewable-energy credits from around the nation to power the stadium, the adjacent NFL theme park, and two nearby luxury hotels, and are attempting to offset the league’s 3,000-vehicle ground-transportation fleet by planting thousands of trees in Arizona forests.

Via Grist

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Rick permalink
    6 February 2008 3:20 pm

    Uh, are you aware the Minnesota pro football team plays inside a DOME?
    If you want to affect global warming pollution, tell your utility to retire dirty coal plants and that they don’t need to build more.
    Otherwise, you can drive all the Priuses miles you want, but you won’t make a dent.

  2. 7 February 2008 7:28 am

    Wow – can you tell I watch a lot of football? Regardless, it’s interesting how many “ordinary” facets of our life are going to be changed by global warming.

    And it is certainly very important that our utilities get rid of their coal plants and move towards renewable energy. But individuals can still make a difference, especially if everyone makes changes. If every Minnesotan reduced their use by just 2%, we could stop building new power plants and start converting old ones to renewable energy. With just a 2% reduction!

    Never doubt that your actions matter. Together we can make a real impact!

  3. Lily permalink
    7 February 2008 8:12 am

    It might be useful to distinguish between two kinds of individual actions – those based on choosing how to spend your money, and those based on little everyday changes to your own energy consumption. Some things (like supporting utilities that use more renewable energy or buying carbon offsets) fall mostly into the first category. Other acts (turning off the lights when you leave the room, riding a bike instead of driving) are more in the latter category. And most things (like driving a hybrid car, using compact fluorescent lightbulbs, etc) are a combination of the two.

    The fact is, *both* kinds of individual action and commitment are necessary and important. Every little bit helps, right? Add up all the little bits, and suddenly they don’t seem so little 🙂

  4. Darcy permalink
    7 February 2008 8:56 am

    I agree even small changes make a HUGE difference! I hope one day everyone is held accountable for their energy useage.

    Just like voting, you don’t have to, but you do. Every vote counts.

    Every little change counts.

  5. Nicky permalink
    7 February 2008 10:06 am

    Exactly! Like voting, if everyone decides that what they do as just one person won’t make a difference, then nothing changes. The more people that make small, personal changes, of any type, that decrease energy usage or use more renewable energy, the larger the effect we will all have together! It is a lot easier for people to actually implement a small life change, even just turning off lights, than to try to tackle something huge that makes a difference all by itself. If we all make small changes that we can actually manage to keep doing on a daily basis, those little pieces will add up to the huge difference that we can make together!

  6. Katie permalink
    7 February 2008 10:17 am

    I agree that if everyone makes small changes it can add up to big change, and I believe that one of the most important ways this can happen is through changes in the way we think about energy consumption. The more people start to think that our energy supply is not unlimited and that our current energy policy in this country is headed in the wrong direction, the more likely it is that corporations and politicians will take notice and change the way that things are done. History shows that big changes can happen when a lot of people start to change the way they think.

    Denying the importance of individual action can be a way to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions and habits. Everyone who consumes energy, no matter how little of it, is a part of the problem, and it’s time that we all own up to that and do something about it. If everyone believed that individual action isn’t important because it won’t have much of an effect or because other people will take care of the problem, NOTHING WOULD EVER HAPPEN.

  7. Emily permalink
    7 February 2008 10:52 am

    I’d love to have enough say in what my utility companies do to convince them to replace coal with clean energy…
    …but until that happens, reducing or offsetting my individual consumption can’t hurt.
    Making big changes like converting coal plants to renewable energy will take a lot of effort from a lot of people. But if I can make a little difference in consumption by not driving, or re-using grocery bags – or better yet, if a big organization like the NFL can offset the pollution of 3000 vehicles – that’s going to add up. Not only do small individual actions contribute to reducing/offsetting overall consumption, they show utilities and other big polluters that people want change and are willing to adjust their lifestyles for it.

  8. Arden permalink
    7 February 2008 10:55 am

    “Otherwise, you can drive all the Priuses miles you want, but you won’t make a dent.”

    “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

    I wonder which quote is more powerful.

    Sorry, but I suppose my crush on Margaret Mead isn’t the point. Rather, the global crisis we’ve encountered has occurred in part because of large-scale commercial pollution, but also because of the huge abundance of individual actions that require a lot of burning of fossil fuels. The US leaves a huge carbon footprint in comparison to other nations — even in comparison to other nations *combined*. Is that because we have more factories? No, not really. It’s because Americans leave on light switches, buy more manufactured goods, and drive more cars per household. If one person didn’t do those things, would it make a difference? Perhaps not, but if many people changed their habits, I don’t see the logic of saying that it wouldn’t make a difference. If great numbers of people mis-using energy have created the problem, then don’t great numbers of people conserving energy help to diminish the problem?

    Hell, Margaret Mead says even small groups of committed citizens can change the world. We’re talking about large-scale movement here. And people don’t even have to be organized! They just have to all do their part!

  9. Claire permalink
    7 February 2008 11:30 am

    You know what? Why does it matter whether individual action makes a “difference?” Of course, it does. But even if it didn’t, what’s wrong with trying to make a change in our lives? What’s wrong with feeling good about living a little cleaner, even if that change doesn’t make a serious impact? What’s wrong with demonstrating, through individual action, that we care about the earth? What cynics don’t understand is that individual action inspires others to make bigger, more serious changes because it makes us see what positive, proactive energy about the environment can do. If we can each get excited about making changes in our own lives, we can insire others (and ourselves) to make bigger changes.

  10. Marisol permalink
    7 February 2008 11:57 am

    How can we justify telling big companies to change if we refuse to make simple, easy individual changes ourselves? We must practice what we preach. We have to be the change we want to see in the world.

  11. Chloe permalink
    7 February 2008 1:46 pm

    I’m from Europe and all my family back home do little things every day to save energy, from hanging laundry to dry to installing timers on lights to have them automatically switch off. It is so common in Europe to do these things they many families don’t even have dyers. With 6.5 billion people in the world, there is no way that individual action can’t have a larger impact.

  12. Laura permalink
    7 February 2008 8:29 pm

    Two thoughts:

    How can we demand cleaner energy sources from bigger forces such as car manufacturing companies and our utility companies if we are unable to make smaller changes in our everyday lives in that direction. Even better energy sources alone won’t create the result that we need if we continue to leave lights on, drive SUV’s everywhere we go and consume manufactured goods at the irresponsible rate that we do.

    Individual action is the most important way to get things to change. As these ideals and lifestyle choices grow in popularity and consumer patterns change, production will have to change as well to match the demands of the people. Every dollar you spend makes the strongest political statement this economy and this society can hear. The way Barak Obama is funding his campaign is a great example of how individual action can create a whole movement that will fan out into changes that matter.

  13. 8 February 2008 7:27 am

    In a larger picture an individual’s action does not do anything to help the greater good, BUT!… When that action is needed, seen, absorbed, thought about, mimicked, taught, maintained, and executed it becomes something so much greater than individual action. To think these actions go unnoticed is naive.

  14. Mateo permalink
    9 February 2008 12:24 am

    Individual action may not seem like it matters, but collective inaction is worse. And certainly, contacting the utility companies is an important individual action.

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