Bros for Sustainability

Sustainability is not a sexy word. Enter the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB.

National Journal
Lucia Graves
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Lucia Graves
Nov. 25, 2013, 8:57 a.m.

For dec­ades, the en­vir­on­ment­al move­ment has been re­ly­ing on sci­ent­ists, skinny eco-geeks, and uni­cycle-rid­ing free­gans to dis­sem­in­ate their mes­sage. No more.

En­vir­on­ment­al groups both on and off the Hill are work­ing to change the face of the Amer­ic­an foot­ball hero from a manly man who eats red, an­ti­bi­ot­ic-laden meat, drives a gas-guzz­ling Bat­mobile, and es­chews com­post­ing to one who does none of those things.

Rep­res­ent­at­ives from five of Amer­ica’s ma­jor sports leagues hit the Hill on Thursday to dis­cuss the work they’re do­ing to re­duce their green­house-gas emis­sions. The Na­tion­al Foot­ball League is meas­ur­ing the green­house-gas ef­fects of the Su­per Bowl this year, and last year it con­duc­ted sol­id-waste man­age­ment and re­cyc­ling at all ma­jor Su­per Bowl fa­cil­it­ies. Ma­jor League Base­ball sta­di­ums have ad­op­ted sol­ar pan­els. And the Na­tion­al Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­ation has come out in sup­port of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency stand­ards to re­duce car­bon pol­lu­tion from elec­tric power plants.

To have these leagues work­ing with the likes of the Bicam­er­al Task Force on Cli­mate Change is as­pir­a­tion­al and some­what polit­ic­ally loaded. Earli­er this year, the NFL aban­doned plans to part­ner with the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment in pro­mot­ing health care re­form after Sens. Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, con­tac­ted pro­fes­sion­al sports as­so­ci­ations ad­vising them not to pro­mote the law.

For now sus­tain­ab­il­ity ef­forts are more dir­ec­ted at fans than play­ers, the em­phas­is be­ing on how eco­nom­ic­ally savvy it all is. Giv­en how much Amer­ic­ans look up to ath­letes, there’s more at stake than the bot­tom line. “I do know that we have some play­ers who are very in­ter­ested in this work,” said Craig Har­nett, chief fin­an­cial of­ficer of the Na­tion­al Hockey League, cit­ing Ca­na­dian de­fense­man An­drew Fer­ence and former Rangers goalie Mike Richter.

That mat­ters. While only 13 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans say they fol­low sci­ence, 61 per­cent identi­fy as sports fans. “We need a cul­tur­al shift in the way people think about their re­la­tion­ship to the cli­mate,” said Al­len Her­shkow­itz, a seni­or sci­ent­ist with the Na­tion­al Re­source De­fense Coun­cil who’s been lead­ing the en­vir­on­ment­al for­ay in­to sports. “Cul­tur­al shifts are not led by gov­ern­ment.”

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
1 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
2 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login