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Peak Oil Matters

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This is the third and final look at another great effort by Dr. Samuel Alexander * in his working paper entitled A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost, examining the longstanding belief that no matter what society’s problems in an endless quest for more and better, technology will provide and resolve in due course. continue reading…

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This is the second part of an examination of the outstanding working paper entitled A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost by Dr. Samuel Alexander * in which he examines the longstanding belief that no matter what society’s problems in an endless quest for more and better, technology will provide and resolve in due course. continue reading…

Not only is the business of big-time sports highly visible in our culture, but it also can use tremendous environmental resources and generate significant emissions (think lighting at night games, air conditioning in domed stadiums, high-volume traffic getting to and fro).  When teams, leagues, and stadiums make significant progress in improving their performance, they deserve our applause. [1]

In recent weeks, several articles and blog posts have been written about the commitment our major sports leagues and teams therein have made to sustainable, environmentally-aware practices. A related report by the NRDC provides a more detailed description of the greening and renewable energy efforts.

I’ve provided links * to those articles at the end of this post.

The various pieces describe an impressive range of responsibilities undertaken by our professional teams—a needless-to-say vital contribution to our future well-being, and a great example to the tens of millions of sports fan across the country. What if our political leaders were smart enough to suggest national efforts at conservation and sustainability? [Good to have dreams….]

You realize just how out-of-step anti-environmental lawmakers are when a $400 billion industry with hundreds of millions of fans is busy installing solar panels and expanding recycling programs. [2]

Baseball playoffs are just around the corner; college football and the NFL are now in full swing, and millions of fans are now and will be flocking to games around the country. Any and every effort favoring sustainable practices and energy conservation is a welcome bonus.

More than two years ago, I raised the specter of Peak Oil’s impact on sporting events.

A bigger question remains unanswered: when gas prices are so much higher because supplies are that much more difficult to come by because they are more difficult to access and thus costlier, take longer to get to market, are of an inferior quality, and thus of necessity are not as readily and immediately available to everyone all the time for all their needs, where do major (or minor) athletic competitions fall on the scale of prioritization? How much will fans continue to be willing to pay for the fuel needed to get from here to there?

And if our fossil fuel supplies are no longer as readily available and affordable, how will they get from here to there when the narrow-minded and shortsighted leaders from one of our major political parties (hint: begins with the letter “R”) see almost no reason to invest in alternative forms of transportation?

When the necessity of public transportation becomes vital to meeting everyone’s daily needs and challenges, just how quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively are we likely to create the infrastructure and mass transit systems needed to accommodate just about all of us?

Sure hope the Magic Technology Fairy doesn’t use up all of her pixie dust on shale oil and tar sand production.

* http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/how_sports_are_helping_to_gree.html
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/major_league_sports_show_ameri.html
http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/24051
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/opinion/the-greening-of-professional-sports.html

* My Photo: N Y Jets at New England Patriots – Jan 2007

Sources:

[1] http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/how_sports_are_helping_to_gree.html; How pro sports are helping to green cities by Kaid Benfield – 09.12.12
[2] http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/major_league_sports_show_ameri.html; Major League Sports Show Americans–and Lawmakers–the Power of Sustainability by Frances Beinecke – 09.12.12