Sport may be ‘killing’ the planet – but don’t kill sport

European Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 2006Writing in last edition of the Observer Sport Monthly George Monbiot savaged sport in general and motor sport in particular for causing climate change.

Motor racing he says is, “simply incompatible” with finding a solution to global warming: “the faster the car, the quicker it cooks the planet.”

Never mind that Monbiot fails to make any distinction between the various types of motor sport (NASCAR has only recently stopped using leaded petrol for pity’s sake) and he ignores FIA President Max Mosley’s new focus on making F1 more environmentally friendly. My major gripes are as follows:

Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR seat swapFirst, Monbiot reckons that as all sports require infrastructure and transport, we should junk the lot. “We should recognise that some sports are simply too wasteful to be sustained. It is, after all, just entertainment.”

The idea of getting rid of all sport because flying out to the Brazilian Grand Prix generates air pollution is more than a little unrealistic. Perhaps it’s time to recognise that the real villain here is the far more thorny problem of expanding populations?

Second, the Observer Sport Monthly seems to have little interest in motor sport besides sticking the boot in. The next most recent article of theirs I could find on F1 dates back to March 2005 when Martin Jacques told us “Formula One begins the new season in crisis. One driver, Michael Schumacher, reigns supreme, for sure like never before.”

And we all know how many races he won in ’05.

This kind of sniping wouldn’t be quite so irritating if the Observer weren’t the sister Sunday publication to the Guardian, whose F1 coverage is regularly excellent and boasts the fantastic talents of Alan Henry and Richard Williams.

It’s a shame that the Observer remains aloof and largely ignorant of F1 which, lest we forget, is the only sport in the world that can focus the efforts of the world’s car makers onto finding greener ways of driving.

Show me a bat and ball game that can do that.

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1 comment on Sport may be ‘killing’ the planet – but don’t kill sport

  1. “It is, after all, just entertainment.”

    Hmmm… intersting.

    So is the movie industry. Ban it, surely the number of people that attend movies world-wide out number all of motorsports attendence.

    Soccer/football – Yep it’s the worlds #1 sport. BAN IT!

    Monbiot, funny how close that is to Moonbat, needs to crawl back into his sheltered little fantasyland and only speak when spoken to.

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