One on One: Environmentalist Allen Hershkowitz Says Sports Can Aid Climate Change
It’s hard to miss 28 thermal solar panels mounted to a ballpark that will turn 100 years old in 2012. And that visual may be more powerful than the 37 percent reduction in water-heating energy that those panels — affixed along the first-base side of Boston’s Fenway Park — make possible. "Sports is culturally iconic," says scientist Allen Hershkowitz, a 22-year veteran of the National Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental action group. "It’s not the biggest polluter in our economy, but it is one of our biggest cultural influences." In 2003, Hershkowitz was asked to help green Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, and he’s been harnessing the power of sports to change public perception and behavior related to environmentalism ever since. He helped design software put in use this season by Major League Baseball that monitors the ecological footprint of all 30 clubs, and the NFL, NHL and NBA are lining up to adopt similar programs. Paul Steinbach asked Hershkowitz how sports can help environmentalists win the climate change battle, or if there’s even enough time left on the clock.
Q: What impact do you envision for your data-gathering software?
Q: Is that enough?
Q: How is sports environmentalism redirecting the economy?
Q: Do you ever allow yourself to consider that it may be too late?
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