Actually the Green Initiative is part of NASCAR’s attempt to make the sport more environmentally conscious, and really why not? Because first thing that comes to mind whenever I see race car drivers in fire retardant Tide-sponsored onesies speeding around an oval track is “C’mon, why aren’t these yokels carpooling?”
Come to think of it, NASCAR is the exact opposite of environmental conservation: Forty cars spending 4 hours going 200 mph and winding up in exactly the same spot where they started. It’s a pointless waste of gas, not to mention a huge source of air and noise pollution. So when NASCAR says it’s going to take steps to go greener it’s like a hunter saying, “From now on when we hunt giant endangered pandas, we’re only going to wound them in their fuzzy shoulders.”
Nobody’s clamoring for NASCAR to go green anyway. Leave the tie-dyed causes to granola eaters and Ultimate Frisbee catchers with names like Moon Rock and Saffron. Guys like Kasey, Carl and Jimmy don’t do “green.” Heck, the closest these dudes get to green is when they’re leaning against the paint job on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Amp Energy car.
Now granted, most NASCAR fans do save aluminum cans, but instead of taking them to a recycling center they just glue them to the roofs of their porches for decoration, stack them on top of their entertainment centers to help with TV reception or display them on their mantles to show how many beer “countries” they’ve visited.
I’m not knocking NASCAR. OK, so maybe I am. But I admire a sport that just wants to make a lot of noise and go really, really fast, and whose ideas of celebration are booze, bikini girls and skidding donuts in the infield. And I have no idea what any of that and environmental conservation has in common.
“Going green” has to be one of the biggest scams going since the Nigerian lottery. (I should know, personally speaking as a 12-time Nigerian lottery winner, not to mention first-cousin of the exiled millionaire heiress to the rightful throne to Namibia. Apparently all she needs is my credit card and social security number to clear up some paperwork.)
Everybody talks about protecting the environment and, sure, some of what Al Gore is always wringing his chubby little fingers about makes sense because, heck, I don’t want my face torn off by an angry displaced polar bear either.
But for as much as we’re always hearing about the environment, nobody ever really commits to bona fide, full-blown conservation because it’s just too hard and technology is too dang convenient. Sure, you might buy a hybrid car, but the majority of the time it still runs on gasoline. And when you park your Toyota Prius in the driveway, odds are you’re not arriving home to a tent in the forest but a house that emits just as many carbon fumes as everybody else’s.
You may do your part for the environment, but everyone has his or her limit. Because when was the last time you saw one of these bleeding heart celebrities on a Southwest flight or ran into one on a public bus?
Let’s get real, if NASCAR was legitimately concerned about smog, fossil fuels and global warming, they’d get rid of all of their gas-guzzling stock cars, dress their drivers in hemp smocks and put them on solar-powered mopeds that move slightly faster than a Toys R Us Big Wheel.
At best, NASCAR will buy a couple of hybrid cars, plant some trees and maybe kiss a spotted owl for the newspaper cameras. And then racing will get back to business as usual because that’s how things work in the Big Boy World. If you want to make a profit and entertain the masses, you have to crush a few daisies, make some smoke and leave the world a little dirtier than you found it.
And if you don’t believe that, I have a business proposition for you involving the Nigerian lottery. (All I need is your social security number.)
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org