MVP’s for the environment: David James
Footballer David James is an English footballer who plays goal keeper while keeping a goal for the environment. James currently plays for the Portsmouth Football Club under the English Premier League and has one of the highest records for conceded goals and league appearances. In recent years James has focused his attention on the net of sustainability. While advocating for the environment the premier footballer has crossed over, deflected, and cornered against rising carbon emissions. In a column written by James himself for the Guardian.uk he expresses, “Many top players drive gas-guzzlers, so how about clubs introducing credits for the way footballers get to work? Turning up in your Ferrari that does eight miles to the gallon would score worse than turning up in a 1.6-litre, bio fuel or electric car. You’d then trigger off sponsorship deals based around the most eco-friendly cars. And a cool footballer driving an eco-friendly car would popularise the eco-friendly lifestyle…And transport to these sites – and to older grounds – is also key. Manchester United have about 75,000 supporters attending each game: with many of those based in London that’s a lot of travelling, and a lot of carbon. Why aren’t the responsible bodies reducing the damage in this area? Car-sharing and pool zones could be introduced, on top of better public transport. Motorways could follow the US model, where cars with four people in them can use an express or bus lane. And park-and-ride services currently operate for town centres, so why not extend these to football stadiums, old and new?…The bottom line is that we’ve got to make use of football as a driving force for environmental change. We’d be stupid not to. It doesn’t take a think tank to see that the game holds a powerful influence over kids and adults around the world. Harnessing that influence is vital if we want to enjoy football, and the planet, in years to come.”
“Harnessing that influence” would be key in generating momentum for environmental education and environmental change. James is an excellent example of an “eco-messenger”. It would be interesting to play with the possibility of an environmental ambassador from each team in the Premier League. James has recently retrofitted his Chrysler 300 to run on rapseed oil.