Ron MacLean, the effusive motor-mouth for Hockey-Night-In-Canada, waxed with enthusiasm for the efforts of one and all to join in on the CBC Crusade to encourage “a million acts of green”, which has now, at last count, become “one and a half million acts of green”. MacLean boasted that the Crusade had made a carbon impact equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road. Is that all?  For every 100 Canadian citizens, 56 own a car, in other words about 56% of us drive cars. http://www.auto123.com/en/news/car-news/canada-5th-for-car-ownership-per-capita?artid=104396 Immigrants aspire to our lifestyle, so that it would be logical that of the 240,000 who legally entered the country last year, over 134,000 put a car on the road. In other words CBC’s “One million acts of green” has only succeeded in defraying the CO2 costs of 7% of last year’s stratospherically absurd immigration quota, the one that makes Canada suffer the highest population growth rate in the G8 group.

He then extolled the efforts of the Mississauga minor hockey league team to pitch in and do its bit. And what was that exactly? This might enlighten you.

The video interview with Barry Carroll, the President of the Mississauga Braves Association, and others explained the rationale for the minor hockey club joining the WWF Canada Goodlife progam. Mr. Carroll explained that they wanted to join forces with the WWF to reduce carbon footprints to show the community that the Braves were concerned about the future. One commentator stated that the Braves had saved 2607 kilograms of Green House Gases from being emitted.

To put that saving into perspective, the entire hockey operation of the Mississauga Braves, with their boy scout efforts to cut their carbon output, managed to save about 11% of what the average Canadian emits annually in GHG. The 2607 kilograms is just under 11% of the 23.8 metric tonnes of per capita Canadian emissions.

A boy in the Braves’ line-up stood up and enumerated six things which hockey parents could do to fight climate change.
1.Wash hockey uniforms in cold water.
2.Hang them out to dry rather than use a drying machine.
3.Turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees, then turn off the lights before you leave for the practice or the hockey game.
4.If parents like to drink coffee on their way, don’t stop at a drive-thru. And they should bring their own mugs.
5.Car-pool to the practices and games.
6.Send old hockey equipment to second hand shops or charities.

The boy parroted the Gore line: “This is important because every small step you take builds to a greater cause.”  Naturally, no one mentioned the small step of sending a letter to an MP to encourage governments to limit population growth at home or abroad. The focus here is to reduce each individual’s footprint, and not give a damn about the number of footprints.

Mr. Carroll added that “we have mistreated the planet, and it was time to clean things up.” Enlisting the boys in this effort was important because his responsibility was not to produce simply good players but “good individuals”.

The WWF had perhaps better hope that none of these “good individuals” become so good as players, because if they graduate to the NHL, they will emit something close to 10 metric tonnes of GHG each just in following the NHL travel schedule, and their 4% share of each flight to each NHL game, as one player in 25, will amount to 120 kilograms of GHG. In 22 NHL games that one player will have wiped out the savings of the whole Mississauga Braves so far this year.

Of course, thanks to the help and counsel of the David Suzuki Foundation, the NHL Players Association last year accepted the “Carbon Footprint Challenge” and resolved to reduce NHL footprints.

They pulled out the DSF kit bag of green living tips. But missing was the one obvious measure to slash NHL carbon emissions. Reduce the NHL schedule. Currently NHL teams play 82 games in the regular schedule, and plans are afoot to extend that to 84 games next season.

If the NHL reverted to a 70 game schedule, long the staple of the NHL season, 180 fewer games would be played, resulting in a savings of 540 metric tonnes of GHG. The equivalent of reducing the league from 30 to 26 teams.

But shrinking the schedule or the number of teams would mean limiting or reversing growth, and the DSF is an environmental NGO. They aren’t in the business of limiting growth, just “managing” it.

Here’s a suggestion. You heard of China’s successful “One Child Per Family” policy, which has saved China the horror of feeding another 400 million mouths. A one child per family law is even more justified in the frigid land of Canada, where every citizen must, by necessity, consume very much more than a Chinese citizen, young or old.

To allay fears, how about a pilot project. A “One Hockey Player Per Family policy.”? Now that would have an ecological impact!

Tim Murray,

Quadra Island, B.C.

The Mississauga Braves Association will be featured during the Saturday, February 21 Tim Hortons Hockey Day in Canada broadcast on CBC. The “Green Team” segment deals with the Braves efforts to reduce global warming in conjunction with the WWF Canada Goodlife program. VIEW CBC VIDEO HERE  http://www.cbc.ca/sports/ondemand/?playlistId=ce476241bf046f26ab9d45b53e9cf17a879750b7&videoId=1030109602