Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Friday, 14 August 2009

Greenwashing Aussie Rules football.

This weekend is the so called 'Green Round' of the AFL, the elite Aussie Rules football tournament. Tonight's game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground began at 7.30pm, which means playing under floodlights. Tomorrow night sees a game at the Gabba in Brisbane and another at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, both starting at 7.10pm and therefore both needing to be played under lights. And the last of the three Sunday games is at 4.40pm at the Telstra Dome Etihad Stadium or whatever the fuck we have to call the stadium in Melbourne's docklands, which presumably will also be under lights partly because sunset isn't long after and partly because it might be pissy enough this weekend for them to shut the roof.

Now that's pretty normal scheduling: one game on Friday evening, two Saturday afternoon and two more Saturday evening, and three spread across Sunday afternoon and evening, which means that for a fair bit of the season at least four games each weekend need lights. Huge, big, fuck off lights in fact. Huge, big, fuck off lights that, in the case of Melbourne, presumably are powered by the burning of brown coal in the Latrobe Valley just like the lights in the room I'm sitting in, the computer I'm typing this on, and the TV in the corner showing Hawthorne kicking the shit out of Adelaide (probably too little too late for their season). So how much greener is all this than any other weekend in the football season? Well, they've put a load of green tips on the website and will show some on the big screens at the half time break in some games, and predictably enough there's a load of stuff about venues chipping in too: the MCG has a food miles friendly menu and the Telstretihad Stadi-dome is using its roof to capture rainwater* etc. But wouldn't it be an obvious move, even if just for the so-called green round, to reschedule the fucking games so they're all played during daylight and save all the power needed for those huge, big, fuck off floodlights I mentioned earlier? It just seems to me that apart from a few eco-advice type platitudes and a bit of green window dressing, all of which is pretty easily overlooked if all you're interested in is the actual footy, "Green Round" is the same as pretty much any other.

If I was a cynical type, which of course I am, I'd suspect that there's a bit of greenwash going on to keep the appeal of the brand as broad as possible. Like Earth Hour it seems more like paying lip service to the idea of being all carbon friendly and eco-neutral without actually demanding any real sacrifice. I suppose as a sceptic (converted from Believer many years ago) I ought to be annoyed, but precisely because greenwash exercises like Earth Hour and Green Round make square root of fuck all difference to me personally I'm more amused than anything else. I suppose this sort of thing is going to last until the last wheel drops off the global warming bandwagon.

* And given the size of the damn thing and the water situation here I have to say that this is one bit of greenery I'm bang alongside, though since they must use a lot of water keeping the pitch I'd say it seems like a good business decision as much as anything else.
Related Posts with Thumbnails