Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Sporting News has published a scathing critique of Brazil’s attempt to prop up its rather shaky green credentials by wedging a “buzzkill” climate message into their Olympic opening ceremony.
Global warming message had no place at Rio Olympics’ opening ceremony
The organizers of the Opening Ceremony of Rio Olympics 2016 should give themselves a medal for hypocrisy.
Their preachy warnings about global warming brought a feel-good evening to a screeching halt Friday night. It was an unforced error that unfortunately marred NBC’s otherwise solid coverage from Brazil.
Things were going pretty well. NBC’s excellent opening video had glibly chalked up to the problem of polluted waters, zika and street crime to the struggles of “modernization.”
We had parkour athletes put on a dazzling show — despite Rio having a much-lower production budget than the London or Beijing Summer Games
We had Brazilian super model Gisele Bundchen strutting across iconic Maracanã Stadium to the bossa nova classic, “The Girl from Ipanema.” That set off a huge party. After the catwalk of her life, NBC cameras seemed to cut back to views of Bundchen, who is married to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, dancing in the crowd every 30 seconds.
Prime-time host Bob Costas added his usual deft touch, saluting Rio de Janeiro’s “spirit for revelry.”
Then it happened just like that. Boom. The joyous ceremony took a hard turn with a bleak message about global warming and climate change.
Talk about a buzzkill. The dancing stopped.
Brazil, until recently hailed as a rising tiger economy, has in the last few years collapsed into a morass of multi-billion dollar political scandals, impeachment, corruption, third world levels of street crime and a total failure to control sickening levels of water pollution and the Zika crisis. Our water sport athletes are literally competing in a sea of human filth.
Why aren’t green groups vigorously protesting Brazil’s environmental hypocrisy? I suspect they are getting so desperate for signs of political support, they’re willing to accept anything, overlook anything, in return for a few kind words.
Brazil is not the first government to try to use climate hypocrisy to distract attention from their sickening pollution levels, rampant corruption and political incompetence. They won’t be the last.