Yankees’ UN climate plan a big swing and a miss

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Reposted from CFACT

By Adam Houser|April 4th, 2019

“It is high, it is far, it is…GONE!”

For any New York Yankees baseball fan, that iconic home run line from broadcaster John Sterling will bring back years of memories from World Series and playoff runs past.

Unfortunately, Sterling’s famous call fits more than just the Bronx Bombers’ knack for slugging home runs. It also is a great description for the Yankees’ lousy idea to sign on to the “UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.”

The Framework’s goals are high, far, and very well gone from anything close to logic or reality, and will only further hurt impoverished communities around the world.

According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, “The Yankees are the first major North American sports team to sign on to the Framework, the aim of which is to bring greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement and inspire others to take ambitious climate action.”

While the New York Yankees organization is a private entity and is free to make whatever decisions within the law it deems are best for business, this decision will continue to drive public perception that limiting the development of affordable, reliable sources of energy such as natural gas and coal in less fortunate countries will doom the planet.

Some of the “Sustainability Initiatives” listed on the Yankees website with the UN announcement are common sense, such as how certain aspects of Yankee Stadium allow for natural air-cooling, meaning they don’t have to use air conditioning.

But other plans listed like “Offsetting Unavoidable GHG Emissions,” or greenhouse gas emissions, is a PR stunt with some very harmful unintended consequences. This will do nothing but contribute to a narrative that continues to lock Africa, Asia, Latin America, and other regions in a cycle of poverty and short life expectancies.

“Stadium energy use, team and employee travel, motors that require fossil fuel use, non-recyclable waste generation, and occasional leaks of refrigerants are all examples of GHG impacts that the Yankees carefully measure and offset through a collaboration with The South Pole Group.”

A closer look at The South Pole Group reveals an organization that has tried to pioneer projects aimed at limiting fossil fuel use and forest removal for fuel in the developing world. For example, in Africa in particular, The South Pole Group touts initiatives to provide “efficient cookstoves” so that communities are not chopping down so many trees to cook food and heat their homes.

In Uganda, The South Pole Group is very proud of their “Biolite Homestoves” which “require significantly less amount of fuel for cooking, relying on biomass sources rather than wood fuel from Uganda’s precious forests.”

And in case you were wondering, biomass includes wood, agricultural products, and dung and manure.

According to the World Bank, only 26.7% of Uganda had access to electricity in 2018. But The South Pole Group, the United Nations, and the World Bank, care less about providing electricity to those least fortunate, and much more about limiting CO₂ emissions.

Heck, they’re even fine with these communities using dung for fuel in their fancy cookstoves, as long as you don’t build a reliable coal or natural gas plant to provide electricity.

Not all development banks are missing the mark, however. According to authors Paul Driessen and David Wojick, the African Development Bank has decided to go against the decisions of the World Bank and finance projects to provide electricity to Africa’s people.

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina says “Africa must develop its energy sector with what it has.” Going further, Akinwumi adds “The continent has the lowest electrification rate in the world…Power is the overriding African priority.”

Unfortunately, the former Obama Administration further played into the culture of trying to solve Africa’s electricity problem with emissions in mind first, and African lives second.

Driessen and Wojick explain: “The Obama program managed to facilitate financing for just 7,300 MW of electrical generating capacity (15% of what Germany generated with coal in 2016) – and most of that was from expensive, unreliable wind and solar units. Even Bloomberg said President Obama’s ‘signature initiative for Africa’ fell ‘well short’ of its goals, producing less than 5% of the new electricity it promised; and virtually all that power was intermittent, expensive wind and solar – leaving hundreds of millions of Africans ‘in the dark.’”

Thankfully, new USAID programs are encouraging the use of coal and natural gas, which is plentiful throughout the continent. Eskom, a state-owned utility in South Africa, estimates South Africa alone has 53 billion tons of coal reserves. That’s enough to meet demand for 200 years. Driessen adds, “Many [African nations] also have enormous natural gas reserves.”

If the New York Yankees really wanted to live up to its “winning tradition”, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres put it in a press release, they would take the money saved from their efficient “air-cooling” buildings and other sustainability initiatives and invest it in reliable electricity for the least fortunate around the world.

To quote the top comment from a fan on the Yankees’ Facebook post about this UN publicity stunt, “play baseball, not politics.”

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April 8, 2019 12:13 pm

So it’s back to trains and buses for travel between cities?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Gary
April 8, 2019 4:18 pm

Oh to be a fly on the wall when they tell those millionaire man-children they have to take Amtrak to Baltimore.

April 8, 2019 12:13 pm

Maybe Yankee Stadium will start using “Biolite Homestoves” to cook their hot dogs. 😉 I’m not sure that will be a hit, but they would win the Virtue Signaling Home Run Derby.

Reply to  PaulH
April 8, 2019 8:07 pm

Nah, they’ll sit on them to warm them up 😉

People still watch baseball ? There must be quicker ways to get bored to death.

Michael Ozanne
Reply to  Streetcred
April 9, 2019 1:10 am

“People still watch baseball ? There must be quicker ways to get bored to death.”

Nice game of Cricket anyone…..

April 8, 2019 12:24 pm

I assume this recognition of the need for electricity in developing countries means that the author does not point to China and India as excuses for the U.S. walking away from Paris, simply because China and India are taking emission targets as cuts to emissions per unit of economic output or GDP, instead of heeding demands that they reverse industrialization?

Reply to  Geoff Price
April 8, 2019 1:01 pm

Imagine that!? The BBC doesn’t “like” Trump’s selection for the world bank … because he’s … pro growth!?
He wants to cut lending to China (who doesn’t need it whatwith their currency manipulation), and increase lending to the poorest of countries. Gosh! Poor African countries might even build power plants and join the rest of the industrialized world? According to the BBC … that would be horrible.

Oh! And something the highly biased (against Trump) the BBC FAILed to note … Trump’s selection was approved UNANIMOUSLY!

Reply to  Kenji
April 9, 2019 4:34 am

The BBC’s output sounds more and more like Leftist wishful thinking these days.

Reply to  Geoff Price
April 8, 2019 6:26 pm

And how to reducing emissions per unit of GDP help climate (if you think CO2 is a driver)?

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Geoff Price
April 9, 2019 4:08 am

Found this in NSPE’s daily brief:
Great for American Companies and India but partial Paris avoidance—really??? How about just because India needs the electricity!!

April 8, 2019 12:26 pm

I’ll believe that they believe when they stop playing night games. They will be allowed to play day games only until they are able to power the stadium with their own solar panels.

All travel will be by train. After all, they did in the ’40’s.

Forward to the past!

Tom Abbott
April 8, 2019 12:33 pm

The Yankees ought to install windmills around the perimeter of the upper deck of the stadium. Think what a statment that would make! Visible and the subject of conversation during and after every game.

There are going to be a lot of angry people when they find out they have been duped by the CAGW promoters. All that wasted effort and worry for nothing.

There will be a reckoning one of these days.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2019 1:05 pm

Hahahaha! And imagine what the Yankees power hitters are going say when their sure-thing homeruns are knocked down for OUTS by the windmill eddys… they will want an immediate trade.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2019 1:07 pm

Windmills that blow towards the outfield fences when the Yankees are at bat.

Phil R
April 8, 2019 1:01 pm

Tom Abbott,

And how the fans will be so surprised when the corpses of dead birds start raining down on them.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Phil R
April 8, 2019 2:56 pm

Just slap some mustard on them and people will buy the new “bird dog”.

Joel Snider
April 8, 2019 1:02 pm

Greenies and progressives and general go to great lengths to infiltrate/acquire as many entertainment venues as possible, so that they may prostitute them to further their agenda.

April 8, 2019 1:02 pm

For those in the UK you might be interested in a news item today. One Dr Rupert Jones of the University of Plymouth is undertaking an education program in Uganda regarding the dangers of inhaling fumes from biomass cooking (dung, wood, straw etc as fuel) and kerosene lamps. They have €3m from Horizon 2020 (an EU laundering service for our hard-earned) and hope to obtain further UN grants in the future.

All very worthy, how about helping them sort out the logistics so that more than 15% of the population have access to an affordable and reliable electricity supply.

Michael Jankowski
April 8, 2019 1:03 pm

Best idea they’ve had since Costanza’s cotton uniforms.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
April 8, 2019 1:08 pm

And about as useful.

Thomas Homer
April 8, 2019 1:13 pm

“The Yankees are the first major North American sports team to sign on to the Framework, the aim of which is to bring greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement and inspire others to take ambitious climate action”

Let’s begin by assessing the current energy use by the New York Yankees sports team throughout a single year. This should include all energy used in their own stadium for home games, transportation and accommodations for away games, Spring training, etc. Let’s also see energy used by the spectators in traveling to the games.

At least we’d have a published set of starting figures to measure ‘success’ against.

Reply to  Thomas Homer
April 8, 2019 3:50 pm

There you go! That’s the very first requirement when approaching any energy-savings project… establish a baseline. Then through post construction Measurement & Verification, show the project actually reduces energy consumption when compared against the baseline. So first thing they should do is fire everyone on the team that’s making above the rookie-minimum contract, replace them with more rookies, there’s a huge cost savings, then when the team begins consistently losing fans stop coming to the games, there’s energy savings, then as you sell fewer tickets herd everyone into groups under small units and shut off the air conditioning in the vacant part… Hey, give me a chance, I’m saving you energy here! Real energy, not just offsets and virtue signaling (but I repeat myself)!!!

April 8, 2019 1:13 pm

The Bronx Bombers deserve a loud Bronx Cheer.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
April 8, 2019 1:14 pm

They’re Deflecting.
Yankees haven’t won their AL division since 2012.
George Steinbrenner was the Yankees principle owner and Chairman since 1973. He died in 2010.
George’s son Hal runs the Yankees now as Chairman. He is just virtue signalling because he doesn’t know how to run the Club and win they way his dad did.

Alan D. McIntire
April 8, 2019 1:47 pm

They can even MORE games by shutting down major league baseball.- Nobody wastes fuel flying from city to city, no fans waste gasoline on travel to see the games.

John Bell
April 8, 2019 1:54 pm

“Ambitious climate action” will always only amount to silly virtue signalling.

Bruce Cobb
April 8, 2019 1:55 pm

Funny, I thought steroid use had been banned in baseball. Yet here they are, virtue signaling on steroids.

April 8, 2019 2:20 pm

Horse and wagons to travel to out of town games?
Are they going to stay at wind-energy hotels and use bicycles to get to the stadium?
Whale oil for the night time game lights? (They are renewable, after all.)

April 8, 2019 3:39 pm

They should be honest and show the extra cost on the ticket:
$68.56 (admission)
$0.02 (doing our part to save the world from climate change)
$0.42 (local entertainment tax surcharge)

(Another reason to dislike the Yankees)

April 8, 2019 3:42 pm

That initiative sounds like another swing and a miss from the New York Yankees.

April 8, 2019 3:45 pm

“public perception that limiting the development of affordable, reliable sources of energy such as natural gas and coal in less fortunate countries will doom the planet.”
Do you mean NOT limiting etc?

April 8, 2019 3:49 pm

Heck, they’re even fine with these communities using dung for fuel in their fancy cookstoves, as long as you don’t build a reliable coal or natural gas plant to provide electricity.

Yep, this redistribution of wealth is all for 3rd world to be able to cook poo more efficiently. Clever and necessary.


April 8, 2019 5:22 pm

I’m pretty sure the Boss would not approve. Wish Yogi was still alive to comment.

April 9, 2019 7:01 am

Always hated the Yankees (best team money could buy). Now I feel further justified.

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