It’s late September, and after the long, hot and tedious summer, the hockey season has finally begun in earnest.
By hockey, of course, I mean the fast-paced sport played on frozen surfaces, and I would also like to specify that I’m typing these lines as a former hockey player. The only difference is that in my youth, hockey season never started in September. We sharpened our skates in November, sometimes not earlier than around Christmas, always depending on the whims of Mother Nature.
Today’s players happily ignore Mother Nature. But there’s a price to be paid for being ignorant, as the formidable Greta Thunberg put it in the UN Climate Action Summit earlier this week. ‘Entire ecosystems are collapsing,’ the young Swede thundered, and ‘all you can talk about is money, and fairy tales of eternal economic growth’ – including, I should add, growth in terms of sportive success.
How could hockey lovers best tackle the specter of climate change?
Imposing a blanket ban on ice hockey is obviously something the ever-so-sensitive Swedes should discuss among themselves. They did, after all, ban professional boxing back in 1970.
Taking the game to the North Pole sounds like a cheap photo-op, though not in the sense of being an inexpensive trip, and it would also entail a truly unholy amount of air miles.
My modest suggestion is both eco-friendly and pragmatic. Let’s cut down on car emissions by disposing of overly long drives to the nearest ice rink! It’s simply not fair that parents living in far-flung corners of the world must drive (or fly!) hours just to have their kids discover the beauty of a frozen body of hardened chemicals.
More is less, indeed. The more we build ice rinks, the less we have to drive. To paraphrase Miss Thunberg’s momentous speech, Do not steal the dreams of the unlucky kids who happen to be born with no ice rink in sight!