- - Thursday, November 21, 2013

Members of Congress are hot under the collar about global warming, and they’re anxious to do something about it. As co-chairmen of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island huddled Thursday with executives of the major sports leagues to talk about recruiting third basemen, power forwards, linebackers and masters of the hockey puck to save the planet.

Officials from Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association and WNBA, and the U.S. Olympic Committee want to show that professional sports is “taking the threat of climate change seriously and doing [its] part to reduce [carbon-dioxide] emissions.”

Apart from the athletes huffing out clouds of carbon dioxide as they sweat, it’s not really clear that throwing a long ball or hitting a puck with a stick contributes much to preserving the ice caps and saving polar bears. Conspicuously absent from the politically correct conclave was NASCAR, the one sporting organization that arguably does throw out measurable amounts of CO2.

Perhaps the invitation was canceled after one of NASCAR’s most popular personalities, Dale Earnhardt Jr., appeared in a TV commercial last year for the coal industry. “At my company,” Mr. Earnhardt says in the ad, “the cars run on gas, but the business runs on electricity. That’s why I’ve been learning about how coal keeps electricity prices down.” Affordable energy is anathema to global warming alarmists who want prices to ascend into the stratosphere to encourage “conservation.”

The alarmists seek high-profile institutions and organizations to make global warming cool again. Perhaps the athletes can persuade their bosses to replace arena lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs. Monday Night Football and nocturnal baseball could be canceled in favor of afternoon games, the way it used to be. Perhaps they’ll be required to make all the baseballs, footballs and basketballs with vegan leather, since all of that cowhide and pigskin comes from bovine and porcine sources of methane that they insist contributes to global warming. Naturally, they’ll have to coordinate travel to road games with plane-pools.

NASCAR could do its part by replacing the Sprint Cup cars and their thundering V-8 internal-combustion engines with race cars based on the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf electric automobiles. Instead of topping off with gasoline at pit stops, crowds could wait on the edge of their seats for hours not seconds as the cars are plugged in for charging. Either that, or get longer extension cords.