COMMENTARY | New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter said Wednesday that being in New York during Hurricane Sandy reinforced his belief that something needs to be done to address climate change.
"It's just something that's gotten so much attention. Regardless of how you feel about it, it's something that needs to be addressed because we're seeing more and more natural disasters each year, it seems like. Something has to be causing it," Jeter told the Columbus Dispatch.
Jeter made the remarks in Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum as a guest of Pepsico, which owns Gatorade - one of Jeter's major sponsors - and boasts of its own climate change initiatives online.
Sadly, Jeter said that while it was an "honor" to attend the forum, fans don't want to hear about his political views. "I know my place," Jeter said.
That doesn't mean that Jeter can't let his actions speak for him. Perhaps he can start by trading in his gas-guzzling Mercedes-Benz.
Sure, Jeter's S-class AMG can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.6 seconds, but it's quite the carbon belcher. The Captain's car gets about 15 miles per gallon and is listed by the Department of Energy as one of the least efficient large sedans sold in the United States.
While he's at it, he should probably check the script the next time he films a commercial for Tri-State Ford Dealers. The Ford Edge is the "hottest thing" to hit the street? At 20 MPG, it's probably adding to global warming.
The Captain could also promote the Yankee's green initiatives at Yankee Stadium. It's not exactly a sexy issue, but filming a spot for the Stadium's efficient toilets, reduced-wattage lighting, use of recycled paper products, and admirable recycling program might get more fans to think twice about wasteful practices. According to the Yankees, the team's efforts since the new Stadium was opened have resulted in the equivalent of taking more than 4,700 passenger cars off the road for a year.
Howard Z. Unger is a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, New York. For the past 15 years, he has written about sports, media, and popular culture. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, New York Post, and New York Times.