You can treat this as an extension of the rant against the Greens that was posted on these pages yesterday. Riot Engine is the brain child of auto enthusiasts and the “brain” bit is being used wisely here. While we are passionate about automobilia we are not blinded by it. We are fully aware that automobile engines run on fossil fuels and due to the inefficiency of the internal combustion engine there is environmental pollution. But when many people think and say that motorsport is a waste of money and precious resource (fossil fuels are likely to run out sometime) and adding to environmental pollution we beg to differ. This needs an explanation. If motorsport is a waste of money and fuel resource so are football and cricket.
This is not comparing chalk with cheese. Please take a look at just one tournament in cricket called the Indian Premier League. For nearly 60 days the tournament uses up huge quantities of electricity to provide lighting so that people can return from work and watch cricket matches in the evening for three hours like they would a movie. Now this is not our take on T20 cricket. This is what the disgraced Commissioner of the IPL, Lalit Modi said himself. This is happening in the summer when in the month of April farmers in the southern part of the country and most parts of India require additional power for their Rabi crop. Mr. Gill, our beloved sports minister said Formula1 racing and all other forms of motor racing were not a sport and that they fell into the category of entertainment. So what does IPL with its film star owned teams and expensive opening ceremonies and gyrating cheer leaders become? If we were to believe Mr. Modi, it is entertainment. This year the Cricket World Cup also saw its share of entertainment with things happening during and before the start of cricket matches. Most of the matches were played under flood lights. And what of the obscene amounts of money that are being paid to cricketers as salary? This happens not just in India but in all parts of the cricketing world such as Australia, England and the West Indies.
Enough of cricket, lets now see what football does. For nearly a year, the Barclay’s English Premier League alone has matches in hundreds of numbers, most again played in the evening under lights. You can hear on TV the singing of songs through out the match by the spectating public. Is this not contributing to pollution and is this not entertainment? Again like the English Premier League in England, you have a huge Spanish La Liga, the German Bundes Liga, the Italian Serie A, the Dutch, the Swedish, the Scottish, the Welsh, the Danish and innumerable other leagues in the South American continent, many of which use flood lights and burn up precious fuel reserves and contribute to environmental pollution since in most instances fossil fuels are used for electricity. We have not even talked about what the Americans do with their brand of football, grid iron, basket ball, ice hockey, ice skating (on rinks that are artificially created by using electricity), and tennis.
Now ask yourself do you require offices that run airconditioning through out the year, even in winter? Do you require centralized heating of houses and offices ? Do you require to sit in front of computers and play stupid games on Facebook or play internet based games? Do you require shopping malls that are centrally airconditioned? Do you require high rise buildings in the construction of which so much electricity is used? Let us face it, we are a civilization that believes in excesses and when we do this, why single out motorsport as an unnecessary luxury and a waste of fuel resource and a source of pollution and a waste of money and that which does not serve any purpose? Of what use are football, cricket, tennis, hockey and any other sport or game you can think of?
What is apalling is that motorsport managers and motor vehicle industry personnel feel they have to be politically correct and please everybody including the Greens and the time passing socialite glitterati who like to make stupid political statements by driving around in a Toyota Prius and brag that they are saving the environment. Car and bike companies want to sell their products and so will not want to alienate anyone, but in trying to be all things to all people they are likely to end up being nothing to anyone. This attitude makes motor sport almost a guilty pleasure. We say it need not be. So why don’t all motor sport fans and people passionate about automobiles just stand up and say they love the smell of the internal combustion engine burning petrol or diesel and that they also love watching those mad men risking life and limb to drive and ride spectacularly around? Come on now, let us say that we will ask for the stopping of motor sport and other automobile “excesses” when the world announces its intention to stop all other excesses. Till then let there be cars, bikes, rallies and races. Have fun, don’t feel guilty and stand up to that Green who tells you that you are against the environment.