We will confess: We are one of those people who don't worry about the environment that often. We know we are wrong about this, that we are destroying our planet for our children, all that. We just can't work ourselves into that much of a lather about it. We think it's because, when we were a kid, one of our chores was to burn our trash. That's right: In Mattoon, we burned our trash. Do you realize how cool of a chore that is for a 12-year-old? Hey, Will, here's a big pile of junk. Please take it out back and set it on fire.
That said, plenty of people do worry about the environment, and it turns out that of all the major sports, it's baseball that hurts Mother Earth the most. Well, other than NASCAR.
Though football games are massive productions, at least they're infrequent—an NFL stadium hosts just eight regular-season contests a season. Professional baseball is much dirtier over the long haul, with each stadium hosting 81 regular-season games ayear and drawing an average of 2.66 million fans (vs. about 542,000 fans per NFL stadium). Hockey and basketball are cleaner than baseball mostly because their games take place in smaller venues and they play shorter schedules, thus attracting fewer fans; the average NBA franchise gets 728,037 paying customers per year, while the NHL average is 678,440. Basketball is almost certainly the greener of the two indoor sports, since keeping an ice rink frozen requires more energy than maintaining a hardwood court. (The Lantern didn't even bother to crunch the numbers for NASCAR; any sport that centers around vehicles that get four to six miles per gallon is obviously pretty far from green.)
No word yet on ESPN's hot gas production, and its long-term effects.