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Science
COSTING THE EARTH
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Thursday 21:00-21:30
Costing the Earth tells stories which touch all our lives, looking at man's effect on the environment and at how the environment reacts. It questions accepted truths, challenges the people in charge and reports on progress towards improving the world we live in.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 26 April
PRESENTER
MIRIAM O'REILLY
Miriam O'Reilly
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 26 April 2007
Richard Hughes, Tom Heap and David James
Come on You Greens

How can the beautiful game be so bad? We make around 26 million trips to football each year but the travel, our fast food and the litter we create, all has an environmental impact. Tom Heap asks if football needs to take on a greener image and if clubs, players and the governing bodies are doing enough to keep the impact down.

There's a big difference between what different football clubs are doing. Tom visits Manchester City which, as well as running an extensive recycling scheme, is also installing a 120 metre wind turbine to generate enough electicity for the stadium and surrounding venues and homes. They supply local food and encourage fans to use public transport.

It's not just the wealthy premiership teams that have green thoughts. Dartford FC claim to have the UK's first sustainable football club, with solar powered heating for the showers and moss growing on the roof. On paper it looks good but are these measures really changing the attitudes of the fans, or just tidying up after them?

Ipswich Town have tried a different tactic. After an energy audit, they've asked fans to offset their carbon footbrint by changing their own behaviour. If they switch enough lightbulbs and cycle a bit more their sponsor will give them cash for a loan player. Let's home he doesn't come driving a gas-guzzling car.

But this brings the question of whether the players, idols of their fans and who influence even their haircuts, are doing enough, or even anything, to stand up and be counted. David James goalkeeper for England and now Portsmouth has just converted his Chrysler car engine to take biofuels. He takes an interest in the environment and tells Tom about who should be making a difference and how. He also talks about how other players respond when he brings up environmental issues. But can you really say if you earned a footballers' wage would you say no to your Porsche?

At the end of the day should the clubs be able to do what they like or is it down to the governing bodies to ensure they all use their power to reduce their impact? If clubs abroad can do it then why not here? That's a question that may well be asked when England puts in its bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Could the dream of having world stars play on our doorstep be shattered by our blasé attitudes?
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