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Greening the Game: Why Sustainability in Sports Matters

A talk by Eric Wagner
Head Men's Soccer Coach, Swarthmore College

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The most pressing existential threat to Earth today is climate change.  The most popular game in the world is soccer.  Without looking too hard, one can easily realize that soccer - for work or pleasure - can exacerbate the problems of climate change: travel, equipment, pristine grass fields, and even the construction of air-conditioned arenas in Qatar for the World Cup.  All use massive amounts of resources that greatly add to carbon emissions.

But look a little more closely, and one can also see how soccer - and sports in general - can be a powerful source for change.  This is not an either/or statement.  Rather, it is increasingly clear that we can have vibrant, robust sports in society and still manage to work towards a more sustainable future.

For nearly three decades I engaged in my passions for both soccer and environmental responsibility as separate missions.  But a decade ago that all changed." - ew

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Eric Wagner

Awards Centennial Conference Coach of the Year 2008, 2012 Education B.A. from Connecticut College, 1988 M.Ed. from Temple University, 2007 Licenses Advanced National Diploma, National Soccer Coaches Association of America

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