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Opinion Blogs
Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves
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Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves

Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves
Photo Credit: Atlanta Braves
Braves' VP Mike Plant says the team wants LED lighting at the ballpark.  He says the quality's better for fans in the stands and watching on TV.

Summer 2015 and the Climate Change of the Atlanta Braves

What a hot start to Summer 2015. Atlanta’s already recorded record breaking temperatures and technically Summer just started last weekend. These high temperatures are not only in Metro Atlanta, but around the country as well.  Apparently these hot Summer temperatures are a trigger to meteorologists and climatologists, promoting the annual Global Warming and Climate Change discussions at the beginning of Summer.

This strategic scientific marketing is similar to sports teams rebranding and rebuilding. Marketers and General Mangers think that if they update their team’s color scheme, uniforms and build shiny new stadiums then suddenly fair-weather fans will suddenly flood the stadiums and buy the updated merchandise and follow the rebranded team without any concern for the mediocre product on the field. Yes, friends I’m complaining about the Atlanta Braves.

We’ll get back to the Braves, but Climate Change has followed a similar marketing trajectory. Why? Because Global Warming was the hot topic of the early 2000’s and was a profit driver for the Green Revolution. I’ll explain, during the 2000’s, the U.S. experienced some of the hottest years on record, alarming climatologists that the Earth was warming at an unprecedented rate. Scientists convinced businesses that the trend would continue. When the warm trends shifted and mild summers followed from 2009 onward, the marketing buzz words changed from Global Warming to Climate Change.

Earlier this year, the Atlanta Braves traded away their top 3 hitters and top two bullpen pitchers for prospects and a shot at the future. Admirably, the 2015 Braves are playing above expectations and staying fairly competitive in a weak division, but this rebuild was done at the expense of the fans and intentionally utilized to draw attention to the Braves’ new stadium, Sun Trust Park. Trust me, they’ll try to tell you otherwise. These marketers want the fans back from the 1990’s that came out to support the winning product on the field, but there’s no guarantee these new prospects will work out. I’m a huge Braves and I’ll admit that this year’s team is mediocre and wasn’t built to compete. This year’s team was sacrificed to draw attention to 2017 when the shiny new stadium will open in Cobb County and all the fans will dreamily come running back. It’s an assumption that Braves management made without clear evidence that the team would actually be better in 2017. Attendance has been dwindling over the past couple of years and the Braves needed something to convince the fans to come back. So similar to the original Global Warming scientists, the Braves’ management team has essentially played us and now expect us to stick with the team and willingly fall for their future forecasting.

Follow me here, in the early 2000’s you could not turn on the news without hearing a story about Global Warming and the detrimental impact humans were causing to Earth. The U.S. did have some insanely hot summers and the temperature trends appeared to be rising, but climatologists saw the polar ice caps melting, panicked, and alerted the world of Global Warming. Businesses saw an opportunity and the Green Revolution ensued, companies profited from the change scientists were predicting. Again, this warm trend corrected and the Summers and Winters are starting to average pre-global warming levels. The Scientist’s promise wasn’t fulfilled and we were played.

Look, I’m not denying that the earth’s climate doesn’t change and I legitimately hope that the Braves are contenders in 2017. We’ve got to be realistic and gather the research. For example, the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t made Major League Baseball’s postseason since 1993, despite predicting playoff expectations in many of those seasons.

The Earth naturally changes and humans definitely have some impact on the environment, but the Earth’s climate also changes naturally.  It may appear irregular to us, because we’re associating this shift to the limited records we have on file. We need to measure the data and be careful with our predictions, because the implications are huge on modern society. The Atlanta Braves are showing us a ray of hope, but if the rebuild fails, an new empty stadium will follow, if scientists continue their profit driven motives then their credibility will dwindle.

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