Bill Nye Urges NASCAR To Embrace Clean Energy
Bill Nye Expresses The Need For Clean Speed On The Race Track
Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is on a mission. In an op-ed on AEON he addressed the sport of NASCAR and clean energy, saying he wants “to address climate change in the medium and long term, we have to stop, completely stop, burning fossil fuels.” Nye’s dream is for NASCAR to become more like NASA — he wants them to explore other options for fueling and to discontinue using gasoline-burning fuel. Instead, the preference is to embrace electro-technology. He would also like NASCAR to change its name to “NESCAR” — for National Electric Stock Car Auto Racing.
Nye is well-versed on the southern culture of auto racing. His mother was born in North Carolina and his family resided in Danville, Virginia. In Nye’s childhood, he attended many stock cars racing events. As he recalls:
“I’ve been to the track in Martinsville – the ‘paper clip’ – which is still the shortest track on the NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) circuit. It’s less than a kilometre long, only half a mile. But it is exciting. The cars go just crazy fast, and they are amazingly loud … or LOUD!! But beyond the heart-pounding, Are-these-cars-going-to-jump-the-barrier-and-kill-me?“
Clean Speed In NASCAR?
According to Nye, it’s disconcerting that NASCAR has limited the scope of engineering in looking to the future. NASCAR once was the epitome of embracing the future and implementing policies and regulations to keep drivers and their fans safe, on and off the track. According to Nye, he believes NASCAR has taken steps back in progress and stalled in adopting new technology.
NASCAR fans worship the sport; they are loyal to their drivers, and they are faithful to its tradition. It’s a southern sport and southerners are not exactly known for embracing change. As a fan of stock car racing myself, I’m well in the loop of the debates that occur on social media (and most likely at the track) of fans’ disappointment to the myriad of safety protocols implemented over the years. Fans often complain that the sport has lost its danger, without thought for the drivers who have lost their lives, for example, the highly popular and worshiped Dale Earnhardt.
In the article, Nye goes on to say:
“I wish NASCAR were more about the future instead of the past. I wish NASCAR set up Grand Challenges to inspire companies and individuals to create novel automotive technologies in the way NASA does to create novel space technologies.”
In three years, Nye thinks NASCAR can:
“Convert all of our racecars to electricity – right now – and show the public exactly what electrons can doThe gasoline-powered car is a product of a century of development.
Change They Cannot Believe In
Good luck with changing the mentality of NASCAR fans, Nye, because NASCAR fans love their danger, and they’re not so keen on an “outsider,” scientists coming in daring to change their lifestyle. And NASCAR fans are not particularly attracted to political correction. In their world eco-friendly entities are PC, meaning should be forbidden. I mean look at the ruckus they made when NASCAR asked fans to stop bringing Confederate flags to the races
Of course, not all NASCAR fans are conservative or against NASCAR making necessary changes. However, what all NASCAR fans share in common is a need and obsession for speed and a roaring engine.
Watch: Bill Nye on automobiles via GUNZEE1
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