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BBC’s apocalyptic vision of sport in 2050


AS the next Climate Jamboree, the on/off COP26, approaches, the BBC has been busy ramping up its propaganda to ever more absurd levels, with Roger Harrabin and Matt McGrath, truly the Laurel and Hardy of environmental journalism, at the helm.

This week the Beeb has been broadcasting a series of make-believe reports on what sport will look like in 2050, thanks to global warming. Flooded football pitches, scorched tennis courts, no more Winter Olympics and an end to outdoor sport as we know it. If this scary imaginative future sounds like needless, made-up fear-porn, that’s because it is.

The series kicked off with with an interview with Joe Root, who said it was ‘scary to think that cricket may not be played outdoors in certain parts of the world in 30 years’ time because of the impact of climate change.’ Joe, you may recall, had to be taken to hospital for dehydration three years ago after batting in sweltering heat in Sydney. It was so hot that day that temperatures nearly reached those recorded in 1939!

Joe may be our best batsman, but as far as climate change is concerned, he appears to have left his brain in his kit bag. The Aussies play their test cricket in December and January, not because those months are the coolest but because they are the hottest. If it really does get much hotter, all they have to do is bring matches forward to November or push them back to February.

Meanwhile Joe’s fellow players back home would be excused for wondering which planet he was on, while they shiver through a cold, wet May!


Next up is the football World Cup, which to beat the heat will have to be played in climate-controlled stadiums, with 40-man squads and 30-minute halves. This is all a bit rich, given that the next World Cup will be played in Qatar, one of the hottest countries in the world.

Pride of place though must surely go to the BBC’s vision of golf. Apparently proper golf will no longer be possible because courses will be flooded, destroyed by drought or under the sea. Instead there will be ‘Extreme Golf’, a bit like crazy golf but on a larger scale, played amongst the concrete ruins of our decommissioned power plants, abandoned industrial sites and office blocks (uninsurable apparently because of repeated storm damage).

What will the BBC conjure up next? Underwater tennis at Wimbledon? Camel racing around the deserts at Royal Ascot? Lewis Hamilton coming in for a three-hour pitstop to recharge his Tesla?

So what lies behind this bunch of fairy stories? The BBC are quite open about it:

‘Sport 2050 was conceived and created with the ambition of making the abstract future impacts of climate change more real for people by looking at how it might impact on their everyday lives. Sport – one of the most universally relatable areas of life across the globe that raises passions like no other – presents an ideal opportunity to do this.

‘The second thought behind the project was the ability of sport to help inform readers who may not otherwise have engaged with the science of, or news around, climate change. The science presented is therefore only designed to be of an introductory level and we have tried to link to and include some more in-depth reporting and articles for those who are interested.’

Translation – ‘We don’t think you stupid people have taken in our propaganda well enough yet, so we’re going to try another approach – scare you into thinking the sports that you love are all over unless you go completely green.’

This article first appeared in Not A Lot Of People Know That on May 21, 2021, and is republished by kind permission.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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