Scientist Bill Nye is encouraging NASCAR to switch to all-electric cars, calling on the auto racing league to look to "the future rather than the past."
NASCAR could help address climate change by converting "all of our racecars to electricity — right now — and show the public exactly what electrons can do," wrote Nye, known popularly as "Bill Nye, the Science Guy," in an op-ed on the Aeon website.
"Here I am trying to envision the smart, efficient transportation technology of tomorrow, and there is NASCAR doing the opposite — celebrating a very old transportation technology of yesterday," he wrote.
"NASCAR kinda breaks my heart. It’s a celebration of old tech. It uses gasoline-burning instead of electron-flowing. I wish NASCAR were more like NASA. I wish NASCAR were more about the future instead of the past."
If NASCAR "embraces electric drive trains," he wrote, then it would bring the U.S. closer to becoming a "world leader in automotive technology."
"And the sooner we can stop pumping carbon dioxide into the air every time we want to go somewhere to get groceries, pick up the soccer team, commute to work or watch a race."
NASCAR says it already has a green program: It has the largest recycling program in sports, and the equipment it uses is transported by vehicles that use recycled oil, according to the Independent Journal Review.
It also created a clean air program, planting 10 trees for every green flag dropped during races, and it runs on fuel that is 15 percent ethanol.