Sport ecologist Dr. Madeleine Orr is pitching a ‘green game plan’ for sports fans.

In “Warming Up,” Orr pairs her academic curiosity and storytelling to stir optimism (or “hopeium”) about using the power of sport to explain climate adaptation. The University of Toronto professor’s début book reminds readers sports are a bigger social connector than politics, arts, and pop culture — and the loss of them can have significant mental health effects. 

As such, sports is a rallying point to push for a world that must burn about five times less fossil fuels to avert worst-case outcomes from climate change.

Whether it is children learning a new game, or globetrotting pros, athletes need breathable air, drinking water, and relief from the ‘big bad’ of extreme heat (and winter sport athletes need snow, too). Far from a doom-and-gloom finger-wag, Orr shows that many athletes and sports organizations are on Team Green, and outlines the next steps.