Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Hamilton aiming to go ‘carbon neutral’ by 2020 – but says he won’t race in Formula E

2019 Mexican Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he intends to make his lifestyle ‘carbon neutral’ by the end of the year, following criticism of his comments about the environment.

But while the Mercedes driver revealed he is trading his normally-aspirated road cars for electric cars, he ruled out a move into the all-electric Formula E series.

Hamilton has faced growing criticism after urging his millions of followers on social media to adopt a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Last week he posted, then deleted, a series of messages expressing his concern for the world’s future.

Speaking in today’s FIA press conference Hamilton explained what was behind the posts. “I was watching a documentary and it was just sad to see the things that we are kind of not aware of,” he said.

“It just inspired me to want to do more and reach out to those who perhaps don’t know some of the things that are happening.”

While Hamilton has shared many images of his lavish lifestyle on social media over the years, he revealed the steps he is taking to reduce his own carbon footprint.

“I’m trying to make sure that by the end of the year I’m carbon neutral. I don’t allow anyone in my office but also within my household to buy any plastics. I want everything recycle-able down to deodorant, down to toothbrush, all these kind of things. So I’m trying to make as much change as I can in my personal space.

“I sold my plane over a year ago. I fly a lot less now, I try to fly less through the year and mostly fly commercial so that’s been a big change in my habits. I’ve avoided trips as well if I don’t need to do it, been in the UK for example with family and gone up to Bedfordshire and stayed with the family instead of gone on holiday.

“Obviously I’ve changed my diet which is quite a drastic difference,” he added. Hamilton switched to a plant-based diet during 2017.

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He also revealed the changes he has made to his collection of cars. “I have my new Smart electric [car] at home. And I’ve sold several of my cars.

“Some of them I don’t really want to sell because I still love them and I’ve worked hard for them. I don’t drive them a lot if I’m really honest. And also all the cars that I have – Mercedes, I’m very fortunate to get quite a few cars around the world, I have three Mercedes in the States, for example – sent them back and get [all-electric] EQCs.

“I have a Maybach in London, for example, I’m looking now to switch that. I think they’re bringing a hybrid out at the end of the year for the Maybach, I love the Maybach, however right now that doesn’t really suit what I’m fighting for so I need to change that also for an EQC or one of the hybrids they have. So I’m constantly making changes.

“But it’s not a quick fix, it’s not something you do over a short period of time. But I feel positive that I’m making those changes and I’m encouraging people around me, my friends are seeing me doing those and also be more conscious and looking to do those kind of things.”

Hamilton said he is also encouraging Mercedes and the other companies he works with to reduce the waste they produce.

“I work with the team who are also really pushing to be carbon neutral. For instance in the canteen, because there’s a lot of plastics, you’ll see here we have mostly Just Water which are biodegradeable bottles.

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“I’m working with Mercedes on a future plan with them. For example car manufacturers have all-leather interiors. There’s no reason why we can’t have faux-leather, faux-suede so I’m pushing to be part of that change with Mercedes-Benz.

“Obviously I work with Tommy Hilfiger. Nearly 70% of all the clothes that I’ve done are sustainable: Either recycled fabrics or faux-leather, faux-suede and the goal is to have that 100%. At some point that will be 100% sustainable, hopefully in the next year or two. That’s also encouraged Tommy Hilfiger who work in quite a damaging industry to also look into that and push that direction.”

He also wants Formula 1 to cut its impact on the environment. “If you look at our sport it’s shifted from using a third less fuel now.

“There’s more I think that Formula 1 can do. They are putting plans together but I think we have to push all the industries, we have to push Formula 1 to do more and I think they’re giving us a proposal later on today for the plans they have in place and we’ll do whatever we can to support that.”

However while Hamilton says he “still loves racing and I want to continue with that”, he isn’t prepared to leave F1 for its all-electric rival, which Mercedes is entering this year.

“I have no interest whatsoever to do Formula E,” he said. “That’s not something I plan, currently, to do.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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84 comments on “Hamilton aiming to go ‘carbon neutral’ by 2020 – but says he won’t race in Formula E”

  1. Are electric cars somewhat better than petrol cars?

    Yes, but there’s nothing green, ecological or sustainable about them.

    Glad Lewis wants to stay off Formula E

    1. GLENN A MARTINEZ
      24th October 2019, 19:24

      Not Somewhat,
      Much Faster, More economical, Safer Vehicles

      Actually Saving CO2 from being emitted into the Atmosphere.
      TOTAL CO2 SAVED BY TESLA VEHICLES
      3,543,091.05 tons

      https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/carbonimpact

      And yes their is Carbon emitted from creating the batteries, but it is Carbon Neutral after 2.5 to 3 years of driving your car. Meanwhile the Gas equivalent will continue pumping out Carbon Emissions for the entire time its being produced.
      https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/hybrid-electric/news/a27039/tesla-battery-emissions-study-fake-news/

      1. Bicycles!
        Beats Tesla and all that other crap.
        (The most efficiënt machine ever build
        https://wisconsinbikefed.org/blog/2014/06/11/the-bicycle-is-the-most-efficient-machine-on-earth/)

      2. Don’t know that I would take Tesla’s word on this, as of course they are going to try to flatter themselves. However, I’m sure CO2 is saved. As to the article about the battery manufacturing and the footprint from that, let’s not forget the resources that had to go into the making of the cars themselves, including Teslas and the hybrid Maybach LH is considering.

        Anyway, as big as LH’s footprint will likely always be, it does come down to all of us doing our part, and any reductions in consumption by any of us is only a good thing for Mother Earth.

      3. Glenn a Martinez: if you put it that way, nobody should be buying new cars, as my 1992, v6 4wd is still running strong, 4 owners and 400k miles later…

        When was your car produced?How many have you owned since 1992?

        All this goes to show, it’s much more complicated than a forum discussion! Tesla’s are a good thing, but 100% of cars on the road being Tesla’s won’t magically fix all our woes!

        Well get there!

        And to the editor, stop covering these non-stories… it’s beneath you. ITS OK to have a slow news day, no need to get all tabloid about it.

        1. No this is not “tabloid” at all
          It’s not about who he went out with or what he was wearing – this article addresses the paradox in Hamilton’s life. How can you be so vocal about the environment and still drive an f1 car?
          Now I read how he thinks about this and what he tries to do in his life. Yes, part of it is his private life but since this is also part of his professional life, I’m happy to have read this “from the horses mouth”

        2. Don’t forget that if 100% of cars were electric the energy grid would not cope, and certainly not a grid based on renewables alone.

      4. As far as the environmental affect and sustainability of electric cars the only main issue is the depletion of the limited sources that are used to make the batteries, such as lithium and copper

        What Glenn mentioned is correct, maybe a bit embellished by Tesla, but correct.

        Electric cars on the long and short run are better. Also worth mentioning, non renewable power plants that supply electricity to electric cars are vastly more efficient than any ICE.
        Here’s an article covering the topic well
        https://jalopnik.com/enough-with-the-actually-electric-cars-pollute-more-bu-1834338565

    2. There’s no ethical consumption under capitalism.

      1. Nor there ever will be.

      2. Wow, just wow. I would add there are no ethics under communism/socialism – 150 million dead can’t be wrong, right.

    3. If nothing else electric cars are far more energy efficient at the immediet vehicle level. Petroleum cars waste far more energy.

      Whether electric cars are good for carbon emissions or not depends on how the source electricity is generated.

      1. You forget all the losses between an actual generator and the battery. Its a lot. Electric cars move pollution away from populated places, but they hardly reduce it overall. Just imagine all the powerlines that would have to be manufactured and built in order to move the majority of traffic to electric. If anything an existing petrol/diesel infrastructure is smaller and greener than an electric one big enough.
        And you cant go any significant distance in them, and thats, too, is not about to change.

  2. Would be interesting to know what Lewis will do to achieve his carbon neutral status. Have to believe purchasing carbon offsets will be part of that.

    I can’t believe he could be carbon neutral and fly commercial. I know the private jet charter company Victor has a 200% minimum carbon offset built into their pricing with a method for encouraging customers to upgrade their offsets to 400%+. I believe Victor even has a fuel partner who is developing fuel from re-refined plastics.

    1. With all the flying that is inherent in his job, I think there is not much he can do but pay for compensation schemes to that really. I also think that Lewis is more like flying in a chartered jet with other drivers than really getting into a big airliner, but what do I know.

      Overall I find it interesting to see him go for it. Surely if a person capable of such focus and dedication as an F1 driver sets their mind to it, they can go great lengths to achieve it. Then he can tell people about it. And funny enough, with the celebrity admiration culture we have, companies are even likely to listen to him, so he might actually achieve quite a decent step forward.

      Way to go Lewis.

      Funny to think about it – what if in decades from now his 6 (or who knows how many) F1 world titles might become a footnote to what he achieved to improve where we are and how we live :-)

      1. GLENN A MARTINEZ
        24th October 2019, 19:14

        +1

      2. +2 @bascb I think you pick up on a really good point, Hamilton’s dedication to whatever he’s doing. The instant reaction is that it’s fadism, but actually – as his veganism shows – he actually sustains whatever he’s doing as a long term commitment and thinks about it carefully and from diverse angles. I’m impressed too.

      3. Funny to think about it – what if in decades from now his 6 (or who knows how many) F1 world titles might become a footnote to what he achieved to improve where we are and how we live :-)

        Indeed, that is very much a possibility.

        It has been remarkable to see Hamilton’s growth as a person. I think the mistakes of 2011 and misfortune of 2012 really made him grow. The increasing time spent with Niki, Toto has also helped him grow, and that is a big part of why he was able to shrug off the 2016 disappointment so quickly. He is arguably the best driver F1 has ever seen, the statistics will show it in a couple of years time, but his thoughts, his lifestyle, his passion for non-track activities is already at legendary status.

  3. Jose Lopes da Silva
    24th October 2019, 18:34

    I also want to promote or criticise something for the sake of it, but my big issue is only Stroll’s presence on the grid.

    1. If you frame it as an exponent of unequality you could get some way with that argument too Jose!

    2. Or Grosjean.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        24th October 2019, 23:38

        But Grosjean can be fired.

        1. Really? GRO seems to have more than 9 lives

  4. I watched that presser – it was unfortunate that the journalists wanted to speak more about the Instagram posts from Lewis (with Lewis and the other drivers) than the race it’s self. I usually enjoy these press conferences, but this one . . . not so much.

    Before I get flamed, I am not saying he isn’t entitled to his opinions or beliefs and I do believe he is not wide of the mark in truth, but today’s presser was painful to watch. Some Journalists ( not our @dieterrencken ) appeared to be trying to trip Lewis into saying something they could mock or deride in their publications.

    Just my opinion though.

    1. Well, isn’t that just what he asked for? I mean, come on, this is some standard celeb green washing bullcrap. He wants the attention, prepare to be mocked about it, because with his lifestyle it is very mockable. And let’s forget the past with his own private plane, the regular burnouts on his motorcycle, being a racing driver for over 18 years, his many super/hypercars etc. Let’s look at today: a man that still spends a quarter of the year in an airplane and is looking at more years as a F1 driver, talks about living ‘carbon neutral’, with biodegradable bottles and buying no more (any) plastics. Good luck with that.

      The journalists have to respond on the hypocricy.

      1. If Hamilton wasn’t racing, someone else would be in his seat flying around instead. I’m far from a Hamilton fan and disagree with A LOT of what he says and does but ultimately, he’s trying to do the right thing.

        If everyone tried to do the right thing, it’s make a bigger overall difference than electric cars will.

        1. Yes, but that someone else probably wouldn’t rent his own plane and most likely wouldn’t travel as much as Lewis outside F1. The thing is, Lewis is not in a good position to ‘urge’ people to change their lifestyle, just because he recently changed his. The message isn’t wrong, but the typical vegan way of urging others to change their life because they are doing the same, is. It’s self-endulging.

          Especially when you are someone with a very large carbon footprint with the extravagant lifestyle he is living. Lewis his private flight hours each year will probably leave a larger carbon footprint than my entire life until my death.

          If Lewis wants to send a meaningful message, than quit F1 and quit traveling. Or melt down the jewelry for something more useful, the jewelry that has left a very large carbon footprint thanks to mining. Or what about stop walking in a new outfit every day? But he won’t, because it is just greenwashing.

          I really don’t care how he lives his life, if he wants to travel, have 20 hypercars, fine. Or just be a vegan? Be my guest. But don’t bother others with it if wiping out your ‘carbon footprint’ is just on paper. It’s like Philip Morris is telling you you shouldn’t eat so much sugar.

          1. Have to wonder if you even read what he said above?

            He sold his private jet, last year. He flies less than he used to. He’s swapped or is swapping many of his ICE cars for electric and/or hybrid alternatives – it’s a work in progress, even for a multi-millionaire.

            As with many things F1 drivers are reported as saying he was answering a question, yet he’s shot down for answering a question put to him…

          2. @muzza looks like you are the one not reading. The point is that even with selling the plane or cars, he still will leave a very large carbon footprint. He still rents a private jet, and he only ‘tries’ to travel less. Work in progress my ass, if he really wants to change something, then change now or don’t say anything at all. He could have just kept it with being vegan, but he decided to answer with this. And it’s ridiculous.

  5. I’m not a fan of most of what Hamilton says, but actually, I agree and respect what he’s saying and doing with regards to this. Obviously, there is some degree of hypocrisy given he’s racing in F1, but just because that is the case, it doesn’t render someone’s efforts to help save the environment laughable. Just because Bill Gates is extremely wealthy doesn’t mean that he cannot participate in philanthropy. It is a genuinely good cause that he seems to believe in, and not purely just some PR stunt.

  6. GLENN A MARTINEZ
    24th October 2019, 19:11

    Bravo to Lewis! As an Influencer his change in habits and continued Social Media presence will have a large effect on how the Wealthy & famous people of this world help to show the way on how we all have to act to save this world. His work with Mercedes and Tommy Hilfiger in particular are tremendous examples of what people with such a big presence and following can impact multi-billion dollar companies to lead the way. Daimler’s announcement earlier this year of no longer investing in the development of Combustion Engines is a massive shift from only a couple of years ago when they where stuffing 6.3L Supercharged or Twin turbo Engines into everything in their lineup. Now their line up all have High Efficiency Options and Electric power on the horizon. Ford is unveiling a new sporty SUV next Month. Volvo is going all-Electric in the near future. Once the general Population feels what it is to have instant torque under their Right foot, they will never go back to Petrol cars. Here’s hoping Elon Musk reaches out to Lewis once hes done racing for Merc and makes him a brand ambassador for Tesla.

    1. “Once the general Population feels what it is to have instant torque under their Right foot, they will never go back to Petrol cars.“

      An over simplification. Some of us factor more than just seat of pants thrill in choosing their next car. Like what we can afford.

      So many people are completely out of it, and think joe Publix will buy a Tesla, if he ONLY knew what he was missing. Surely that’s the reason he’s driving a 2004 Camry…

      Come on people, we are better than this!

      1. GLENN A MARTINEZ
        24th October 2019, 21:44

        Tesla’s aim from the beginning was to increase the popularity of Electric Cars so that the technologies surrounding Electric Cars was further developed and the technologies advanced by competitors and eventually made cheaper. 7 years later the first real competitor is hitting the scene in the Porsche Taycan, and other companies are making the batteries more efficient and making more efficient Electrical Motors.

        Tesla also purchased Solar City which was the leading installer of private home solar panels. Combining that with a Powerwall, the goal is that homeowners can run their homes and their personal transport using renewable energy. Sustainability is key. As time passes all of these technologies will become cheaper and it will just become common practice for new homes to be built with renewable technologies because it will become economically cheaper to operate the home with renewable energy. That is the goal and has always been the goal of Tesla, The rapid adoption of renewal energy to decrease man-made climate change and to increase the sustainability of Human life on Earth.

        A Used Model S can be purchased in the US now for somewhere north of $30,000 USD In a couple of years the smaller more economical Model 3 will have the Entry Level Model 3 sell for somewhere around $20,000 USD. You factor in the Fuel savings and it will be economically cheaper to drive an electric car than a Petrol Car. I went from a BMW 550I to a used Model S. Between the car payments and the cost of Gas for the BMW V8 I was spending close to $900 a month on the car. I started saving money once I went to the Model S. The BMW was only getting 14 Miles to the Gallon.

        At the moment Electric Cars are seen as a Luxury but in the next decade so many new cars on the road will be running on Electric power that it will make financial sense for everyone to choose to run on Electric power.

  7. I wasn’t able to sleep last night and invariably logged on to catch up on the latest F1 news. Read this article and half way through I was sleeping like a baby.

    1. @thedoctor03 Then why did you type this irrelevant comment which doesn’t contribute in anyway to the topic of conversation, instead of going to sleep?

  8. What’s he planning on doing, push the car….

  9. Stephen Higgins
    24th October 2019, 19:20

    I’m going to do my bit for the environment by turning my television off every time a Formula E race comes on it.

    1. Ah! Why not turning off your devices at all while you’re at it?

      1. Stephen Higgins
        26th October 2019, 9:09

        That too…

  10. Amazing. At first I was all.. “anoher diva, doing flavour of the month save the environment thingy”, but then I read his plans.

    Methodical, sound, resonable, etc. Admirable. Still very crazy but I hazard a bet he is 10-20 times more carbon neutral than before.

    Good example he is setting. Quite resonable.

  11. The keyword is “Lifestyle”
    Work is not your lifestyle.
    But I am sure he’ll be traveling the world someday by Sail Yacht and living off Grid with super efficient Solar Panels, Composting his waste and what not.
    Good for him that he can afford that and none of these choices and changes make a dent in his wallet.

    1. If you need a personal assistant, life coach, physical trainer or whatever, and to have your lackeys flying 1st class by your side… who does that carbon footprint fall on?

      I’d say that all falls on Lewis, and he isn’t nearly as carbon neutral as he would like to think he is.

      1. I would say it falls on Queen Elizabeth, Hamilton is her subject after all.

  12. Overall I honestly applaud Hamilton for his actions. They might be a bit ironic coming from a F1 driver, but the intention is pure.
    Plus many younger generations look up to him, this kind of positive influence will quickly get picked up.

  13. >>Imma go carbon neutral man, it’s the thing y’know.
    >>wears jeans, uses watches sunglasses and tennis shoes

    The ignorance of claims like this baffle me.

    Related, go read “Carbon Ideologies” by William T. Vollmann for starters.

    1. Where can i find “Carbon Ideologies” on Instagram?

  14. Oh well Lewis, i am with you but the electric cars have one caveat which is the way you charge them. If the power is from Hydro Electric Power Plans or from the Sun then everything you say is correct but the world needs a long way to achieve that.
    I am not opposite of the electric cars and i want one but truth to be told.

    1. See posts above: fact is that even traditional power generation is way more efficient than even these super efficient F1 hybrids, so, apart from discussion about resources to produce the battery/powertrain, and exactly how long it takes to offset that, it is already more efficient.

      1. This is a vast oversimplification and not true.
        First of all Mercedes claims to reach a thermodynamic efficiency of over 50% (which is really astonishing compared to normal ICEs)
        Modern Coal power plants can reach up to 45%. In Germany the average coal power plant efficiency in 2010 was only 35%.

        But thermal efficiency is just a part of the equation.
        You also have to factor the CO2 Emission / Energy set free.
        Coal emits over 100kg Co2/ GJ Energy.
        Gasoline emits 70.

        Not factoring in the production (EVs need way more energy for production) ICEs are more CO2 efficient than coal plants if they have an efficiency higher than 24.5%. You might argue that gas powered power plants are way more efficient, but sadly most of the worlds power plants are still coal based.

        So yeah, for an EV to make a positive environmental impact, it is important to have renewable energy sources.

  15. I will defend to the death Louis’s right to his beliefs and his right to express them. In the marketplace of freedom to think and speak he should not expect me, or anyone else, to agree with his views and choices, nor expect to have his views go (respectfully) unchallenged.

  16. I like the fact that he’s trying to make people more aware of the challenges facing our environment, but I think he needs to do some more research before making statements like this. How does he think his vegetables are making it to his plate? Diesel powered farm equipment, diesel powered trucks/trains/boats. Real effective change has to start much higher up the chain than private citizens and I’d like to see him use his access to industry and thought leaders to push for infrastructure change. As an example, here in North Carolina, electricity is still largely produced via coal, so if you buy an electric car, unless you’ve installed solar panels on your house, your not much better off than if you had a regular petrol burning car. With access to leaders, he can push for coal generated electricity to be phased out.

  17. Not a Hamilton fan until his recent announcements. Great that he is making this stand and making some changes in his lifestyle. Easy to mock him, but instead try and make some changes yourselves. Well done Lewis.

  18. Just sounded like a big plug for Mercedes products. And Tommy Hilfiger.

    1. Sounded to me like a big plug to avoid the human species going extinct.

      1. @david-br uhm.. seriously speaking, I don’t think the point of limiting climate change is to avoid extinction: I mean, less resources and more violent weather are one thing, extinction is a whole different story.

        Nasa for instance has a list of the expected effects https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/ that are far from involving human extinction (I’m taking this article as an example, but the same effects are more or less cited by different sources).

        1. Well if the trend is to be continued, extinction can very well be a possibility, or at least a major “annihilation” of the current number of people on this earth..
          The uncontrollable effects of the earth’s average temperature warming has lead in the past to the biggest mass extinction ever, just for different reasons..

          The problem itself isn’t we going extinct or dieying because of a few degrees, but the unpredictable fluctuations on the environment than we and anything living today isn’t used to.. And even temperature alone can, in the warmer areas of the globe (maybe only those), lead to the denaturation of plant proteins, which in itself leads to a major catastrophe in the whole food chain..

          And then if you go even more extreme and believe some not some popular theories, like the permafrost of the artic, the climate itself can get into serious trouble, because such an even would lead to a catastrophic inbalance in the earths atmosphere..

          Honestly, in my opinion, we are way more fragile than we think we are :)

        2. @m-bagattini Well not total extinction, that was said for effect obviously. But you’re seriously underestimating the effects that global warming, desertification and flooding could have on many arable areas across the planet. Same goes for fresh water reserves and rivers. That could generate a huge population crash. The question as ever is whose lives they’d be. Maybe not the affluent west.

    2. Don’t forget Just Water!

  19. Lets be honest here. Having racing drivers who travel around the world promoting awareness of global warming is probably somewhat hypocritical (yes, FE drivers too). But it is much better than doing nothing, and if drivers have to be a little bit hypocritical to help save our world then so be it.

    Despite all this backlash, Lewis is the best ambassador that F1 could hope for in their actions against climate change. Current cars have very efficient power units, and CMIIW rumours are F1 is planning to be carbon neutral (or buy carbon credits) by 2020. With the amount of exposure that Lewis has, it is unthinkable to not work together to say “Hey, we are aware with what is happening and we are also taking action”.

    And Lewis going to Formula E? He wants to race against the best, not sell electric vehicles

  20. He is digging him self into a hole. F1 is the biggest carbon emitter, apart from the Ice engine on the race cars, all the transportation from rare to race each team does, and they keep adding more races. He can be carbon neutral in his personal life, but he forgets that f1 is part of his life too. You cNt have it both ways if you are going to talk up yourself as caring about this issue, it is completely hypocritical. And he wears terrible earth killing designer clothes… He’s losing it.

    1. F1 has reportedly been carbon neutral for a long time.

      No doubt most people’s way of being carbon neutral is via offsetting. But does it really matter if more trees get planted? At least they are doing something.

  21. Good stuff.

    I’m not being sarcastic, we should give Lewis a pat on the back, because thanks to his status an influencer, the hordes of his followers will now think twice before biting into a Big Mac, which can only be a good thing.

    Can we just move on now please? None of this stuff is actually going to save the world. Easy points for the press, thats about it.

  22. It must be nice to be really rich. Lewis, let’s see you become ‘carbon neutral’ on $20k/year.

  23. He should also stop using “Party mode” in qualifying, use less fuel :))

  24. If he has already has plan with Mercedes for the future that means he is committed to be with his current team for the remainder of his racing career and beyond. Thanks Lewis. Bye bye Ferrari.

  25. Before getting into the discussions on what to do about global warming take a look at this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yze1YAz_LYM
    to see a somewhat different scientific view as to the causes and how long the effects have been happening.
    It’s about 45 minutes long but well worth taking the time to watch.

  26. But while the Mercedes driver revealed he is trading his normally-aspirated road cars for electric cars, he ruled out a move into the all-electric Formula E series

    I’m quite fine with this – he has made (and intends to also make) some big changes to his personal life, and the things he can control.

    However, Hamilton doesn’t intend to change his profession, and I understand that.

    Yes, there is an inherent contradiction between his profession and his statements, but can any one of his critics point at him and cry “Hypocrite!”, and honestly state that their own (current/former) profession is free of such hypocrisy?

    He wants to do his part, and is using his fan base to get that message across, and that is no different from us individuals making changes to our lifestyle to be more eco-friendly, without sacrificing major aspects of our lifestyle.

    I also recognize that if he were to shift to FE for environmental reasons, it would make a noticeable media impact, but as a fan of racing, I’d rather see his skills put to use in F1 or similar racing.

    1. “He wants to do his part, and is using his fan base to get that message across, and that is no different from us individuals making changes to our lifestyle to be more eco-friendly, without sacrificing major aspects of our lifestyle.”

      The problem with that statement is “relative discomfort”. All these famous popular people want to do is “spread the message”, and as long as spreading the message doesn’t affect them too much, all is good. It has gone way past what people think of as hypocricy and reached “Biblical Hypocricy on Steroids”-level.

      Most Millionaires and Billionaires are just talking heads that want you, the average man, to change. They themselves do not need to change, since what they are already doing has brought them so much success and popularity so they can “do my part and spread the message” far and wide.

      Joe the plumber has to drive his ’06 Hiace to customer meetings, and he has to use gases to weld pipes, and various vaselines and oils to perform a good job.

      Meanwhile, Hamilton could save more CO2 than Joe produces in a year if he secured the title mathematically and said “See you guys next year.” and just skip the remaining races.

      1. Joe the plumber has to drive his ’06 Hiace to customer meetings, and he has to use gases to weld pipes, and various vaselines and oils to perform a good job.

        If you look at my comment, you’ll notice I’m not asking anyone (including Hamilton) to change their profession, or how they go about it.

        I don’t even think we need to make big changes to our lifestyles. If many people can make small changes to their lifestyle, that in itself is an excellent start.

        That said, I agree that changes are better coming from the rich downwards. For instance, while I’m middle class, I would have to clean up my act a lot more before I dare lecture a poor family about how burning firewood is a bad thing, or a poor farmer (who can’t afford a tractor) about how burning to clear a field isn’t good for the environment. At an international level, this is a similar bone of contention between developed and developing countries when it comes to discussions about pollution.

    2. @phylyp since I think you’re one of those I can have a decent conversation here, so here’s my take.

      Let’s be completely honest: the biggest thing he could really do if he truly believes in all this things is to switch to Formula E. He is first and foremost a racing driver and a racing driver saying “we need to move away from fossil fuel” sends an unequivocal message. A six times WC sends an even bigger message. I already feel F1 is going to give way to FE (will take years, but it’s going to happen), a big like Lewis moving would make the process just faster.

      All of us are experts in food, we all have a mouth and taste and my opinion counts like Lewis’. We can say “it’s easy for you to choose recyclable packages since you don’t have to count your money to reach the end of the month”. I feel his messages are just dividing and polarizing people on opinions they already have, not changing them. But as for cars and driving… well, there the voice of one of the greatest drivers in history can make a difference. Can make petrol-heads rethink their opinions, can make youngster grow more aware of the move we need to make to a more sustainable transportation system.

      As for the hypocrisy in our life/work, my only little experience was a job offer from a company producing both civilian and military helicopters; I just couldn’t live with the fact that even a single bit of my work could have contributed in killing someone. So I think that if someone is so strongly believing in something, he just can’t cope with some exceptions like Lewis is doing (he drives electric but man, that Zonda is too much to give up; he eats vegan but hey, what can I do if my F1 runs on petrol?).

      Let me be clear: I’m completely with him with this compromises; I’ve been vegetarian for years, returning to eat meat because of the missing taste, so I know that living completely ethical is not for everyone. What I can’t stand is the evangelism; make your choices, understand that you’re not perfect, lead with the example: let others see that you’re selling your jet, that you’re eating veg and let others speak about that; if you don’t say that everyone should do the same, no one can say you’re an hypocrite (or at least you’re in a strong position to defend yourself).

      1. the biggest thing he could really do if he truly believes in all this things is to switch to Formula E.

        @m-bagattini – I agree, the media impact would be significant. And if he did it at the end of this season, it’d be even more so, what with Schumacher’s records within arms reach.

        That said, I’m a selfish racing fan, and would be disappointed to see him poodling around in a glorified go-kart-like track. 🙂 Let him go to Indy Car, WRC, etc.

        But coming back to your comment, I agree that such a decision by him would have an impact on some petrolheads, not to mention making BEVs “cool”.

        As for the hypocrisy in our life/work, my only little experience was a job offer from a company producing both civilian and military helicopters; I just couldn’t live with the fact that even a single bit of my work could have contributed in killing someone.

        That is very admirable and commendable of you. As a fan of any man-made flying object (whirlybirds and fixed wing), I am envious of your line of work. (As an aside, going by your name, might I hazard a guess that the company was Agusta?)

        make your choices, understand that you’re not perfect, lead with the example: let others see that you’re selling your jet, that you’re eating veg and let others speak about that; if you don’t say that everyone should do the same, no one can say you’re an hypocrite

        Excellent point.

        1. @phylyp As an avid F1 fan myself, I too believe that it would be a big loss for this sport (and there’s no point in moving to another petrol-fueled category). I’d like to see Ferrari back on top one day or another, and it would have much less meaning without a fierce competitor like Lewis on track.

          ..not many companies like that one here, right :P?

          1. @m-bagattini – we share similar lines of thought on that point. As a Vettel fan, I think his best shot at wins and titles would be if Hamilton were to leave F1 (erm, and he needs to get a handle on Leclerc as well, that’s a new problem he’s had this year).

            But the departure of the in-form Hamilton would be a loss to our sport, so it is not something I wish to see.

  27. roberto giacometti
    25th October 2019, 5:35

    Yes let’s all get rid of our cars, and go back to horse and carts , just like 1875. Hang on , would that be allowed, or would that then be cruelty to horses???

  28. Buying into carbon payment scams is not going carbon neutral and if that is what Hamilton means by this then he is incredibly gullible, or at the very least, hoping his fans are.

    Hey Lewis, in case you read this comment, how about you stop whining on Twitter like a teenage girl and put some of those Panama-recycled millions to back up your teenage-angst-fueled rants.

    Start a forest planting operation that will see to it that millions of trees are planted, and watered, in the Amazon rain forest and around deserts etc. etc.

    No? Back to Twitter, then.

  29. Its good that he says what he thinks and promotes a good cause. Even though its mostly of symbolic value, it might change some peoples minds a little bit. If F1 really wanted to do something they should limit all the travelling, less races instead of more races, and limit the amount of trailers etc that the teams can bring along. The actual consumption of the cars is completely irrelevant if you look at the total compared to all the logistics.

  30. Is he going to stop breathing then, or will veganism enable him to breathe nitrogen or CO2 instead of oxygen? Now that is comitment indeed.

    1. He should stop thinking because the brain is the biggest consumer in the body, i wonder if he has a lobotomy planned.

  31. His intentions are good but he needs to be further along this journey before preaching that others change their lifestyle. Inform people about your changes, and why you’ve done it, to encourage others but do not instruct them over social media. Changing hearts and minds is super difficult! You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

    Swapping out perfectly working cars for new electric cars is not a sustainable move. Keep the originals as collection items if he’s really fond of them – rarely or never drive them, source a second hand EV and use that for your daily driving. Like many rich people, there’s an inherent egotism and entitlement that “only new will do”. That just plays into consumerism again, driving demand and using more resources.

    “I have no interest whatsoever to do Formula E” – again, none of this will matter if we’ve taken the World to 4-6C, crop failures, food shortages, societal breakdown. He’d be remembered more favourably for switching up his career and championing electric mobility racing or switching away from F1 entirely. His life and identity is built around it though. Like most of us, myself included, we’ve “too much skin in the game” to switch up our lives in major ways and dedicate time and money to the environment.

  32. What is faux-leather made from? Genuine question; because of it’s plastic based then it’s oil based and not renewable.

    Leather might have a large carbon footprint but at least it’s renewable.

    Indeed I do wonder how much carbon the animals consume and “convert” to leather. (Aware that the methane is a problem)

  33. **if

    Damn edit button!

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