L.A. Politicizes Summer Games Bid by Marketing Climate Change Olympics

LA Coliseum AP

The proposed Los Angeles Olympics just got a logo to go along with dates and venues. Its sunny disposition points both to the city’s ideal weather and the world’s grim global warming forecast.

Los Angeles touts “Follow the Sun” as its slogan and an angel emitting the rays of the sun as its symbol. As part of the logo rollout, LA2024 emphasizes in non sequitur fashion the city’s “progressive history” and its mayor’s record “driving the climate change agenda.”
A 64-page booklet (PDF) published by the city’s Olympic boosters explains the imagery:

And as a symbol of our vision, we will cast LA’s brightest star, the sun, as our inspiration for providing a better tomorrow. The sun is much more than a stunning backdrop for the thousands of athletes who choose to live and train in Los Angeles. It represents hope, reinvention, and renewal. It can also be a powerful ally – the ultimate business partner. Even today, the sun is used to light the Olympic flame. Now we will use it to ignite an energy revolution. In 2024, LA aspires to introduce the first energy positive Olympic and Paralympic Games powered by the sun.


LA2024 means this literally. The presentation talks enthusiastically not of new stadiums but of new solar-energy cells. “Many of the world’s top innovations in sustainability were invented in our region and LA 2024 will build upon this progressive history to ensure our Games benefit our city and the Olympic Movement,” the booklet reads. “A subset of the Innovation Network will be comprised of California-based companies and thought leaders already innovating in areas such as water conservation, waste management and biodiversity.”

In a section called “Driving the Climate Change Agenda,” the booklet boasts: “The City of Los Angeles and Mayor Eric Garcetti are recognized leaders on combating global climate change.” This environmental leadership for a city more readily evoking images of smog, sprawl, and superhighways allegedly involves launching “a fleet of alternative fuel vehicles,” developing “emergency preparedness strategies like city-wide Wi-Fi,” and “increasing tree canopy to combat the urban heat island effect.”

Under the “sustainability” subsection, the Los Angeles Olympics promoters hold:

By 2024, LA will have made significant progress toward being the national leader in green jobs, installed electric vehicle infrastructure, transit infrastructure, and zero waste. The LA 2024 Games Concept shares a commitment to new technology and innovation that advance the long-term goals of the City.

Consistent with the Sustainability pLAn and in the spirt of our bid slogan, Follow the Sun, LA 2024 aspires to be the first energy positive Games in history. The LA 2024 initiative will strive to supply the City with additional zero carbon electricity before, during and long after the Games. Without question, we will leverage existing solar instillations [sic] outside the City, but we also intend to engage the community on this quest. With over 4,000 hectares of roofs available in LA and other emerging technologies, LA 2024 will leverage the robust infrastructure in LA to achieve our energy objective.

Elsewhere, LA2024 diverts from the political focus to address logistics and sports. The Coliseum hosts track and field, the Rose Bowl stages soccer games, the Staples Center serves as the basketball venue, and Pauley Pavilion presents volleyball. Whereas the city previously touted Dodger Stadium as a baseball venue, the new report remains conspicuously mute about the possibility of the games again highlighting the fringe Olympic sport. UCLA will serve as an Olympic Village of sorts. Just as in 1984, when the summer games actually turned a profit, Los Angeles hopes to capitalize on an existing, impressive infrastructure that allows the locals to enjoy an Olympics without having to pay for numerous one-time-use structures.

The host committee looks to hold the games, should climate change not first wash Los Angeles into the Pacific Ocean, from July 19 to August 4, 2024.