April 21, 2016 8:00 pm

Friday: How Driving a NASCAR Racecar Can Help the World Go Green

Image of Leilani Münter with copy that reads, "Never underestimate a vegan hippie chick with a race car" for a StarTalk Radio blog post about Racing Extinction.

Courtesy of Leilani Münter.

Can driving a NASCAR racecar help the world go green?

Leilani Münter certainly thinks so.

She’s a Tesla driving vegan and an environmental activist who refuses sponsorships from companies that are not environmentally responsible. And even though she burns 35 gallons of fuel in every NASCAR race she drives, she also adopts one acre of rainforest for each race to help balance her footprint.

Here’s what Leilani says in tomorrow’s podcast:

“If I didn’t drive that racecar, none of the race fans would listen to me. Could you imagine if I was just a biology graduate, showing up at the NASCAR race trying to get them to go vegan and put solar panels on their roof and buy an electric car? Like, they would never hear me.”

She also uses her car sponsorships proactively, raising awareness for renewable energy, for the documentary about dolphin slaughter, The Cove, and for the documentary Blackfish, among others. Her most recent involvement is with the documentary Racing Extinction about the 6th mass extinction of plants and animals in which we find ourselves today – and of which we humans are a primary cause!

To whet your appetite for Friday’s show, here’s an exclusive video of Leilani talking about blowing away internal combustion engine cars while street racing her Tesla Model S:

Leilani’s just one of our guests in Friday’s podcast.

Host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Eugene Mirman also talk about alternative energy and the environmental impact of the transportation sector with Don Anair, the Research and Deputy Director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

And they discuss the 6th mass extinction, and the impact of one-size-fits-all industrial farming and ranching with agroecologist Dr. Marcia DeLonge, who is also a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Plus, Eugene shares his plan to use cows with snorkles to save the world.

You can hear our podcast this Friday at 7 pm EDT on our website, as well as on iTunes Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, SoundCloud and now, on Google Play Music.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons