Celebrities’ dangerous habits endanger climate security – North Texas Daily

  • 3 min read
  • Aug 04, 2022

Celebrities’ dangerous habits endanger climate security – North Texas Daily

Pop culture fans around the world are in for a shock after a report from The Yard, an eco-conscious marketing agency, revealed that their favorite stars’ private jets emit thousands of tons of carbon a year. In the midst of this revelation, we must ensure that celebrities and public figures are held accountable for actively choosing to use climate-damaging transportation.

At the top of the yard’s famous polluters was music star Taylor Swift, whose jet has averaged more than 170 flights this year alone. The average flight distance was about 139 miles, less than half of the average of 502 miles for most commercial flights. While his publicist attributed the Swift’s emissions to private jet lending, the roughly 8,300 tons of carbon his plane released into the environment is hardly justified.

Swift is an egregious climate offender: She produces more than 1,000 tons of carbon more than the second most famous offender, Floyd Mayweather — even though Mayweather has taken the most flights of any celebrity this year. The famous boxer also holds the title for the shortest trip on record, a 10-minute flight to Las Vegas that emitted 1 ton of carbon.

What’s really impressive about the data is what these celebrities use their jets for. Many use them for intercontinental or intercontinental flights, but most average less than 100 minutes or 200 miles in the air. Swift averages about an 80-minute flight, or 139 miles. According to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a car ride the same distance is about two and a half hours and only 6 percent of a ton. A plane trip of the same distance emits at least one ton of CO2. Of course, a private tour bus or limousine can provide the same level of comfort without the ugly pollution.

Aviation is responsible for only 2.4% of carbon emissions per year, but that doesn’t mean reducing its impact is a futile effort. If flying less often or on commercial flights can reduce that number in any way, it’s worth the effort. According to the World Wildlife Fund, climate change is steadily affecting access to crops and contributing to natural disasters.

Private jets aren’t the only way celebrities over-attribute to carbon emissions. When cryptocurrencies took off in 2021, actors like Matt Damon had the chance to capitalize on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets. Cryptocurrency consumes a lot of energy, so much so that Texas decided to limit cryptocurrency transactions to keep the power grid stable during recent heat waves. For celebrities like Damon, celebrating cryptocurrencies was an easy investment and publicity gig, when in reality it shows a lack of concern for those directly affected by climate change and the obscene use of cryptocurrencies.

As soon as the climate debate surrounding these celebrities recedes, there should still be some shame about how they flaunt their unhealthy wealth. The yard story comes just weeks after Kylie Jenner shared an Instagram post in which she posed with one of her parents, Travis Scott, in front of two private jets. She captioned the post: “Do you want mine or yours?” This ideological exceptionalism regarding climate extends to those who could care less.

Bill Gates published a book last year titled How to Prevent a Climate Disaster, despite admitting that traveling by private jet is his “guilty pleasure”. Gates owns a fleet of private jets that he uses freely while calling for climate protection.

The blatant pride in harming the environment is the ultimate example of the upper class’s disregard for the consequences of excess. It’s a trend that repeats far beyond individuals: According to Science magazine, 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s carbon emissions.

Personal responsibility is key in the fight against climate change. Continuously, the average citizen is encouraged to turn off the lights, recycle and move their way to a greener tomorrow. All of these are valuable and necessary, but environmentalism and accountability don’t stop at a certain level of income.

Featured image by Erika Soya

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