TV Series - Jul 30, 2022

Research finds Taylor Swift, Drake, and the Kardashians are among the worst polluters on celebrity private jets

Research finds Taylor Swift, Drake, and the Kardashians are among the worst polluters on celebrity private jets
Research finds Taylor Swift, Drake, and the Kardashians are among the worst polluters on celebrity private jets

In the aviation industry, half of the carbon dioxide emissions are generated by the richest 1 percent of the Kardashian family and Drake is among the most polluting private jet owners, according to a new analysis.

During the last two months, Kim Kardashian's private plane made four flights of under 20 minutes, according to @CelebJets. She did twice as many on a private plane owned by her half-sister, Kylie Jenner, the tracker found.

During the 24 July flight, Ms. Kardashian's plane made a 40-mile, 10-minute trip between Van Nuys and Camarillo. Fuel was consumed in the amount of 81 gallons and 1 tonne of carbon dioxide was emitted - about the same as what a gas-powered car emits after driving for six months.

According to CelebJets, the reality TV family dominated short flights this summer. Between 30 May and 24 July 2022, 12 of 36 flights under 20 minutes were on Ms. Kardashian's and Ms. Jenner's planes. It wasn't just them who used private jets for short flights.

Hip-hop star Drake's custom Boeing 767 - named "Air Drake" - made five flights in the same timeframe. Even though other celebrity jets flew more frequently, Drake's plane emitted the most planet-warming emissions in the dataset.

Airline Boeing 767s normally fly a couple of hundred passengers on intercontinental flights, but the five trips resulted in 21 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The EPA estimates that this is the equivalent of four US homes' annual electricity use.

Drake recently defended the short flights by claiming that one CelebJets flight, going from Hamilton, Ontario, to Toronto, was empty.“The planes are just being moved to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone interested in logistics. Nobody takes that flight,” he wrote.

Also, celebrity planes such as Steven Spielberg's, Mark Wahlberg's, and Floyd Mayweather's took similar short flights. On 17 July, Mayweather's plane reportedly flew back and forth between Las Vegas-area airports twice in ten minutes. According to CelebJets, the route uses 124 gallons of fuel for a round trip of just over 20 miles.

A separate study identified A-listers who emit even higher levels of emissions from their private jets. Yard Group, a data and tech agency that focuses on sustainability, analyzed CelebJets data separately and found Taylor Swift to be this year's biggest emitter, considering all flight lengths.

Her flights this year accounted for nearly 16 full days in the air, emitting 8,293.54 tonnes of CO2 and traveling about 140 miles each.“It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of the rich and famous, but they contribute massively to the CO2e problem that we have in aviation,” Yard’s sustainability director Chris Butterworth wrote.

According to research, aviation contributes 2.4% of human-produced CO2e every year, and there is a great divide between the super-rich and the rest of us in terms of flights, travel, and general emissions. Several Taylor Swift representatives said the data does not accurately reflect her travels.

There is a regular loan agreement between Taylor and other individuals regarding Taylor's jet. Using her as the reason for most of these trips is blatantly inaccurate," a spokesperson told The Independent.

Among the representatives of Ms. Jenner, Ms. Kardashian, Drake, Mr. Spielberg, Mr. Wahlberg, and Mr. Mayweather contacted by The Independent were Ms. Jenner, Ms. Kardashian, Drake, Mr. Spielberg, and Mr. Wahlberg.

An account for CelebJets is managed by Jack Sweeney, a student programmer at the University of Central Florida. Elon Musk, who allegedly offered him $5,000 to stop posting his whereabouts, has become renowned for his ability to use publicly available aviation data to track the movements of Russian oligarchs.

It is far from comprehensive data of high net-worth individual private jet flights. In addition, private planes are occasionally flown without their owners when they are in storage, in need of repair, or for logistical reasons.

“Emily Atkin of Heated, who analyzed the CelebJets data, wrote that it illustrates climate dissonance. While most people want to solve the ecological crisis caused by carbon, they are also dazzled by carbon-intensive behaviors. In part, that's a consequence of a warped notion of the 'American Dream,' which preaches that lavish wealth, not wellbeing, is the mark of success."

Since Kylie Jenner's $72m Bombardier DB 700 aircraft logged a 17-minute flight between Van Nuys and Camarillo Airports outside Los Angeles earlier this month, private jet habits of the uber-rich have been gaining attention. CO2 emissions from that flight were about a tonne.

In addition, Jenner boasted on social media that she and her partner, rapper Travis Scott, both owned private jets. The reality star's actions sparked disgust among social media users, who labeled him a "full-time climate criminal".

Massive, disproportionate carbon footprints are being left behind by the so-called "carbon elite" while climate impacts continue to worsen. According to the analysis of European flights over 310 miles, private jet flights produce five to fourteen times more emissions per passenger than a mostly-full commercial flight.

Moreover, private flights create 50 times more carbon dioxide than trains, according to a report by the NGO Transport & Environment. Flying is responsible for half of the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the richest 1 percent of the world's population.“

The way we view air travel is changing,” wrote Stefan Gössling, a transport researcher at Sweden's Lund University. The aviation industry would like us to believe that everyone should be able to fly, but it's an elitist activity. It remains a voluntary goal, but the Biden administration has asked the aviation industry to reduce emissions by 20% by 2030.

source: independent

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