Nowadays, the scandal of Kylie Jenner and her private jet has been a top topic on social media. Some people even call her a “climate criminal” because of the fact that she chose a 17-minute flight instead of a 45-minute car trip from Camarillo to Van Nuys, California. After this scandal, people started talking about other celebrities who caused pollution with their private jets. Names like Taylor Swift were excused from using their private jet a lot more than Kylie Jenner, and Taylor Swift also topped the list of the top 10 celebrity CO2e offenders that was published by Yard. Right now, people on social media are talking about this incident and even making fun of this serious situation. So, why are private jets bad for the environment, and what are their impacts?
The main reason private jets are bad for the environment is that there are fewer people on board compared to regular flights. Even though private jets use a much lower amount of fuel compared to a regular jet, the personal carbon print of the people who use private jets is much higher. Some people even say private jets produce 10 times the amount of carbon per passenger.
One private jet can emit two tons of CO2 in just one hour. According to Global Environmental Change, private jets produced 33.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2016. This is a remarkable number and we should be ashamed of it.
Let’s talk about an example flight to make it clear: A regular commercial jet will burn around 750 gallons of fuel in an hour. In a 3-hour flight, it will burn 2,250 gallons of fuel and it will produce around 21,000 gallons of CO2. If the plane has 200 passengers, the amount of CO2 would be around 105 per person in a full 3-hour flight. Now let’s talk about an example flight in a private jet. A regular private jet burns approximately 210 fuel in an hour. So in a 3-hour flight, it will produce around 6,000 gallons of CO2. Most private jets are designed to have six to eight passengers, so if there were 8 people on the plane, the amount of CO2 per person would be 750 gallons an hour. Of course, the numbers can change depending on the model of the aircraft and the passenger number, but it would not make a huge difference. So we can say, even though our calculations are not exact, flying with a private jet is more than seven times worse for the environment than a regular flight.
Because of the rising popularity, some private jet companies attempted to make more eco-friendly private jets. But even with the changes they made, the amount of CO2 per person is still about 3 times more compared to regular flights, and it seems that it is hard to make a huge change in this industry.
Of course, insulting and making fun of people on social media is not the best way of “making a difference” or “protecting the environment” but still, it is good to know that some people still care about the environment. And it is a fact that if social media had not talked about it this much, most of us would still not know how much private jets damage the environment. So, in a way, social media used its power for good this time.
Unfortunately, most celebrities are not willing to give up on their luxurious private jets any time soon. And even though there are options to drive shorter distances, some celebrities like Kylie Jenner prefer to use their private jets. Yes, it is sad and it is going to cause problems in the future, but there are still people who are trying to make a difference to make it all better. And as the children of Earth, we should all try to make it better. We should protect our home. And even though the ones who have the actual power to make a change may not seem to be making an effort, we can still fight for it.
"A 17-minute Flight? The Super-rich Who Have 'Absolute Disregard for the Planet.'" The Guardian, www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/21/kylie-jenner-short-private-jet-flights-super-rich-climate-crisis.
"How Bad Are Private Jets for the Environment?" Independent, www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/private-jets-environment-carbon-footprint-climate-change-harry-meghan-markle-a9071391.html.
"Just Plane Wrong: Celebs with the Worst Private Jet Co2 Emissions." Yard, weareyard.com/insights/worst-celebrity-private-jet-co2-emission-offenders.
"Kylie Jenner and the Environmental Reality of Private Jets." Brightly, brightly.eco/environmental-impact-private-jets/.