Private plane

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The world is slowly dying around us, thanks to generations of abuse.

A relentless onslaught of news reports implores the general public to do their part to reduce our planet’s carbon output. Small solutions like eating less meat, relying on public transport and ditching plastic and rubbish for reusable products have all seen a rise in recent years as average people do their part to ease the suffering of our planet. Meanwhile, as everyday people adapt their habits to better serve the environment, utterly destructive famous they are ruining every little adjustment we make. Taking a bus to the farmers market means a lot, on a small scale, but that effort goes to waste in a world filled with self-serving celebrities and their private transportation. Your Mitsubishi isn’t putting out nearly the same level of emissions as Jay-Z’s jet.

In recent months, the focus has shifted from the small, measured changes we can make in our daily lives to the reckless celebrities who effortlessly thwart our efforts. A month’s worth of public transportation, reusable bags, and a vegetarian lifestyle are negated with every trip Kim Kardashian takes on her private jet, and people are starting to notice. We’ve only just begun to target these careless stars, and in doing so we’ve discovered a massive and insidious problem. The typical celebrity generates an absolutely colossal amount of emissions on a monthly basis, overwhelming the meager efforts made by the rest of the population. Some celebrities are much more conscientious than others, of course, with some of the worst offenders putting their stars to shame.

The worst celebrity carbon offenders

Interior of luxury jet
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A number of celebrities have become targets of criticism in recent months, as their infrequent trips from one corner of California to the other pump toxic emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere. The largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, are transportation and electricity generation. Our road trips and cross-country flights certainly help with that, but nowhere near the levels of your average celebrity. The average person produces just over eight tonnes of CO2 a year, while a single one-hour flight in a private jet can produce up to two tonnes, according to data analyzed by Transport & Environment. Within a month, most celebrities who own jets far exceed most average households in their CO2 emissions – often for an entire year.

It’s a big problem, and we’re spotlighting the worst offenders.

10. Travis Scott

Kylie Jenner's Instagram
Screen capture via Instagram/Kylie Jenner

A few weeks ago, the conversation about private jets and their impact on the environment was largely fueled by an image of Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, which Jenner shared on Instagram in early July. The image showed the pair standing between their separate private jets, with a caption asking whether to “get mine or yours”.

The image didn’t have the intended effect, instead causing immediate backlash among a number of Jenner’s fans. The image quickly became a staple of the carbon debate, as people scrutinized their own efforts to reduce emissions alongside Jenner and Scott’s blatant disregard. Of all the celebrities on this list, however, Scott mostly takes the shortest flights. That’s not necessarily a good thing — human flights in 2022 average less than eight minutes each, for God’s sake — but it lessens its impact somewhat.

9. Oprah Winfrey

The Queen of Media is also, unfortunately, one of the biggest celebrity contributors to carbon emissions. She’s not guilty of the criminally short flights that Travis Scott seems to be so fond of, with typical flights on her jet averaging around 80 minutes, but she’s certainly willing to pump some toxins into the atmosphere. She usually travels about 100 miles, but the popular talk show host isn’t always so careful. One of the shortest trips she’s ever taken on her $75 million jet came in at about 15 minutes and still managed to produce half a ton of CO2. On a single trip.

8. Mark Wahlberg

Marky Mark has seemingly been everywhere in recent decades, and he seems to have gotten there on his private jet. Among his peers in the acting community, Wahlberg is the biggest offender when it comes to emissions, and that’s entirely due to his reliance on his private form of transportation. So far in 2022, Wahlberg has already taken more than 100 trips on his plane, and this article certainly isn’t enough to keep him from doubling that number by the end of the year. Its flights fall between Scott’s and Winfrey’s in typical length, with the shortest coming in at about 30 minutes, according to data from Transport & Environment.

7. Kim Kardashian

We all knew a Kardashian would make it onto this list somewhere, but many readers may have expected Kylie, rather than Kim, to come in as the biggest offender. The average Kardashian remains the worst of the bunch when it comes to emissions, however, thanks to her totally reckless use of her private jet. This year alone, Kardashian beats the average person’s expected emissions by several thousand, with flights on her jet producing an estimated 4,268.5 tons of CO2 between January and July 2022 alone.

6. Steven Spielberg

One of America’s most famous directors is also one of our worst carbon offenders. His jetsetting ways allow Spielberg to bring a dizzying array of entertainment to the masses, often filmed on location, but many of those locations will disappear in the coming decades if we don’t start treating the planet with more respect. Spielberg’s extensive filming and location scouting trips have taken a toll on the environment, with more than 60 flights already recorded this year. Most of them are at least quite long, with the shortest flight so far in 2022 coming in at about 48 miles.

5. Blake Shelton

He’s not among music’s current darlings, but Blake Shelton is staying busy enough to hold a position as one of the worst carbon offenders out there. Shelton doesn’t really have the excuse that some of the members of this list have, without a thriving and moving career, to claim his presence in multiple states within days of each other. Despite this fact, voice the judge reportedly spent more than eight full days in the air, between a number of cross-country flights.

4. Alex Rodriguez

Travel is very much a luxury of the wealthy. Between January and July of 2022, former baseball legend A-Rod made more than 100 flights in his private jet, and likely shaved a few years off the earth’s lifespan in the process. He doesn’t rely on the mega-short runs that Scott likes so much, instead averaging trips of about 80 minutes, but he has, according to KTLA, produced about 700 times the levels of CO2 that most people will produce on it all of 2022. Maybe he can use it to reduce the number of trips he has planned for 2023.

3. Jay-Z

Music superstar and husband of the special Beyonce, Jay-Z is one of the absolute worst culprits of airplane overuse. The 52-year-old is worth a staggering amount of money, which is probably why he’s willing to spend so much of our planet’s resources on his jet-setting lifestyle. So far in 2022, Jay-Z’s plane has made more than 135 flights, totaling more than 6,981 tons of CO2 emissions in less than eight months.

Unlike many of the offenders on this list, however, Jay-Z’s numbers come with a small caveat. His jet is part of one of the companies he owns, Puma, and is often treated as a perk for athletes who sign on to the Puma brand. However, this does not compensate for the damage done.

2. Floyd Mayweather

Most people are unlikely to reach the emission levels that Floyd Mayweather produces in one year in their lifetime. The boxer-turned-entrepreneur relies heavily on his private jet for his daily travel needs and has produced 7,076.8 tonnes of CO2 in 2022 alone. This amounts to a truly disturbing 1011 times the average annual carbon footprint of any human being.

This is largely due to Mayweather’s non-stop travel. While it’s true that not all of the flights on his plane are flown by Mayweather himself, his plane has still embarked on more than 175 flights so far this year, an average that means the plane is in the air almost every day.

1. Taylor Swift

As one of the biggest stars in the world, it’s not too surprising that T-Swizzle is the worst offender on this list, but it is disappointing. Swift’s private jet usage puts some of the other celebrities on this list to shame, with a whopping 15.9 days in the air so far this year. That’s 22,923 minutes of flight time overall, and amounts to 8,293.54 tons of emissions. Only this year. It’s also notable, as pointed out by Yard, that Swift isn’t currently on tour, which makes these numbers even more offensive.

While there is little justification for this level of environmental abuse, many of the flights flown in Swift’s aircraft did not include the Tay-Tay itself. Her reps quickly hit back at the carbon-bombing allegations with claims that Swift frequently rents out her jet, noting that Taylor’s “jet is regularly loaned out to other individuals” and thus “to to attribute most or all of these journeys to her is patently wrong.” However, maybe Tay-Tay can just avoid the use of her plane, by anyone, in the future.

We only have one planet, after all, and if we’re biking to work and leaning on paper straws, Swift’s jet can stay on the runway for a while.

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