August 19, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Social media wants celebrities to get off their private jets

Social media wants celebrities to get off their private jets

Their flights are scrutinized on social networks: from Taylor Swift to Bernard Arnault, pressure is mounting on celebrities, political figures and bigwigs to limit their travel on private jets with high carbon footprints.

• Also Read: Taylor Swift ‘biggest CO2 polluter of celebrities’

• Also Read: Kylie Jenner blames her for using her private jet for the 12-minute flight

Reality TV star Kylie Jenner was dubbed a “climate criminal” by internet users after she posted a photo of her plane and her companion on Instagram in mid-July.

“A polluter and a criminal,” tweeted another about director Steven Spielberg, who allegedly took the 28-minute flight.

Countless “memes,” humorous photos or videos mocking singer Taylor Swift have also circulated after Friday’s publication of an analysis by marketing agency Yard that ranked her as the “most polluting celebrity of the year” out of 170. Flights from the beginning of the year.

The Yard relies on data from the ‘Celebrity Jets’ Twitter account, which tracks celebrity thefts through public online data.

Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old college student, started the account. He started by following Elon Musk’s private jet in June 2020 and now has 30 accounts tracking sports stars, meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and Russian oligarchs.

He inspired other Internet users, such as Sebastien*, a 35-year-old aeronautical engineer, who in April created the account “I Fly Bernard” on the flight paths of French billionaires to question them about their carbon footprint.

“What I’m trying to condemn is their use of private jets as taxis,” he explained to AFP, referring to the many domestic or European flights that the planes make.

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“In Europe, three quarters of these flights are made by rail,” condemned William Todd, Director General of Transport & Environment, which brings together European NGOs in the field.

The air sector is responsible for 2 to 3% of global CO2 emissions, but according to a Transport & Environment report published in May, private aircraft have a per-passenger carbon footprint that is 5 to 14 times that of commercial aircraft and 50 times that of rail. ..

Private aviation is also booming since the pandemic, with its customers seeking to avoid flight cancellations and prostitution in the wake of the virus.

Some stars have responded to pressure from social media: Last week, Taylor Swift’s rep told the press that she “regularly gives away her jet to other people.” “To attribute most or all of these rides to him is completely wrong,” he continues.

Rapper Drake, who was alone on the 14-minute flight from Toronto to Hamilton, responded on Instagram that the plane had been moved to park elsewhere, saying “there’s nobody on that plane,” he said.

“It would be worse if he flew on empty,” said Beatrice Jarrij, project manager at the Shift Project Association.

In France, a spokesman for the Bouygues group assured that the “I fly Bernard” aircraft, which was displayed as Martin Bouygues, belonged to the group and was “used by many employees”. He claims that the aircraft’s CO2 emissions are offset by deforestation projects, a solution that has been criticized for not significantly reducing emissions.

Bernard Arnault, Jean-Charles Decaux and Vincent Bolloré, also targeted by the Twitter account, declined to comment.

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Ms Jarrij believes that this social media movement will turn into a political act. “It’s not a question of banning flights altogether, but the rich should try to be smart”, she said, appealing for investment in railways.

Mr. For Toads, jet owners would at least have to run on biofuels rather than kerosene, as this would push aircraft manufacturers to develop these technologies.

In September 2021, the business aviation sector identified these sustainable fuels as “key” to achieving its 2050 target of carbon neutrality.

*First name has been changed as person wishes to remain anonymous.