Last month, Kylie Jenner’s name was flying around social media, and not for the usual Kardashian-related news bits. This time around, the 24-year-old businesswoman, celebrity, and socialite made headlines for taking a 17-minute flight.
After posting an Instagram picture of her and her partner Travis Scott on the runway of an airport between two private jets, captioned: “you wanna take mine or yours?,” there was an inevitable uproar. This came as a shock to most of the climate-aware generation, shedding light on a strata of super-rich celebrities that have a complete disregard for the planet and longevity of the human race.
However, taking brief journeys in private jets and luxury aircraft is not an abnormal practice among celebrities, who actually do take unnecessarily short flights despite the mounting concerns over the severity of the climate crisis.
A Twitter account that tracks celebrity flights based on transponders said the flight in the private jet that Kylie Jenner took lasted 17 minutes and transported her from Van Nuys, Los Angeles to Camarillo, a nearby town. This was not the first time that Jenner has taken a short trip in her jet, in fact, she had recently also flown from Van Nuys to Thermal, California, which took 27 minutes.
Her 17-minute trip is thought to have produced a ton of carbon dioxide emissions, which, while not a tremendous quantity in and of itself, is nearly a quarter of the average person’s annual global carbon footprint. In a car, Jenner would have completed the journey in around 40 minutes, producing only a small portion of the emissions.
According to the Celebrity Jets tracking account, June alone saw brief flights by the country music singer Kenny Chesney between Akron, Ohio and Pittsburgh for 20 minutes, the rapper Drake taking an 18-minute flight from Hamilton, Ontario to Toronto, and the actor Mark Wahlberg flying for 23 minutes from Dublin to County Clare in Ireland.
A lot of these flights take place in order to park the aircraft at a less expensive or more convenient location, but they nevertheless spark questions and concerns about the consequences of these short luxurious flights that can be easily replaced with car rides.
It’s not surprising that people are upset and taking a stand to speak up about this, especially when the climate crisis is not getting any better. Private jets are responsible for 4% of all aviation emissions, and every private aircraft emits more than 33m tons of greenhouse gasses, which is 50 times more polluting than trains or other forms of transportation.
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Photo via Drake