A Climate Nightmare

A Climate Nightmare

Every person on this planet must be held responsible for their actions when it comes to climate change. According to RobbReport, “Per one study, flying private can produce eight times more emissions per person than comparable jaunts on commercial carriers.” The least environmentally friendly mode of transportation is flying. Private aircraft have a disproportionately negative environmental impact. The people most responsible for disrupting our climate are celebrities and their obsession with private aviation. Celebrities frequently choose quick-destination private flights rather than a more environmentally responsible option. 

How Bad are Private Jet Emissions?

According to Paul Anastas, director of Yale University’s Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, “to put one ton of carbon emissions into context, it’s equivalent to driving the circumference of the Earth one time.” To keep things sustainable, people should limit their carbon footprint to a grand total of 2.3 metric tons per year.

Who is Contributing to Private Jet Emissions that Affect the Climate?

Consider Leonardo DiCaprio, a well-known actor and climate activist, as an example. Over the past few years, he has traveled extensively using fossil fuels while advocating for drastic actions to prevent climate change. “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation,” the actor’s 1990s-established charity, gave contributions to a fund, which supported a private law firm’s effort to hold oil firms accountable for climate change.

Six roundtrips on private aircraft over the span of just six weeks in 2014 were among DiCaprio’s previous fuel-powered journeys. Between April and May 2014, Sony Pictures Studios arranged for Leonardo DiCaprio to fly on a private jet from California to New York. To accept a prize for his environmental advocacy in 2016, DiCaprio reportedly traveled 8,000 miles on a private jet from Europe to New York City. He then traveled back to Europe for a charitable occasion. In the same year, Leonardo DiCaprio flew privately to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he received the WEF’s Crystal Award during the meeting for his “leadership in addressing the climate problem.” In addition to the private jet escapades, DiCaprio has also come under fire for frequently using luxury yachts.

During his acceptance speech for “Best Actor” at the 2016 Academy Awards, Leonardo DiCaprio urged world leaders to take decisive action to combat climate change. Nevertheless, DiCaprio has continued to promote a switch to clean energy from fossil fuels via his foundation and platform.

Strong environmental organizations deliberately used public relations to halt the development of Canada’s enormous oil sands through the Tar Sands Campaign. In their manifesto, they made it clear that they planned to speak out against Canada’s oil and gas business by enlisting celebrities, like Leonardo DiCaprio and others. Although DiCaprio and the writers of the Tar Sands Campaign denied interviews, Global Warning visits and shares Canada’s oil sands throughout the documentary. 

We should all try to be more sustainable; however, it is true that certain people have greater influence than others. When people of higher influence emit four tons of carbon dioxide in just 14 minutes, it’s difficult to see the benefit of throwing out one paper straw, and while some celebrities are making a bigger impact on the climate catastrophe, they should recognize their clout and influence when it comes to change. While their habits should change, people of influence should leverage and utilize their platforms and voices to bring about positive change.


Ariana Richard
By: Ariana Richard, Director of Public Relations, The GCMG Agency
Back to blog