“Do you want to get on mine or yours?” wrote one of the most followed people on Instagram, Kylie Jenner, in a photo she shared last month with her partner, Travis Scott, in which both posed next to their two huge planes. While other members of the Kardashian clan celebrated this post with winks of complicity, normalizing this gesture of ostentation, the negative comments were forceful, in “waterfall” mode and received almost 20 thousand likes each.
And this was just the tip of the fuse. The sweltering temperatures in California, heat waves never seen before in Europe, the imagery that covers private jets and a public that is increasingly aware of the consequences of global warming: these were the ingredients of the perfect cocktail for a Molotov cocktail that exploded this week on Twitter. Several and several shared in this application their indignation upon discovering that the aforementioned Jenner and Scott’s trip lasted only 12 minutes, according to the @celebjets account.which discloses information about the use that the rich and famous make of these luxury transports.
Kylie Jenner’s Jet Landed in Camarillo, California, US. Appx. ft. time 12 Mins. pic.twitter.com/6AVGqt9Ffb
— Celebrity Jets (@CelebJets) July 15, 2022
On the other hand, the profile @Elonjet, which tracks Elon Musk’s flights, revealed that the tycoon frequently makes five-minute air transfers, which would only take him ten if he traveled in one of his Tesla cars. This did not go unnoticed by the Twitter users who closely followed this topic and joined the conversation. The criticism also reached the participants of the DAVOS forum, where the “importance of sustainability” is discussed every year, while the private planes that arrive at this summit number in the thousands.
Let’s go back to Instagram. “Girl, what am I recycling for?”; “But we are the ones who have to use paper straws”; “That carbon footprint is going to be wild”; “Honey, whose jet will we use to dissect the world today?”, were some of the ironic messages that Kylie left. Despite the power that these celebrities hold, they are not shielded against the claims of the Instagram audience. In short, these reactions made it clear how some aspirational meanings that Hollywood stars build about excessive consumption are breaking down, in the face of an increasingly adverse, hostile and unequal world scenario. “Yes! Let’s pollute the world together”; “Global warming, who?”; “… And then they come with their hypocritical messages about the climate crisis”, were other responses directed at the influencer by showing off her unattainable lifestyle.
Landed in San Francisco, California, US. Appx. ft. time 9 Mins. pic.twitter.com/8vWvODLEOL
— ElonJet (@ElonJet) May 6, 2022
In the midst of the escalation that this debate had on Twitter, information went viral that, for sure, broke the hearts of more than one. And it is that the person who has used his jet the most this year is none other than the singer Taylor Swift, who emitted 8,293.54 tons of carbon in doing so. For the marketing and sustainability agency Yard, which produced a report on who were the ten celebrities who flew the most on private jets this year and how much each one polluted, Taylor’s emissions were 1,184.8 times higher than those produced by any person in the world. on foot in a year.
Gabriel Blanco is a professor at the Faculty of Engineering of UNICEN and one of the authors of the IPCC, the report created by different UN specialists with data about global warming. For him, the fact that celebrities use these jets does not move the pollution needle worldwide, but he is concerned about “the relevance of the message that they convey to the general public.” “They are celebrities who, with their sayings, actions and attitudes, can influence many people. And they are part of the problem, because if these characters show that traveling by jet implies access to certain well-being and prosperity, it is a dubious message, not to say wrong. It just goes to the detriment of what the planet should be thinking about what other ideas of progress should be.”
For him environmental lawyer and popularizer Enrique Viale, this phenomenon can be read as part of a debt that should be paid. “The richest part of the world population is absolutely, and disproportionately, much more responsible for climate change. This occurs both in the global North and South, as well as within countries. Already one person in the US pollutes far more than anyone else living in the global South could. The US emits almost 18% and 20% of greenhouse gases, or is responsible for it, and is 4% of the world’s population. But within these countries, the richest sectors are much more responsible. And that is where the concept that many people are trying to put on the table begins to play: that of ecological debt. Ecological collapse is a debt that must be financially paid by those responsible. And we have to claim it just as they claim our financial debt. And we really have to ask ourselves: who owes whom?