200 Private Jet Owners Burned as Much CO2 as 40,000 Brits

Spread the love

Original article by OLIVIA ROSANE republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Greenpeace Netherlands and Extinction Rebellion activists block a private jet at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Saturday, November 5, 2022.
 (Photo: (c) Marten van Dijl/Greenpeace)

The planes tracked by a new Guardian report belong to celebrities, billionaires, CEOs, and their families, among them the Murdoch family, Taylor Swift, and the Rolling Stones.

The private jets of just 200 rich and famous individuals or groups released around 415,518 metric tons of climate-heating carbon dioxide between January 2022 and September 22, 2023, The Guardian revealed Tuesday.

That’s equal to the emissions burned by nearly 40,000 British residents in all aspects of their lives, the newspaper calculated.

The planes tracked by the outlet belong to celebrities, billionaires, CEOs, and their families, among them the Murdoch family, Taylor Swift, and the Rolling Stones. All told, the high-flyers made a total of 44,739 trips during the study period for a combined 11 years in the air.

“Pollution for wasteful luxury has to be the first to go, we need a ban on private jets.”

Notable emitters included the Blavatnik family, the Murdoch family, and Eric Schmidt, whose flights during the 21-month study period released more than 7,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The Sawiris family emitted around 7,500 metric tons, and Lorenzo Fertitta more than 5,000.

The Rolling Stones’ Boeing 767 wide-body aircraft released around 5,046 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equal to 1,763 economy flights from London to New York. The 39 jets owned by 30 Russian oligarchs released 30,701 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

For comparison, average per capita emissions were 14.44 metric tons in the U.S. for 2022, 13.52 metric tons in Russia in 2021, and 5.2 metric tons in the U.K. the same year.

Taylor Swift was the only celebrity or billionaire in the report whose team responded to a request for comment.

“Before the tour kicked off in March of 2023, Taylor bought more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel,” a spokesperson for the pop star told The Guardian.

Swift appears to have responded to public pressure to reduce private jet use. Her plane averaged 19 flights a month between January and August 2022, when she received criticism after sustainability firm Yard named her the celebrity who used her plane the most. After that point, the plane’s average monthly flights dropped to two.

The Guardian’s investigation was based on private aircraft registrations compiled by TheAirTraffic Database and flight records from OpenSky. Reporters calculated flight emissions based on model information found in the ADSBExchange Aircraft database and Planespotters.net and emissions per hour per model found in the Conklin & De Decker’s CO2 calculator and the Eurocontrol emission calculator.

The report was released the day after an Oxfam study found that the world’s richest 1% emitted the same amount as its poorest two-thirds. Given their high carbon footprint and luxury status, private jets have emerged as a rallying point for the climate justice movement.

“It’s hugely unfair that rich people can wreck the climate this way, in just one flight polluting more than driving a car 23,000 kilometers,” Greenpeace E.U. transport campaigner Thomas Gelin said in March. “Pollution for wasteful luxury has to be the first to go, we need a ban on private jets.”

In the U.S., a group of climate campaigners is mobilizing to stop the expansion of Massachusetts’ Hanscom Field, the largest private jet field in New England. An October report found that flights from that field between January 1, 2022, and July 15, 2023, released a total of 106,676 tons of carbon emissions.

“While plenty of business is no doubt discussed over golf at Aberdeen, Scotland, or at bird hunting reserves in Argentina (destinations we also documented), this is probably the least defensible form of luxury travel on a warming planet when a Zoom call would often do,” Chuck Collins, who co-authored the Hanscom report, wrote for Fortune on November 14.

Original article by OLIVIA ROSANE republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue Reading200 Private Jet Owners Burned as Much CO2 as 40,000 Brits

Leaked UK government plan to protect against climate heat ‘very weak’

Spread the love


[Guardian] Exclusive: Document ‘falls far short’ of what is needed to safeguard lives and livelihoods from heat, drought and storms, say experts

The government’s plan to cope with the climate crisis has been condemned as “very weak” by experts, who say not enough is being done to protect lives and livelihoods.

Responding to the document, which was leaked to the Guardian, one highlighted its failure to adequately protect people in the UK from extreme heat. The heatwave in 2022, when temperatures surpassed 40C for the first time, led to the early deaths of more than 3,000 people, wildfires, buckled rail lines and farmers struggling with drought. Southern Europe is in the grip of a searing heatwave.

Another expert said there was a “yawning gap” in measures to restore nature, which is a vital part of adapting to climate change.

The National Adaptation Programme is expected to be published on Tuesday by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is required by law to produce a plan every five years. In March, the government’s official advisers, the Climate Change Committee, said its publication would be a “make-or-break moment”.

Ministers have been criticised for years over the failure to make adequate plans for the impacts of global heating. The CCC said in March that the UK was “strikingly unprepared” and that there had been a “lost decade” in action on adaptation. It said heatwaves, droughts, floods and storms would intensify in the coming years until carbon emissions reached net zero.


Continue ReadingLeaked UK government plan to protect against climate heat ‘very weak’

State of the UK Labour Party

Spread the love

Two articles about the UK Labour Party, Craig Murray discusses the pointless Keir Starmer:

Starmer’s role has been simply to emasculate the Labour Party, and to purge it of any elements that might seek to pose a threat to rampant neo-liberalism and wealth inequality. His efforts to ban Labour MPs from supporting striking railway workers must be anathema to anybody who has the slightest feel for the history and traditions of that party and indeed the most basic understanding of its very raison d’etre.

This Tony Benn quote from the 1980’s has come into vogue because it is prophetic, and the process appears now complete:

If the Labour Party could be bullied or persuaded to denounce its Marxists, the media – having tasted blood – would demand next that it expelled all its Socialists and reunited the remaining Labour Party with the SDP to form a harmless alternative to the Conservatives, which could then be allowed to take office now and then when the Conservatives fell out of favour with the public. Thus British Capitalism, it is argued, will be made safe forever, and socialism would be squeezed off the National agenda. But if such a strategy were to succeed… it would in fact profoundly endanger British society. For it would open up the danger of a swing to the far-right, as we have seen in Europe over the last 50 years.

Starmer is in one sense the apotheosis of this process. Not only has he acted to purge the Labour Party of socialism, he also offers so very little of a meaningful alternative to the Tories that there is very little danger of the Tories being voted out of office. Not only is he a safe right-wing backstop, he is a self-redundant safe right-wing backstop.

Jeremy Corbyn Sophie BrownCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

and Jeremy Corbyn openly discusses the many parties that obstructed him. The article also discusses Julian Assange.

The Guardian has long been viewed as the voice of the liberal-left in Britain, so it surprised many during the Corbyn leadership to see it act as one of the main media vehicles through which the campaign to bring him down was fought. 

The paper was a key part of the “anti-semitism crisis” that engulfed Corbyn’s leadership. From 2016-19, the Guardian published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. 

In the same period, the Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party’s much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister. 

The Guardian’s coverage of anti-semitism in Labour was suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggested that the issue was being used politically.

The late Jewish anthropologist David Graeber commented after the 2019 election: “As for the Guardian, we will never forget that during the ‘Labour antisemitism controversy’, they beat even the Daily Mail to include the largest percentage of false statements, pretty much every one, mysteriously, an accidental error to Labour’s disadvantage”.

Keir Starmer says he is scrapping Labour’s manifesto and ‘starting from scratch’ on policy

Continue ReadingState of the UK Labour Party

Governments and fossil fuel companies accelerate fecking the planet

Spread the love

The Guardian has a very disturbing article reporting it’s research that it’s full speed ahead for climate destroying governments and fossil fuel companies and that there is no regard for the climate destruction that they are causing. It’s also bad news that there was no mention of the climate in the UK’s Queen’s Speech (the UK government giving notice of it’s intentions) other than harsher laws against climate protestors. Kwasi Kwarteng has already said as much – that the UK is aggressively pursuing exploitation of fossil fuels disregarding climate concerns “… we took steps to remove obstacles to accelerate production …”.

I find it difficult to understand how these people are so determined to feck the planet tbh. I know that they are Capitalists and mad Tories but is logic and reason totally alien to them? Don’t they care for their own children and grandchildren? I suppose that they can get into the habit of just following orders but just following orders has been dismissed as a defence.

We have to defeat these cnuts but have very little time to do it …

Continue ReadingGovernments and fossil fuel companies accelerate fecking the planet

Politics news allsorts

Spread the love

Commentary and analysis of recent UK political events

Image of GCHQ donught building

Following Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger appearance yesterday, MI5 boss Andrew Parker is called to the home select affairs committee. Andrew Parker has previously appeared before the Intelligence and Security Committee with advance notice of questions. The committee is expected to ask Parker to justify his severe criticism of the Guardian for publishing articles sourced from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden i.e. essentially that publication by the Guardian endangered national security and that terrorists are now able to evade government snooping (spying).

Food poverty in UK has reached level of ‘public health emergency’, warn experts

Young people to be allowed to remain in foster care until age 21

The lies behind this transatlantic trade deal

From the outset, the transatlantic partnership has been driven by corporations and their lobby groups, who boast of being able to “co-write” it. Persistent digging by the Corporate Europe Observatory reveals that the commission has held eight meetings on the issue with civil society groups, and 119 with corporations and their lobbyists. Unlike the civil society meetings, these have taken place behind closed doors and have not been disclosed online.

Though the commission now tells the public that it will protect “the state’s right to regulate”, this isn’t the message the corporations have been hearing. In an interview last week, Stuart Eizenstat, co-chair of the Transatlantic Business Council – instrumental in driving the process – was asked if companies whose products had been banned by regulators would be able to sue. Yes. “If a suit like that was brought and was successful, it would mean that the country banning the product would have to pay compensation to the industry involved or let the product in.” Would that apply to the European ban on chicken carcasses washed with chlorine, a controversial practice permitted in the US? “That’s one example where it might.”

What the commission and its member governments fail to explain is why we need offshore arbitration at all. It insists that domestic courts “might be biased or lack independence”, but which courts is it talking about? It won’t say. Last month, while trying to defend the treaty, the British minister Kenneth Clarke said something revealing: “Investor protection is a standard part of free-trade agreements – it was designed to support businesses investing in countries where the rule of law is unpredictable, to say the least.” So what is it doing in an EU-US deal? Why are we using measures designed to protect corporate interests in failed states in countries with a functioning judicial system? Perhaps it’s because functioning courts are less useful to corporations than opaque and unjust arbitration by corporate lawyers.

Continue ReadingPolitics news allsorts