These celebrities pollute 10,000 times more than you
Written by Sandra Arteaga
Flying has become a way of travel that shames. It is a consequence of developing a more ecological awareness, as is clear from movements such as the Swedish flygskam , which show the damage caused by airplanes to the environment : this means of transport generates around 8% of the total emissions of greenhouse gases in the world, according to research published in the journal Nature Climate Change . Also from Sweden comes a new study in which certain celebrities are targeted for abusing this way of moving. According to the work of Lund University, celebrities pollute 10,000 times more than an average person.
To reach this conclusion, the author of the investigation, Stefan Gössling selected 10 public personalities from different fields, from singers to footballers, through actresses and entrepreneurs , and monitored their lives on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. From there he got the clues about where they were throughout 2017 and how they got there. “To narrow the investigation, we only recorded air travel, although they also cover distances by car. The publications on social networks are analyzed from the start point of the trip until the arrival at the destination, taking into account the type of plane and the distances traveled. Thus, we calculate the amount of fuel used and emissions, ”explains Gössling in an article published inThe Conversation
The celebrities chosen were Bill Gates (businessman), Emma Watson (actress), André Schürrle (athlete), Feliz von der Laden (influencer), Jennifer Lopez (singer), Karl Lagerfeld (designer), Mark Zuckerberg (businessman), Meg Whitman (businesswoman), Oprah Winfrey (businesswoman) and Paris Hilton (businesswoman). All of them have busy schedules that make them move around the world in a matter of days: football matches, fashion weeks, movie premieres, philanthropic projects, nightclubs inaugurations…
We do not know (nor does Gössling know) if this dozen celebrities is the most polluting of all the celebrities in the world or not. In addition, the number of emissions is an estimated result , since – as explained in the study methodology – not all of their trips have been monitored, nor the possible stops they may have made or if the flights have been commercial or private However, the objective of this investigation is not to point Bill Gates or Paris Hilton as the big culprits of the climatic emergency we are experiencing, but to focus on the influence that this type of people have on the rest of the population.
The celebrities chosen serve Gössling as a representation of specific sectors of society, political, economic and cultural elites, who tend to make greater air travel than the rest of the population. In fact, the author of the study exemplifies, 5% of the French population is responsible for 50% of the emissions of this country and, in the United Kingdom, 10% of those who travel more frequently issued 43% of the total transport related gases. In contrast, the Lund University professor quotes the Fridays for Future movement , whose most visible head is the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Among other things, the millions of people who participate in it in the world call for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to keep the global warming at 2ºC .