Social media and reality star Kylie Jenner recently posted what she probably thought was a romantic photo of herself and her partner, Travis Scott, embracing. The black-and-white photo on Instagram shows the two celebrities standing between two private jets with the caption, “you wanna take mine or yours?”
While verified accounts with blue check marks hyped her up (influencer and fashion entrepreneur Heather Sanders commented “goals” with a heart and fire emoji), a lot of the normal-people internet was pretty pissed at the tone-deaf photo. “Your waste of gas emissions or mine,” someone commented under the post. Another angry commenter wrote, “global warming who?” (“Get new goals, girl,” a commenter responded to Sanders’ comment.)
Turns out, Kylie’s climate crimes extend beyond just owning a private plane. Incredibly, Jenner has used her jet to take flights of less than 10 minutes. Twitter bot Celebrity Jets, which uses data from ADS-B Exchange, a flight data platform, to track where celebrities go in their private jets, posted several of Jenner’s recent flights this week. One flight, on July 16, lasted only about 11 minutes; this trip was from Camarillo to Van Nuys, two Los Angeles suburbs that are about a 45-minute drive away from each other. According to the Celebrity Jets’ tweet, this very short flight used up 655 pounds (297 kilograms) of jet fuel, contributing about 1 T of CO2 emissions. That’s the equivalent of driving a gas-powered car 3,994 km — by using a jet, Jenner effectively increased her CO2 emissions from this trip more than 60 times. This isn’t an unusual occurrence for Kylie: On July 12, Celebrity Jets tweeted that Jenner’s private jet flew from Camarillo to Van Nuys for only about 3 minutes.
Private jets are literally fucking up the planet. A study released in 2020 found that private jet trips contributed more than 30 million metric tons of carbon pollution in 2016. This is because a single trip across the U.S. in a private jet can produce almost double the carbon emissions into the atmosphere as the average U.S. resident does annually. In some countries where more of the population can afford to fly, the use of private jets can be up to 14 times more polluting than commercial flights.
While multi-millionaires and billionaires take private planes over ludicrously short distances, the overwhelming majority of the planet hardly ever flies because they can’t afford to. Banning the use of private planes would knock out a significant amount of emissions, and it wouldn’t affect the lifestyle of the majority of people in the U.S. or even the majority of the people in the world.
As entire regions of the U.S. (and the world) struggle with potential power outages from extreme heat and sacrifice to conserve water due to ongoing droughts, celebrities are living as if the world isn’t hurling headfirst into climate catastrophe. One of Jenner’s older sisters, Kourtney Kardashian, has been found to be going over the allotted water budget during this especially dry year. She and many other A-listers have gone more than 200% over their allowed water usage. Regular Los Angeles residents, on the other hand, have stepped up to lower their water consumption, using less water than any June on record.
Kylie Jenner has yet to respond to criticism and comments about her being a “climate criminal.” It’s probably hard for her to hear our complaints over the drone of all those private jet engines.