Imagine an arsonist receiving the Fireman of the Year Award, or Satan being canonized a saint by the Vatican, or Hitler driving a tank into Oslo – to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize!
It all sounds utterly ridiculous, but unbelievably something about as nutty happened recently. Everywhere in the media we read how mega-filmstar Leonardo DiCaprio took his private jet over 12,000 kilometers – to pick up an environmental award! See here and here.
Need to pick up an environmental award in a hurry? We’ve got the ideal private jet! Image cropped at www.gulfstream.com/.
While the millionaire Hollywood star jets-sets across the globe between stays at his mansions, awards and yachts, he likes to preach to the rest of the struggling world on responsible, humble and sustainable living.
Probably one of the most telling aspects of the affair is the decision process leading up to this junket. The award in New York City happened to coincide with the Cannes film festival – an event the California-residing Mr. DiCaprio obviously didn’t plan on missing. Yet, he really wanted that image-polishing environmental award as well. In a normal world a normal person in such a dilemma would have foregone one or the other. Indeed if the environment and climate were as important to Mr. DiCaprio as he likes to profess it is, he certainly would have skipped the star-studded Euro-Festival altogether, or if anything at least cut the Cannes fling short and picked up his award on the way back. That, after all, would have sent a clear signal that he is quite serious about the environment and that it precludes material things like Cannes. Remember DiCaprio’s own words:
Climate change is real. It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species.”
The other option would have been to skip the environmental award, citing scheduling problems. But that would not have gone over well either. Doing so would have sent the message that having fun at Cannes was more important than the stinking environment and shown that maybe he wasn’t really sincere about the environment.
So you do what people like DiCaprio do in such a bind. You simply flaunt the very rules you profess, and you do both – even if it means clandestinely indulging in an orgy of fossil fuel burning and environmental rape. Besides, you can always offset later. It’s Leo first. Rules apply to us, but not to him.
DiCaprio took the private jet to Cannes, then back to New York to pick up the environmental award, and then shuttled back to Cannes. After that, who knows?
Enough fuel for 10,000 automobiles!
Just how much fuel did that particular 12,000-kilometer environmental round-trip junket consume? No one knows for sure, but we can estimate it. The round trip involved around 16 hours of flight time – if not more – in a longer range private jet, e.g. a Gulfstream G450, which has a fuel capacity of 29,500 lbs, or approx. 16,000 liters. For the 16-hour long haul roundtrip, refueling once, such a jet would need close to 30,000 liters of fuel – fuel that gets burned right where greenhouse gases are claimed to be the most effective.
30,000 liters is a huge amount of fuel. A normal compact European car can travel some 600,000 kilometers, or some 30 years, on that amount. In a single day, 30,000 liters are enough fuel to power some 10,000 cars!
Clearly if you hold Mr. DiCaprio’s beliefs, private jets are the most environmentally damaging form of transport imaginable. They ought to be banned outright. Yet, Mr. DiCaprio saw no problem committing this mass environmental climate crime. What Leo wants, Leo gets. The environment be damned.
Interestingly the Gulfstream websites overviewing the various models do not include fuel consumption and CO2 emission ratings in order to let the jet-setting millionaires and Hollywood environmental activists know the damage they do to the environment. In Europe brochures and new car stickers clearly state the vehicle’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions so that people can judge the alleged damage to the environment (er, never mind for now the recent scandalous car exhaust test manipulations).
Sorry, I forgot. Fuel consumption awareness and environmental protection are only for the little folks.