One of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates, recently had to face a difficult question about his use of private jets amid his fight against climate change. During an interview with the BBC this week, Gates was asked about his private jets and his response will have every committed environmental activist reeling.
It is perfectly fine for Bill Gates to fly around the world on private jets because he is doing more than anyone else to combat climate change, he argued in a cringe-worthy BBC interview.
Summit News reports, according to Gates, his carbon footprint isn’t a problem because he continues to “spend billions of dollars” on climate change activism.
Over $2 billion has already been invested by Gates in climate technologies. The investments include direct air capture, solar energy, and nuclear fission.
In spite of this, air travel remains one of the most carbon intensive activities an individual can engage in, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
The European Federation for Transport and Environment reports that private jets emit 5 to 14 times more pollutants per passenger than commercial planes.
Despite this, a whopping FOUR private jets worth $194 million are owned by Gates, who has declared the energy crisis a good thing.
In 2017, Gates flew 59 private jet flights totaling more than 213,000 miles, according to a study conducted by Linnaeus University economist Stefan Gössling.
World Bank data estimates Gates’ carbon dioxide emissions to have been 1,760 tons, approximately 100 times as much as the United States’ per capita emissions.
This latest statement from Bill Gates is sure to rightfully trigger an outraged reaction from environmental activists and the public alike, who see it as a hypocrite move and an example of “rules for thee but not for me.” Despite his large contributions to causes related to climate action, his answer was not only narrow-minded, but dismayingly emblematic of the hypocrisy that comes with immense wealth. Ultimately, the issue with Gates’ response is this idea of “do as I say, not as I do.”
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