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Stephen Prince, a multimillionaire from Georgia, USA, is setting an inspiring example in the fight against Climate change. After realizing the immense environmental impact of his private jet, he decided to put it up for sale.
Six years ago, Prince took to the skies in small jets, a habit he compared to an addiction. The successful businessman, who made his fortune in the gift-card industry, once owned three jets. But a sobering truth has led him to sell the last one: private jets are devastatingly polluting. As Prince discovered, a journey in a private jet emits around ten times more carbon than a first-class flight on a commercial airline.
Private jets, luxury symbols for the super-rich, are surprisingly dirty. A report by Transport & Environment reveals they are 14 times more polluting than commercial flights and approximately 50 times more polluting per passenger than trains. To put it into perspective, a return economy flight from London to New York emits about 1.48 tonnes of CO2 per passenger. That’s over double the yearly carbon footprint of an average person in Ghana. Now multiply that impact by 14 for a private jet!
Prince, co-chair of the ‘Patriotic Millionaires organization, an advocacy group for higher taxes on the wealthy, will miss the private jet experience. However, he said, “If you can get over the amazingly selfish attributes that it represents.”
As awareness grows, the anti-private jet movement is gaining traction. This February, climate scientists staged blockades at several private jet terminals worldwide. “It is time to ban private jets and tax frequent flyers to the ground,” said NASA climate scientist and activist Dr. Peter Kalmus.
Even as some billionaires continue to take frequent flights, the public is pushing back. Elon Musk, for instance, faced criticism for his private jet use. Meanwhile, young activist Akash Shendure’s ‘Climate Jets’ project, which reveals the carbon footprint of 163 private jet users, has gone viral.
So, what’s our takeaway? Everyone can make changes, no matter how small, to help our planet. Like Stephen Prince, we can all reassess our habits and make more sustainable choices. Let’s take a leaf from his book and do our bit to combat climate change. After all, every eco-friendly decision counts!
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