Drake responded to criticism from environmentalists about his short flight on his $200 million Air Drake plane. The Guardian reported that Drake’s Boeing 767 took a 14-minute flight from Toronto to Hamilton in Ontario. This report came as part of an exposé on July 21 about other celebrities who have taken brief trips on luxury aircraft, despite mounting climate concerns.
In response to the uproar, the Canadian artist took to Real Toronto Newz’s Instagram comments to claim that the plane was empty at the time and the flight was just to return the aircraft to its hangar for routine maintenance and cleaning.”This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone who was interested in the logistics,” he wrote. “Nobody takes that flight.”
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Some people continue to lambaste Drake because The Guardian article named him as the worst polluter of CO2, despite his explanation regarding why the plane was in the air for a brief period. For the feature, The Guardian interviewed Jack Sweeney, a University of Central Florida student who analyzes data from a business that monitors aircraft transponders for his Celebrity Jets Twitter account.
Sweeney also runs a similar account that tracks the private jet of Tesla’s multi-billionaire CEO Elon Musk. However, he thinks Musk is not entirely to blame for his quick trips.”With Elon he’s just trying to be as quick as possible and efficient for work, but someone like Kim Kardashian (who has taken long and short private jet flights) is posting ‘Kim Air’ and flexing and all that,” Sweeney said.
A study from 2016 found that private jets account for about 4% of all aviation emissions. The airline industry has argued that flying accounts for only a small fraction of global warming emissions.
Private aircraft emit more than 33 million tons of greenhouse gases each year. That’s more than the amount emitted by the entire country of Denmark. In addition, private aircraft produce five to fourteen times more pollution per passenger than commercial planes, and fifty times more pollution than trains.
“These startlingly short flights show the immense impact of the wealthy in overall aviation emissions,” Scott Hochberg, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, told The Guardian.“The problem starts at the top with Kylie Jenner and other celebrities with private jets, which have a much larger impact than commercial aircraft on a per passenger basis. But it also includes many others, as the US constitutes the bulk of the wealthy elite that have the luxury of flying.”
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