Over the past few weeks, celebrities like Drake, Kylie Jenner, and Travis Scott have come under fire for contributing to climate change thanks to a new Twitter account, @CelebJets, which has been documenting “comically” short flights. However, as with most viral outrages on the internet, it appears there’s more context to be gleaned. While Kylie Jenner isn’t one to spend a lot of time online to address such controversies, Drake, as we all know, is chronically online, and took the time to respond to an Instagram trying to gin up more anger.
Popping in the comments of a post publicizing the “15-minute flights,” Drake clarified, “This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone who was interested in the logistics… nobody takes that flight.”
Of course, when it comes to celebrities — especially ones who inflame public passions as much as Drake does, a little thing like logic isn’t going to stop people from lobbing indictments. “It’s still using the same amount of fuel regardless of whether it’s carrying people or not,” wrote one commenter. Another took a more direct stance, writing, “Shut up stop polluting our air.”
While there are certainly some criticisms to be made about these short hops, the unfortunate fact remains that they would still be a minuscule fraction of emissions created by the largest CO2 emitters — those would be industry, electricity, and the collective totals for all transport, including cars, trucks, ships, trains, and yes, planes, which only account for 10% of what cars and trucks emit. Meanwhile, electricity and heat are by far the biggest emitters, and the ones that could most easily be fixed using alternate fuel sources like wind and solar.
Phasing those in would also help reduce the emissions from actual oil and gas production as well, since we’d need less of those things. 5 minutes on Google, people. That’s all we’re asking. Since Drake can’t save the world by taking fewer flights (at least, not by himself), maybe that energy would best be spent pushing government representatives to support initiatives like new infrastructure and stricter regulations on industry — two solutions that have been proven to work.