A forward-looking individual decided to start a campaign to ban private jets and it’s gaining steam. The movement to get rid of private jets is growing and now celebrities like Elon Musk and Taylor Swift are getting lambasted in the press about their planet-destroying transportation options. Given how much damage the air industry does to the planet, focussing on banning private jets, which are used by a very tiny percentage of people, should be socially acceptable by everyone.
Maybe we should start championing private trains instead 😉
The argument in favor of banning private jets is a simple one. If you were trying, for whatever reason, to have as large of a carbon footprint as possible, the first thing you would do is fly in a private plane. You would especially do so for very short flights, because taking off is the most energy-intensive part of any flight. A common model of a private plane burns 226 gallons of jet fuel an hour on average. And jet fuel—which is typically not taxed—emits more toxic gasses than gasoline.
Not only is flying in a private plane just about the worst thing one can do for the planet, it is also one of the habits with the easiest substitutes. Private jets emit approximately seven times as much greenhouse gasses as a business class ticket on a commercial airliner, 10 times as much as an economy seat, and some 150 times more than an electric train journey. Although “ban private jets” sounds like a radical argument, it is really quite modest, since rich people would still have any number of ultra-luxurious alternatives at their disposal and plenty of money to hire security guards to ensure the privacy they say flying private ensures.