Seattle high school senior Akash Shendure has created a website called ClimateJets which tracks the carbon emissions of his ultra-rich compatriots from flying their private jets. The dataset uses information from multiple sources, including flight data collected by volunteers, data on aircraft ownership, fuel consumption rates for aircraft, as well as information about carbon emissions from different jet fuel types.
The website whose stated mission is “to reveal the disparity between the carbon emissions of the ultra-rich and average Americans” is causing some turbulence as it has exposed the carbon emissions of several famous individuals who are publicly advocating for action against climate change and global warming, GeekWire reported.
According to the teenager’s calculations, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ranked 13th last year among 163 well-known public figures from important sectors such as technology, business, sports, and entertainment in terms of the annual emissions of his private jets.
In 2022, the US business magnate, who is also an outspoken advocate for curbing global warming and combating climate change as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and through other initiatives, used three jets for a total of 393 flights, both domestic and international, whose estimated emissions amounted to more than 3,000 tons of CO2 — nearly as much as 200 average Americans, according to ClimateJets.
When questioned about his emissions, on previous occasions Gates has said that he pays companies to offset his family’s carbon footprint by removing carbon from the atmosphere.
Other famous names on the list of polluters include Siebel Systems founder Thomas Siebel, who was reported to have the highest emissions, as well as Meta co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg who ranked No. 21, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — No. 38, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer — No. 40, and Tesla CEO and new Twitter owner Elon Musk — No. 41.