Steven Spielberg Burns $116K Worth of Jet Fuel in 2 Months, Is Terrified of Climate Change

Billionaire director Steven Spielberg says he's "terrified" of climate change, is still using his private jet even for short U.S. trips 9 photos
Photo: YouTube / Rosa Gamazo
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The most basic definition of a “hypocrite” is someone who pretends to be something they’re not. By extension, an eco-hypocrite is a person who preaches to others about the dangers of climate change, the measures necessary to tackle it, and the steps they’ve taken in this sense so far, while still having a carbon footprint larger than average.
Billionaire filmmaker Steven Spielberg is the very definition of an eco-hypocrite. If you believe buzz on social media, look up the definition in a dictionary and you’ll find a photo of Spielberg right next to it. That’s because, just three years ago, he was waxing poetic about how everyone “needs to be held responsible” for climate change, which “terrified” him, and here he is, burning more than $116,000 in jet fuel over just two months.

You might remember Jack Sweeney, the 19-year-old student who made headlines earlier this year, when Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk offered him $5,000, so he’d shut down the Twitter page tracking his (Musk’s) private jet, an offer Sweeney declined because he thought it was a low-baller. Since then, Sweeney has launched similar pages for a bunch of celebrities, politicians, public figures and even Russian oligarchs.

The same flight tracking data is now being used to comprise charts to determine which celebrity has the biggest carbon footprint, and the finding is, in turn, used in contrast with previous statements made by that celebrity on the issue of climate change. The number one celebrity, in case you were wondering, is Taylor Swift, though her publicist said that her 2009 Dassault Falcon 7X jet, which has flown more than 170 times this year alone, is also offered for charter. In other words, don’t blame Taylor.

The latest celebrity to come under fire on social media is Steven Spielberg. The film director, who is worth close to $3.7 billion and has made headlines before for his lavish purchases, including the $150 million Seven Seas superyacht, is now being criticized for his contradictory stance regarding private flight travel. Spielberg is also the owner of a Gulfstream G650, and data shows that he poured over $116,000 worth of fuel into it over a span of just two months.

In exact figures, since June 23, the jet took 16 trips spanning nearly 17,000 miles (27,359 km) at a cost of $116,159 in fuel. Fox News points out that some of these trips were abroad, like a couple to the Netherlands and one to Ireland, but most were local, across the States, and some of them so short as to undertake them by car.

Like with other celebrities, the outside impression is that Spielberg too hops on his private jet out of convenience and the force of habit, with little or even zero consideration for the damage that short flight does to the environment. This in itself wouldn’t be so controversial if it were not for the public record of Spielberg speaking against people who do just that. Talk the talk, but walk the walk too.

You can see it in the video below: during a 2018 promo appearance for Ready Player One, Spielberg said he was “terrified” by climate change, which was “not a political trick” but a scientific fact. We all know that celebrities tend to spew out platitudes and PR-fabricated anecdotes during these extended promo tours and are very rarely genuine in their replies. And it’s understandable, because their job is to promote the film and to rock the boat as little as possible where other topics are concerned. Spielberg was just playing along, saying all the right things that he knew were expected of him on the topic of climate change.

“We are going to have to have a kind of confrontation with destiny unless we do something about it today. Everybody has to be held responsible,” the director said. “You know when you're not mindful of something that could pose a danger to your children and grandchildren? Then you just go blithely through life with aerosol cans and doing all sorts of things that are depleting the ozone.”

How’s that for depleting the ozone and for accountability? Two months’ worth of travel by private jet in Spielberg’s Gulfstream G650 equals 179 tons of carbon dioxide. By contrast, the average American has an annual carbon footprint of 16 tons, while the average global footprint is of 4 tons.

While we ditch aerosol cans and take pains with recycling our home waste, Spielberg is flying around in his private jet, then lecturing us about how we’re all responsible for the mess we’re in. We are responsible, it’s true, but it would be nice if the person who said it wasn’t such a huge eco-hypocrite.

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Editor's note: Photos in the gallery show the Netherlands' Gulfstream G650 for VIP Missions.

About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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