Looks like our Hollywood “do-gooder” environmentalist extraordinaire Leonardo DiCaprio is at it again. This time, he’s taking substantial time off from his acting career to do “good for the environment”.
In an interview with Germany’s mass circulation daily Bild, the 38-year-old American actor said: “I am a bit drained. I’m now going to take a long, long break. I’ve done three films in two years and I’m just worn out.”
“I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment.”
OK, let’s take him at his word. And let’s look at what the effect of this trip will be on Mother Earth.
Now, you know a Hollywood “A-list” type like DiCaprio isn’t going to fly anywhere on regularly scheduled airlines. He’ll fly on a private or chartered jet.
Let’s be kind and assume he uses a small LearJet – say, a small one like the Bombardier 35A. That aircraft can cruise comfortably at around 400 knots, or 460 MPH, for a bit over 2000 miles – in round numbers, about of 4.5 hours flight time.
That aircraft uses 197 gallons of jet fuel per hour at cruise. So each 2000 miles will use about 885 gallons of jet fuel.
Now, assume 30,000 miles for the total length of DiCaprio’s round the world “save the planet” tour. (He’ll certainly be visiting “down under”, NZ, and probably South Africa and South America, plus North America, Europe, and parts of Asia – so that’s probably an underestimate.) Doing the math, that comes to around 13,300 gallons of jet fuel.
Chemically, jet fuel is kerosene-based.
Kerosene has an average chemical composition of C12H26. That means it’s approximately 85% carbon by weight. Jet fuel weighs about 6.8 pounds per gallon. So DiCaprio is going to burn about 90,400 pounds – or about 45 tons – of jet fuel on his trip.
That amount of jet fuel will contain about 38.3 tons of carbon. But remember: according to the “save the world” crowd – “Carbon . . . . baaaaad!”
Why is carbon “bad”? Well, according to the “save the world” crowd it’s because it produces carbon dioxide.
Virtually every atom of carbon in that jet fuel will produce a molecule of CO2 when burned. (The tiny fraction that doesn’t will produce stuff that’s even worse as a pollutant – unburned hydrocarbons, soot, etc . . . .) Since the carbon is only about 27% of the weight of each molecule of CO2, burning this amount of jet fuel will add more than 140 tons of carbon dioxide to the earth’s atmosphere.
That’s just the jet travel. It doesn’t account for the fuel for DiCaprio’s chauffer-driven limo at each stop. (What, do you expect him to rent a Volkswagon and drive himself anywhere?) Or the fuel for the vehicles for his bodyguards or his entourage. Or the energy used to heat/cool their hotel rooms. Or . . .well, you get the picture.
Also, a “round the world” trip like this shouldn’t take more than 3 months. All of the above fuel and energy? That’s only what DiCaprio’s going to waste – unnecessarily – in about 3 months. Wonder what he’ll burn through during the rest of the year?
Here’s a real world sanity check: a guy or gal driving a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon 15,000 miles annually burns 750 gallons of fuel. That’s only about 5.6% of the more than 13,400 gallons of fuel DiCaprio will waste in 90 days during his meaningless publicity stunt.
Hypocrisy, thy name is “Hollywood”. Or here, maybe that should be “DiCaprio”.
Look, I’m all for conserving resources for the next generation. I don’t want to see the environment spoiled. I want my kids and grandkids to have a nice place to live. They won’t if we screw up the planet.
But what DiCaprio’s doing here isn’t “saving the planet” – it’s nothing more than meaningless grandstanding to feed his ego. Like so many other libidiot ideas and causes, it sounds good initially and makes people “feel good”. But when you analyze it, just like many libidiot ideas and causes it’s actually wasteful and counterproductive.
Want to really help “save the earth”, Lenny my boy? Then freaking stay home vice traveling the globe – and promote conservation from and within Hollywood.
You make films for a living. You should be able to figure out how to reach people from a distance.
(Author’s note: the original version of this article used diesel fuel as a basis for calculation of the amount of CO2 generated by DiCaprio’s upcoming “save the world” tour. That was an error. The reference originally consulted erroneously implied modern jet fuel is chemically similar to diesel fuel. That is not the case; like most older jet fuels, modern Jet A and Jet A1 are kerosene-based. The error has been corrected above.)