Drake Explains Bizjet Management To Climate Critics


The Twitter account CelebJets has been busy heaping scorn on the rich and famous for their use of private aircraft, but some of the most egregious crimes against the environment they have flagged appear to be the result of data without context. CelebJets uses the alert function on flight trackers to keep tabs on jetsetters’ travels and they’ve recently made a fuss about some short flights that popped up on aircraft that are used by celebrities. Among them are flights of less than 20 minutes by planes associated to Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Mark Wahlberg and Drake. Most have ignored the barbs but Drake, who makes a point of buying carbon offsets for his stable of aircraft, which includes a Boeing 767-200, tried to explain how bizjets are used to his millions of followers.

He took exception to attention paid to a repositioning flight of his aircraft while he was in his hometown of Toronto last week. The aircraft dropped the pop singer off at Pearson International Airport and then was flown to nearby Hamilton International where it was put in a hangar. “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,” Drake tweeted. It’s not known if similar circumstances resulted in the short flights of the jets associated to the other celebs. For its part, CelebJets couldn’t care less if the entertainers were onboard. Carbon release is carbon release and it estimated that Drake’s plane spewed 4.5 tons on the hop to Hamilton.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. If anyone thinks that the “carbon footprint” meme is anything other than a hoax in support of an international power grab, I have this bridge ….

    First, CO2 is a trace gas – 0.04% of the atmosphere. Second, only 3% is man-made; 97% is from nature, and of that 3%, the US accounts for 14%. You do the math: 0.000168 percent of the atmosphere is CO2 produced by the U.S. and theoretically available for our “reduction.” Sheer lunacy.

    Third, from a geological perspective, due to sequestration of carbon dioxide by coral and other hard-bodied animals who use it to make calcium carbonate shells, we are near a historical CO2 atmospheric low point -> 400 parts per million – extremely low, and near the 150 ppm threshold for die-off of plants – which, by the way, produce 100% of the oxygen that keeps all animals, including humans, alive.

    So our elected and appointed “leaders” – innocent of the most basic science – and more importantly, math – skills plan to turn the world’s economy upside down and LITERALLY starve millions of people, in service to a cadre of fanatics who don’t know what they are talking about, who in turn serve elites who do, but need every “crisis” to carry forward their personal plans for wealth and power.

    I CAN do math. Count me out.

    • Since you can do the math, surely you realise that you are misrepresenting what is at issue. The quantity of CO2 matters not because the atmosphere is full, and another 0.000001 percent contribution by CO2 will make the cup overflow. The quantity matters because CO2, and other climate-changing substances, are part of a system in dynamic equilibrium. More CO2 and heat-trapping substances in the atmosphere means more energy retained in the atmosphere, oceans, and lands. That in turn changes energy distribution flows between them. That it turn changes climate. That in turn leads to bouts of extreme weather: heat waves, cold spells, storms, floods, all of magnitudes and frequencies greater than before.

      Also, since you can do math, you are aware that 400 ppm is 2.67 times 150 ppm. Whether that is “near” or not depends on how many ppm the amount varies over time spans that matter. Since it has taken centuries for this concentration to get from 200ppm to 350, and decades to get from 350 to 400, the trend for acceleration away from 150 ppm. Thus we are not “near” it.

      By “plants” you probably meant more than just trees, corn, and grass; but I should clarify for everyone’s sakes that only half or less of the atmosphere’s oxygen is generated by land plants. 50%+ is generated by phytoplankton in oceans and lakes. So compared to a land plant die-off due to too little CO2, a wather plant die-off from temperature change or pollution is a bigger threat to human survival.

    • I so enjoy the experts in the AvWeb comments. “I can do math.” But can you do physics?

      Your calculations are correct, but useless.

      The fact that CO2 is .04 of the atmosphere doesn’t mean that it is insignificant when it comes to the physics of radiative transfer. Now it doesn’t compete with water vapor or methane, but it is an effective molecule when it comes to absorbing energy in a few different wavelengths. It’s biggest absorption region is around 15 micrometers (down at the infrared end of the spectrum), and another around between 4 and 5 micrometers.

      Now the catch is that these work with atmospheric “windows” where the energy from the sun (relatively short wavelength, blackbody spectra ~5780K) passes through. This is good because that means the shorter wavelengths from the sun aren’t absorbed much and give us everything we enjoy from warmth day light, to photosynthesis and color. On the other hand, the longer wavelength radiation reradiated by the earth (absorbed from sun, then radiated at a different wavelength depending on the surface, blackbody spectra ~255K) does not coincide with one of these windows found in the absorption spectra of CO2, water and methane.

      This longer wavelength energy emitted by the earth is why you can have frost on the ground (or windshield) when it’s only 35F or 36F overnight. Or why sleeping under a tree will keep dew from forming on your sleeping bag during a fall camping trip.

      Unfortunately these molecules which have relatively strong electric dipole moments absorb radiation much more strongly in these longer wavelengths than they do the sun’s shorter wavelengths. That means that the energy radiating from the surface of the earth does not all escape into space. Interestingly it is why you only get that windshield frost on clear nights when more does escape into space and isn’t absorbed and reradiated by a cloud layer that consists of that pesky greenhouse gas H20. Instead that longer wavelength radiation is absorbed by CO2, water and other dipole molecules and is again reradiated in the atmosphere. This is of course a source of energy in the atmosphere and gives us a habitable planet. But as Venus shows, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

      I recommend chapter 4 of Atmospheric Science by Wallace and Hobbs for a good primer on the blackbody physics, Rayleigh and Mie scattering (good rainbow and sunset info), Schwarzschild’s equation, Wien’s displacement law, and Stefan-Boltzmann law and a bunch more. There’s nothing worse than high school calculus, so should be well within your expertise in math.

      Oh, and a side note…you seem to think .04 percent of the atmosphere makes C02 insignificant. A typical flight in my 340 I’m at around 5500 pounds. If I removed .04 percent of the weight it might not mean anything. But it’s useless to simply do some multiplication and say that this is the case. 220 pounds of seats, heck even some old instruments and wiring wouldn’t make a difference. 220 pounds of rivets or wing ribs or the tail surfaces on the other hand…

      Math is good, but physics is a bit more important. Know the context of your math calculations before you make yourself look foolish again next time.

      • Um, John P., I wonder if you skipped a decimal point? Removing .04 percent of 5,500 pounds would result in 2.2 pounds of weight, not 220 lb.
        .04%, (0.0004) times 5,500 = 2.2
        I see your point, and you are correct about how a small change in concentration can have a significant effect on a reaction. But that pesky math can trip up the best of us.

        • Thanks for that. My head ran through 4%, thankfully all of us physics people use math people to go through our work to find the errors. The good news is that 2.2 pounds of rivets still make my point. If only I had a nickel for every time a math error was found in my writing…there’s a joke there for anybody who has spent a lot of time around physicists:

          Let’s just assume the airplane is a perfect sphere…

    • @John P. It’s nice to see someone on here with an understanding of the physics the radiative transfer. I sometimes assume I’m only talking to the void around here. Thanks for a very good explanation of how it works. To be fair, this is a rather complicated subject and for someone not trained in this area, can be somewhat confusing or even contradictory at the surface. Thanks for recommending those sources as well. I’m sure those posters above will look into those….

      There seems to be no shortage of “experts” here who are great at parroting the easily-disproved climate change denial talking points. Recently the topic of “CO2 saturation” seems to come up- I would hope those spouting that point would read your post.

      Another favorite talking point is that CO2 shouldn’t be a problem because “plants need it,” but the whole “CO2 is just a trace gas, and not a problem” is something I haven’t seen posted before. If that’s your perspective (@James W, Daniel M, Dennis B), then please be sure to tell the cop not to worry about a driver blowing a 0.400 BAC- “it’s just a trace, man”…..

    • As pilots and aero engineers, we are masters of physics and Newtonian mechanics, generally involving linear relationships. However life is a lot more complex, including many relationships out there which are highly non-linear in nature. A quick example is lottery winners and lightning strike recipients. Chances of either of those happening are very low, maybe one in multiple millions, which might imply they can be safely ignored. But try asking the lottery winner, or the person hit by lightning, if it is no big deal. It is only recently with the advent of supercomputers that we have been able to predict the weather for up to five days. This is because the atmosphere behaves in incredibly complex ways, and cannot be simply assessed and dismissed in a few paragraphs with a few simple relationships. I would like to recommend the best summary and assessment of atmospheric behaviour that I have ever read, it explains in scientific detail why man made CO2 has such an unfortunately large impact on cyclic infra-red heating and cooling of our atmosphere, along with water vapour. It’s pages 295-362 of “The Wizard And The Prophet” by Charles C Mann.

    • So: plant takes carbon out of the air, making more plant.
      Plant gets buried.
      Over time, plant turns into oil.
      Exxon pumps oil out, makes fuel, which is burned, releasing carbon back into the air.

      Am I missing something?

  2. “Carbon release is carbon release and it estimated that Drake’s plane spewed 4.5 tons on the hop to Hamilton.”

    Really, Mr Niles, was it necessary to describe 4.5 tons of CO2, a gas necessary for life on earth, as being ‘spewed’? Would you mind providing a little context for this next time, such as this release versus total annual or even daily emissions?

  3. “Most have ignored the barbs but Drake, who makes a point of buying carbon offsets for his stable of aircraft, “. That was his mistake, pandering to enviros buy giving legitimacy to Al Gore’s silly offset concept. All that money goes to what, plant trees? They are like weeds in my area of south central North Carolina. Stop mowing the grass on a golf course or pasture and you have a forest in a decade, without a single human interaction. God has it all figured out.

    • I’m with you about the carbon credit nonsense. It is nothing more than a way for rich celebreties to live a lavish lifestyle and make it appear they actually care about the environment. I have never seen an accurate accounting of where that money goes or whether it is actually even spent in the first place. Whether you believe in climate change or not, doesen’t really matter. Carbon credits are just a rich person’s way of virtue signaling to gullible people.

      • John,

        It’s funny you should say that because most greenies feel the same way about carbon offsets. Most environmentalists are really just anti-capitalists, and so they hate the idea that the rich can just buy their way to zero carbon, or that climate change could be solved with money and technology instead of their ‘virtuous’ ‘back-to-nature’ way: the shivering in the dark method.

        Another reason many people who want to fight climate change don’t talk about carbon offsets is that if they actually work, then they should be putting their money where their mouths are and buying some. It costs hardly anything to offset a typical lifestyle, a few hundred bucks a year, but it makes a poor signal compared to using reusable coffee cups and grocery bags, and it actually costs money. If reducing carbon was the real priority for those people they’d be pressuring each other to buy carbon credits: instead it’s all about useless, cheap virtue signaling like banning plastic straws.

        As to whether credits really work: I think any project involving growing trees is bullshit, but ones that involve developing and implementing technology should be mostly not bullshit, such as funding methane infrastructure capture at pig farms. The legit companies bend over backwards to prove they aren’t bullshit, with extensive third party audits, which you’d expect because there is so much money to be made selling legit ones.

  4. CelebJets people are what I call “toilet sniffers”….because theirs doesn’t stink.
    An entire generation infected with self-righteousness, tragic.

  5. Don’t ignore the “Rest of the Story” on Global Warming, er, climate change.

    I’ve been tracking the CERN project “Clouds” – the documentation of which, over the years, has been subject to revisionist history by the climate fanatics. The objective truth has, as usual, been altered, suppressed and/or concealed.

    Suppressed is the science that percentage of cloud cover (due to reflective properties) has the significant (if not major) effect on what regulates Global temperature.

    Dropping the percentages of essential components of cloud formation under the guise of preventing global warming actually acts to increase what climate radicals is claimed a life-ending problem.


  6. They are watching for short flights to determine wastefulness? So if the 767 had flown from Toronto to Tucson for parking instead of flying “across town” then it wouldn’t have raised a flag? I guess that’s better? More emissions, but at least the airplane “went somewhere” for it.

    • They all are “Going Nowhere”, quickly, and the faster the jet, the sooner they get to Nowhere.
      “Carbon release is carbon release and it estimated that Drake’s plane spewed 4.5 tons on the hop to Hamilton.”
      Somehow, the chemistry eludes me. 1 gallon of Jet A produces 21.095 pounds CO2. 100 gallons=2109.5 pounds of CO2. That’s for full throttle all the way, including taxi (can we say “High-speed taxi”, boys and girls?) and hold times.
      So where does this “4.5 tons on the hop to Hamilton.” come from?

  7. The vast majority of the population working 8AM to 5PM jobs for somebody else just can not relate that other people have the talent and good fortune to be doing something with their minds that creates wealth enough to make their personal time worth the cost of a private jet.

    I bet if most of these critics were offered the choice of being given $500,000 or donating it to save 500 tons of CO2 emissions they would cash the check in a heartbeat – I know I would.

  8. Carbon “offsets” are just another tax scheme. If the climate critics are that concerned they would be setting the example by walking or bicycling, not working in an air conditioned office, take a sail boat or row themselves across the Atlantic, among plenty of other things that supposedly don’t emit carbon. Until then I will continue to drive to the airport in my comfortable full size Hemi powered pickup, to fly a client to their destination, in their own private jet or a charter!

  9. Remember people, 98% of the CO2 released every year is “good”; only the 2% from people is bad and polluting,. Carbon offsets lets you change that bad CO2 into good CO2. Basically it’s paying an indulgence so you can remove you carbon sins.. Hallelujah.

  10. “Remember people, 98% of the CO2 released every year is “good”; only the 2% from people is bad and polluting”

    Well… sort of… not quite.

    In a balanced system, CO2 is constantly recycled (remember learning about the “Carbon Cycle” in high-school science decades ago?)

    But burning fossil fuels is adding CO2 to this system. Now, it’s a small amount each year, but since CO2 lingers for centuries it accumulates with each passing year, like a savings plan. Currently almost half the CO2 in the atmosphere is the result of burning fossil fuels.

    (And how can “they” tell that? Pretty easily, actually. Carbon comes in several isotopes – Carbon-12, -13, and -14. Carbon-14 comes from cosmic rays hitting regular carbon atoms in the atmosphere. But buried underground, away from cosmic rays, C-14 decays at steady rate. This is the basis of “carbon-14 dating” used by archeologists.

    The carbon found in coal and oil is devoid of C-14 – it’s long since decayed away. Burning it puts it back in the atmosphere where it dilutes the amount of C-14 already present. It’s easy enough to measure how much total CO2 is present in the atmosphere. Then compare it to how much is CO2 with C-14. The result is how much CO2 came from burning fossil fuels, which is about 47%, almost doubling the amount of CO2 present).

    Now the system can re-balance itself… but only to a point. Predicting that exact point is subject to conjecture, but it’s like predicting a hurricane a day or two out – they may not know the exact ZIP code will get hit, but it’s coming none-the-less.

    • Personally, I’d love to see people stop fighting the ‘greenies’ by denying the problem even exists, and instead embrace how to make money off of it. Imagine if the U.S. poured all of its technological might into this? For example, scientists have already developed bacteria that can breathe in CO2 and produce acetone and isopropyl alcohol. Can you imagine if this was developed further into fuels, and scaled up to industrial proportions? The process would be net-zero, or even reduce CO2 in the atmosphere! Driving a big truck would be positively green! And no more drilling for oil in places that hate us!