Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders chartered a Delta Boeing 767 to fly him and his entourage on a 24 hour whirlwind junket to Rome, Italy.
During his debate with Hillary Clinton the previous night, Sanders criticized her stance on fossil fuels, claimed he “introduced the most comprehensive climate change legislation and said he would tax carbon use.”
He’d better prepare to pay up.
Sanders flew to the conference in Rome with his wife, about ten family members, a group of campaign staff, a Secret Service detail and members of the press. The total number of his group is believed to be under 50.
The 767 aircraft can seat between 211 and 261 passengers, depending on the model. It is estimated the plane would consume 16,596 gallons of fuel to fly the 4,435 miles from New York to Rome, or 33,193 gallons for the round trip.
According to the New York Times, an average round trip flight between New York and Europe may have the warming effect of two to three tons of carbon dioxide per person, which assumes the plane is carrying between 211 and 260 passengers.
Quick calculations reveal that the individuals in Sanders’ group were responsible for 11.5 to 12 tons of carbon dioxide each for going along on this 8 hour ride each way.
The average person in the United States usually produces approximately 19 tons of carbon dioxide per year through driving, transportation and disposing of waste.
The average American flies approximately 7,500 miles per year, which is 1,360 miles fewer than Sander’s Rome trip. Therefore, Sanders released more carbon emissions in less than 24 hours than the average American releases in a year of flying.
Sanders is known to be an outspoken critic of fossil fuels and claiming that climate change is America’s number one security issue. During the debate, he said, “When we look at climate change now, we have got to realize that this is a global environmental crisis of unprecedented urgency.”
While in Rome, Sanders described how the youth around the world are fed up with the status quo and “corrupt and broken politics and an economy of stark inequality and injustice. They are not satisfied with the destruction of our environment by a fossil fuel industry whose greed has put short term profits ahead of climate change and the future of our planet.”
What will be the profound long term benefits of his participating in the conference in Rome that can justify the carbon emissions of this trip?
He’s fortunate his comprehensive climate change legislation, including that carbon tax, has yet to pass.
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