Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Justin and family’s carbon-heavy winter vacation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire and their three children and a nanny took a Canadian Challenger military jet down to the Bahamas, where they further travelled by private helicopter to a private island owned by the Agha Khan, a longtime family friend.

While Trudeau has paid a political price for the holiday (federal politicians aren’t supposed to accept rides on private aircraft), those who take the climate issue seriously may also want to scold him over the amount of carbon burned on the jet aircraft portion of the trip.

From CTVNews.ca (“PM’s use of jet for family vacation emitted as much CO2 as average Canadian per year“):

Trudeau’s use of the Challenger to fly his family and a nanny from Ottawa to Nassau, Bahamas over the New Year holiday and back consumed about 9,100 litres of jet fuel, according to the Department of National Defence.

Christopher Surgenor, who runs the environmental aviation website GreenAir, calculated that the trip would have therefore created about 23.3 tonnes of CO2 .

James Tansey, a University of British Columbia sustainability professor and co-founder of Offsetters.ca, estimated that it would have used about 19.9 tonnes.

Those amounts are approximately equivalent to the average emitted per Canadian in 2014, which was pegged at the equivalent to 20.6 tonnes of CO2 , according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. That per capita figure includes industrial emissions, of which the oil and gas sector was the number one contributor.

It’s also about seven times as much CO2 as the International Civil Aviation Organization’s emissions calculator shows six economy tickets on a flight from Ottawa to Nassau connecting in Toronto would burn: 2.94 tonnes (0.49 tonnes each). The Challenger flights had six passengers on board. …

Tansey suggests the emissions could be offset in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest for a cost of about $497.

Fri, January 20 2017 » * Big Picture Stuff, Main Page, politics