The private jet industry is destroying the climate and intensifying inequality. Rather than providing subsidies, we should tax the hell out of it.

by Kalena Thomhave and Omar Ocampo, In These Times

For several hours in early November 2022, hundreds of protesters grounded all private flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, one of the most popular and busiest airports in the world. Activists sat on runways to block private jets from taking off before military police moved in and arrested more than 100 protesters.

The superrich have got used to polluting as they please with a total disregard for people and planet, and private jets are the pinnacle of these luxury emissions that we simply cannot afford,” one activist told The Intercept.

Family walking towards a private jet holding hands

Fast forward a few months, and the protesters appeared to be on the brink of success. Schiphol Airport decided to implement a total private jet ban in an effort to reduce air traffic.

It would be a small but symbolically important victory in a world where the private jet industry is taking off among the ultra-wealthy. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton regularly appear in headlines for their profligate private jet use. Billionaire Elon Musk even banned (and later reinstated) a Twitter account that posted the flight and emission details of his private jet activity.

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