Reminder to Rich Liberal People: Private Jets Are Really, Really Bad for the Planet

As predicted, a record number of private jets touched down in D.C. for inauguration. Almost 500, in fact-200 more than showed up for Bush's inauguration. (No real surprise there, given the number of celebrities, CEOs, and big shots who backed our new president.) Forget for a moment the implications of this kind of excess during these tough times, and consider the environmental implications. Asks How do you call for social responsibility after touching down in a $40 million, gas-guzzling Gulfstream?-adding the parenthetical: "Maybe travelers will buy carbon credits."Um, maybe. But private jets dump into the atmosphere anywhere from 10,803 to 1,392 pounds of CO2 an hour. And, as we now know, even if we all started living in hovels with no lights, cars, or air conditioners, the earth would continue to warm, because there's a decades-long lag in impact. According to a report by the European Commission-backed a year later by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-we have about six more years before we must cut in half our carbon emissions before we pass the point of no return.And that was the good news! (Worse news here.)