New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is warning, yet again, about the perils of climate change and the need to be good stewards of the environment.
This time, however, Kristof is not writing from the Manhattan offices of the “old grey lady” because he’s in the middle of a New York Times-sponsored around-the-world private jet tour that costs $135,000 per person.
Kristof’s column, entitled, “A Parable of Self-Destruction,” was written on Easter Island off the coast of South America. It tells the story of how the island became uninhabited due to deforestation and unsustainable practices by the natives.
“That brings us to climate change, to the chemical processes we are now triggering whose outcomes we cant fully predict,” Kristof wrote after recounting what is alleged to have happened to the natives. “The consequences may be a transformed planet with rising waters and hotter weather, dying coral reefs and more acidic oceans. We fear for the ocean food chain and worry about feedback loops that will irreversibly accelerate this process, yet still we act like Easter Islanders hacking down their trees.”
Kristof was on the island as part of an around-the-world tour organized by the New York Times. Limited to only 50 people at a cost of $135,000 per person, “based on double occupancy,” the tour offers the chance to “circle the globe on an inspiring and informative journey by private jet, created by The New York Times in collaboration with luxury travel pioneers Abercrombie & Kent. This 26-day itinerary takes you beneath the surface of some of the world’s most compelling destinations, illuminating them through the expertise of veteran Times journalists.”
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) March 18, 2018
The tour, if it sold out, would bring in $6.75 million.
In 2013, the Times ran a “news analysis” piece entitled, “Your Biggest Carbon Sin May Be Air Travel,” which reported, “For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person.”
The size of the “carbon footprint” for the Times tour is not known, but some estimates place private jet flights at 10 times that of a commercial flight.
As for the Times trip, Kristof will not be making the entire journey with the group. He is only going to Easter Island, Samoa and Australia. Other Times writers are taking different legs of the 26-day journey. That, presumably, means each will be meeting the group on their appointed leg of the tour and flying back to wherever they call home, adding to the carbon footprint of the tour.