TURNER: A Few Simple Things Elites Would Do If They Really Cared About Climate Change

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Daniel Turner Contributor
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The climate change agenda, as it is understood and perpetuated today, is based on three very simple premises: 1- our climate is on the brink of catastrophe; 2- human action, specifically our use of fossil fuels, has caused it; 3- bold steps are needed to remedy it. So, on this Earth Day, I call for some very specific actions which, according to this belief system, should be part of the preventative measures which might delay our demise.

Cancel Private Jets

A 2019 study by Common Wealth, a British think tank, found that private jet travel has ten times the carbon footprint as commercial travel. A 2013 World Bank study also found that first class travel has three times the footprint of economy class.

Climate Czar John Kerry said we need to cut out the “B.S.” in fighting climate change, yet he still has his jet. In 2019, Kerry took a private jet to Iceland to receive an award for climate leadership. As if the irony wasn’t enough, Kerry defended his hypocritical travel by saying that it’s “the only choice for somebody like me…”

No Second Homes

In 2016, The Guardian asked “Should the Government Ban Second Home Ownership?” If the climate crisis is as dire as the Biden administration claims, they undoubtedly should. The footprint of heating, cooling and maintaining a home is a luxury that the Earth can no longer afford. Commuting to a second home has a carbon footprint and, with the likelihood these second homes are beach and/or mountain “vacation” homes, there’s likely to be boats, ATVs or skimobiles that are even further compounding the damage.

Despite this undeniable evidence, and despite his own claim that there is no more room for error, Kerry himself has owned multiple homes and cars and a yacht. Other green champions follow suit: Sen. Bernie Sanders owns three homes.  Michael Bloomberg owns 14. Bill Gates has a real estate portfolio like a Roman emperor.

What could be better for the Earth than these dedicated climate activists foregoing the luxury of multiple homes and reducing their carbon footprint to the size of an average American? Do you see it happening?

You may not be a senator or a billionaire but there are steps you can take in your own life to combat climate change.  Remember, the crisis is real and the catastrophe is imminent.

Young people are the generation most serious about tackling climate change. Great. What are some things young people can do right now to take action?

No More Streaming

Streaming services use more electricity than your refrigerator. If young people are so committed to stopping climate change, they need to stop it. Netflix, Hulu, video gaming, Spotify, etc. All done. It’s time to return to basic cable, DVDs and board games. That is the real “Call of Duty,” kids. The duty to your planet.

Back to Books

Google uses more electricity than over 100 countries, and no, we don’t need Google. In fact, many of us alive today studied and got jobs before Google. I’m talking libraries, card catalogues, yellow pages, encyclopedias. You want to do your part in stopping climate change? Drop Google.


Young people are the largest users of food delivery apps. Sure, Postmates and Doordash are convenient, and one could even argue that they provide jobs, but do they provide a healthy planet? No. Food delivery apps have a huge carbon footprint. Delete them, and if you really need a McFlurry, you can walk to McDonalds yourself. For the Earth.


The world’s data centers are consuming incomprehensible amounts of energy and pouring CO2 into the atmosphere.  Young people can do their part to shut them down. No more snaps, no more TikTok challenges, no more Facebook, Instagram and (Thank God) no more Twitter. Communicate the way we did for centuries: pen and paper. It’s not as much fun, sure, but neither is the climate crisis.

Notice these climate solutions have a common thread: they are voluntary. A commitment to a belief or a cause requires action, and the climate change belief must spark real, bold, voluntary action in its followers.

Child activist Greta Thunberg tells her followers to cut school for climate change. She does not tell them to get off social media. John Kerry will not give up a private jet nor will Michael Bloomberg surrender one of his estates.

None of them seem to make environmental choices, and here is the takeaway: anyone who does not voluntarily do in his private life what he wants government to mandate you do in your private life is nothing less than a tyrant.

On this Earth Day, and every day, I welcome any serious conversation on climate change and the steps we need to take to protect our planet, but until I see those climate activists forgo the benefits, the conveniences and the quality of life made possible by our abundant American fossil fuels, I know it would be a waste of time.

I’ve laid out some steps anyone could take right now if they truly believed climate change was an imminent threat to our existence. Their actions, or lack thereof, tell me and anyone who is watching what they truly believe.

Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Contact him at daniel@powerthefuture.com and follow him on Twitter @DanielTurnerPTF