Is Bill Gates Just Trying to Convince Himself?

Frederic Legrand - COMEO /
Frederic Legrand - COMEO /

You can’t put a price tag on this: recently, global warming and climate advocate Bill Gates was cornered in an effort to justify his use of private jets in his worldwide travel.

Gates muttered on about his investments in various green technology initiatives.

He spurned the accusations of hypocrisy during an interview with the BBC in a Kenyan broadcast on Friday. Gates claimed that his decision to “spend billions of dollars” on climate innovations more than accounts for his personal carbon footprint.

“Should I stay at home and not come to Kenya and learn about farming and malaria?” he asked reporter, Amol Rajan. “I’m comfortable with the idea that not only am I not part of the problem by paying for the offsets, but also through the billions that my Breakthrough Energy Group is spending, that I’m part of the solution.”

The multi-billionaire flew more than 213,000 miles on 59 private jet flights in 2017. This comes from a study by the Linnaeus University economics professor Stefan Gössling.

This kind of flight activity created 1,760 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This is nearly 109 times higher than the emissions per capita in the United States, based on information from the World Bank.

Bill Gates has four private jets that cost him almost $200 million, according to an article from Skyluke Aviation.

Gates isn’t alone in this kind of hypocrisy, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has similarly argued that his work compensates for his use of a luxury aircraft.

“If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle,” he said. “The time it takes me to get somewhere, I can’t sail across the ocean. I have to fly, meet with people and get things done.”

Somehow, the defense doesn’t seem to land very well.