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Climate Meet the Teenage Private Jet Detective By Manuela Andreoni 1,310 words 14 February 2023 10:58 Feed NYTFEED English Copyright 2023. The New York Times Company. All Rights Reserved. Akash Shendure, a high school senior from Seattle, wanted to know about the flight emissions of the super rich. So he tracked them. Someone to know
Today, we are trying something new. This is the first installment of Someone to Know, an occasional series about people from all walks of life doing something inspiring, effective, fun or otherwise noteworthy about climate change.
We’re doing it because you asked to hear about solutions. So, roughly every month, we’ll introduce you to someone new. In this newsletter, I want to tell you about Akash Shendure, a 17-year-old high school senior from Seattle who, a couple of months ago, got a question stuck in his head: What is the climate impact of the wealthiest people flying in private jets?
You may have wondered about that, too. But Akash, who is very into math, physics and pet projects, spent a month working to turn the question into something we can all use to think about the impact of private jets.
His interactive Climate Jets project ranks more than 150 ultrarich people and families according to the estimated carbon dioxide emissions they generate by flying privately. Each person or family has a profile page listing key statistics, inspired by Spotify Wrapped, a popular year-in-review summary the music app provides for individual listeners.
Akash came up with the project when Twitter blocked the account that followed the private flights taken by Elon Musk, the social media company’s new owner, along with those of many journalists who had reported on the tracker.
He decided to look to see what data was out there.