As you may have seen earlier this week, President Obama celebrated Earth Day by flying to Iowa for a speech, burning more than 9,000 gallons of jet fuel on the round trip.
I looked around and I haven’t seen anyone else do the math. So in case you were wondering, that comes to 95 U.S. tons of CO2 (that’s a conservative estimate). It is to be expected that a president will have a larger carbon footprint than the rest of us. But in this case, with just one meaningless gesture for the environment, the president emitted about five times the average American’s annual carbon output in a matter of hours.
Update: For those who have asked, the estimates for CO2 from jet fuel come from the Energy Information Administration. (If the numbers don’t strike you as correct, remember that oxygen accounts for about 73 percent of the weight in CO2.)