The New York Times discovers the phenomenon of jet-setting liberals (registration required) who preach environmentalism and practice Gulfstream eco-hypocrisy:
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When the leftist film maker Michael Moore used his publisher’s plane on a recent book tour, for example, critics lambasted him for enjoying the corporate high life. The Hollywood activist Laurie David, the wife of Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” was labeled a “Gulfstream liberal” in an article in the latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly for condemning S.U.V. owners while flying around in private planes.
Arianna Huffington, a financial backer of anti-S.U.V. commercials, has also borne the brunt of criticism for traveling in a jet; and a supermarket magnate, Ron Burkle, is perhaps as well known for his eight-bedroom 767 as he is for the more than $1.5 million that he has given to the Democratic Party since 2000…
Then there’s the criticism of the rich environmentalist who flies in a private jet to Sierra Club fund-raisers. A midsize Gulfstream 200 uses from 1,200 to 1,500 gallons of fuel for a cross-country flight, so if it holds four people, giving them the chance to stretch out on the leather sofas, each person would use about 350 gallons of fuel. That’s 10 times the amount of fuel used per person by 130 passengers flying coast to coast on a Boeing 737-300.
It’s also nearly the equivalent of driving a Hummer cross country, twice. Mr. Burkle’s 767, if it carries eight people across the continent, would each use 1,000 gallons of fuel, enough for eight Hummer trips from southern Brazil to Dearborn, Mich.
Mr. Burkle did not return calls for comment, nor did Ms. Huffington.
Ms. David, whose husband was a creator of “Seinfeld,” also could not be reached for comment. Liana Schwarz, who works closely with her at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group of which Ms. David is a member of the board, said that she was out of town. Ms. Schwarz would not say if Ms. David used a private plane to get there…
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