While British tabloids have never gone broke for giving Harry and Meghan crap—be it for the names they give their children to the possibly accidental timing of their Instagram posts—a royal expert has leveled a criticism at Harry that, we’re sorry to say it, actually rings kind of true.
Journalist and royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti was interviewed by the Express this week, where he pointed out that Harry sure takes a lot of private jets for someone who also talks about the threat of climate change all the time. Just last week, Harry was criticized for taking two private jets in a row to attend a polo match. Turns out that “because sports” is just not a great excuse for someone who purportedly cares about the environment!
Here’s what Sacerdoti had to say about it in the interview:
“I think that Prince Harry's visuals of flying in that private jet to the polo match were definitely problematic for the image that the Sussexes are putting out, because they're in a tough position…[P]eople don't just listen to what they say, people also watch what they do...When you talk about the urgency of changing human behavior in order to help combat the problem of manmade climate change, and then you get in a private jet to fly across the country to play a polo match and then fly back, people are going to wonder if you are taking seriously your own warnings and messages.”
True! And after a week in which the reality of climate change became crushingly apparent, lip service to the issue just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Planes in general are huge emitters, but private jets are one of the worst methods of transportation when it comes to releasing carbon into the atmosphere. It’s estimated that a single hour of private jet travel can release two tons of carbon into the air (to put that in perspective, the average car releases a little over double that, but in an entire year).
With inequality, climate change, and especially hypocrisy about both becoming hot button issues, it might be time to pump the brakes on conspicuous consumption like this. Harry should really consider alternatives to private jet travel, because actually practicing what he preaches might make other megarich celebrities feel the need to follow suit. After all, Harry and Meghan are hugely influential, and the things they do—or fail to do—have impacts far beyond just themselves.