Love in action: Private jet airports also blockaded at 20 other private airports in 11 countries on Valentine’s Day
Media contact: Andrea O’Ferrall, firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 240-3996
Seattle, WA —Scientists alarmed about the climate crisis and their allies have shut down the entrance of the Signature Jets private jet terminal at Boeing Field for 3 hours. They have used tripods and banners to block all vehicle access to the private jet terminal in order to bring attention to the ultra-wealthy’s outsized role in causing catastrophic climate change. Nearly a quarter of Seattle’s carbon emissions come from airplanes, contributing to the worsening climate crisis which disproportionately impacts low-income households and BlPOC communities.
This impact comes after decades of environmental injustice to these communities. The environmental effects of aviation at Boeing Field disproportionally effect the residents of the Duwamish Valley communities, with Georgetown and South Park residents living 8 years shorter than the Seattle and King County average. Jet-related air pollution is linked to hypertension, heart disease, cardiovascular, mental health, and respiratory problems. Lead pollution is much is more common at Boeing field, where planes continue to use leaded fuels each day, yet nearby residents have no way to measure these pollution levels in their neighborhood. The King County International Airport Community Coalition (KCIACC) represents several organizations from the Duwamish River valley who are organizing for change, starting with 12 community equity needs. Scientists, citizens, and community members at the blockade stand with them in their continued fight for climate and environmental justice, advocating for accountability and justice for the communities around Boeing field.
“Fighting climate change first hand in the wildfires of Oregon and understanding the science behind it, we must encourage citizens around the globe to hold those in power accountable for their ecocide.” said Matthew Wheeler, Biohealth scientist, wildland firefighter, and co-founder of Guardian Rebellion. “The blame does not rest on the shoulders of the average citizen, it lies with the wealthy, corporations and their puppet governments.” Matthew is also a board member of the Second Rainbow Coalition and a member of Scientist Rebellion.
“I am joining the action to bring attention to the outsize contribution that private jets make to global heating, and to highlight the direct detrimental impact they have on the local community around the airport.” said Bridgid Normand, a Seattle resident and a member of Extinction Rebellion Seattle. “I hope those who can afford private jets will be willing to open their hearts and understand how their travel choices cause both global and local populations to lose the opportunity of a healthy present and future.”
Andrea O’Ferrall, a member of the King County International Airport Community Coalition and organizer with Extinction Rebellion Seattle stated: “I often think of a quote by Otto Sharmer, professor at MIT–‘We collectively create results that nobody wants because decision-makers are increasingly disconnected from the people affected by their decisions.’ Private jet usage has soared in the past few years. It has done so unabated because the wealthy are either unaware or unconcerned by the damage the luxury of their convenience is causing. No one has stepped up yet to tell them what they’re doing is unacceptable.”
The action is happening as part of a coordinated international effort. There are currently scientist-led shutdowns and disruptions happening at 20 private airports around the world. Hundreds of activists have participated at 20 private airports including in 3 other US locations (Charlotte, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) as well as in 10 other countries: Australia, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
“I’m an aviation worker – but feel that I can’t stand-by watching the emissions from my industry continue to grow and contribute so heavily to the climate carnage wreaking havoc around the world.” says Finlay Asher, a UK-based aerospace engineer and the co-founder of Safe Landing.”These impacts are mostly felt by the poorest communities, so it’s sickening to also realise that an elite minority of super-rich mega polluters are responsible for the majority of global emissions from air travel.
The scientists and activists are demanding a complete ban on mega-yachts and private jets, taxation of frequent flyers, and an introduction of taxes on aviation fuels. Aviation is the pinnacle of climate, social and environmental injustice. Private aviation is the peak of these injustices. A four-hour private flight emits as much as the average person does in a year. This shocking statistic spurred a flurry of criticisms of Kylie Jenner and other A-list celebrities named in the report for excessive private jet use — including 17-minute private flights as reported by an automated Twitter account that tracks celebrity private jet flights.
The protests in Seattle are led by Scientist Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion in coalition Guardian Rebellion. For more information on the international campaign, visit https://makethempay.info/.
Scientist Rebellion relies on financial support for recruitment, capacity building, education, and training from Climate Emergency Fund as well as donations from individual donors around the world. https://www.climate emergency fund.org/
Action Photos and Videos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JOLyeMkjwlnnpkSRzG-DNKNoUi25JLlA