This photo cost nearly 48 tons of carbon emissions to be spewed into the atmosphere. Via Twitpic
Now that Obama has released the photo capturing Air Force One doing a staged flyover of Manhattan--and scaring the crap out of thousands of people--we can see what all the trouble was for. The answer is: not much. This photo cost tax payers a couple hundred thousand dollars--and according to my calculations, the plane emitted 48 tons of CO2 on its pointless trip to the Statue of Liberty. I mean, I guess the photo is kinda cool. Kinda. But just look at all the nearly carbon-free pics people made with photo shop. They're cooler. And if the White House had a Photoshop-savvy editor handy, he could've spared the atmosphere a couple dozen tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Shame.
See, it's been reported that the flight spent $35,000 on fuel alone. And with jet fuel currently costing between $6-8 a gallon (let's use $7), that means 5,000 gallons of fuel were used in the flight. 5,000 gallons = 18,297 liters. And according to our very own DOE, aviation fuel for the 747-200B (Air Force One's model) emits 2.53 kilograms of CO2 per liter. Which is 47,885 kg of CO2 emissions. Which means this little photo op sent nearly 48 tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
I know that the official who authorized the flyover has already "left to pursue a new career opportunity," but still. Quite a waste. So, Obama, next time you want a cool photo of Air Force One flying over something impressive, I hope you've learned your lesson—just put the call out to the blogosphere.
Follow me on Twitter @bcmerchant
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