Although I don't have any problem with billionaires tromping around the world in wide-body private jets, it does strike me as spectacularly disingenuous for any such billionaires who are environmentally conscious to excuse their excess by appealing to their "net impact" on the environment.

On the road, Sergey Brin and Larry Page have owned environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius. In the air, they apparently prefer something roomier.

Google Inc.'s two billionaire founders, both 32 years old, will soon be cruising the skies in a Boeing 767 wide-body airliner. They bought the used plane earlier this year, Mr. Page says. ...

The purchase of a wide-body jet for personal use might seem at odds with the Google founders' support for environmental causes. The company gives employees $5,000 if they buy hybrid gas-electric cars, for example.

Mr. Page, in response, notes a recent investment that Mr. Brin made on behalf of the co-founders and Mr. Schmidt in a $550-million fund to help finance projects that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. "We've worked very hard to make sure our [net] impact on the environment is positive," Mr. Page says.

It's nice that billionaires can have their cake and eat it too, but does their wealth really give them the right to condemn the rest of us for purchasing the highest level of convenience, safety and cleanliness that our meager incomes can afford? Which is more extravagent and luxurious: buying a jumbo jet, or being able to offset that jet by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on pet projects?

In my experience, this sort of calculation is pretty common among celebrities and other leftist "limousine liberals" who want to "save the world" so long they can find a way to excuse themselves from obeying the facist, busy-body rules they make for the rest of us.



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