Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and visiting scholar at University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, compared air travel to firing a gun in a Twitter thread on Wednesday, reported the College Fix.
How we got here: Holthaus was responding to a tweet by Jason Rabinowitz, a travel guru and a host of an aviation podcast, who said that he will visit Madrid, despite having no reason to do so, because he found cheap tickets.
I have no plans to go to Madrid. I have no need to go to Madrid. I don't know what I'll do once in Madrid. But for this price, I should go to Madrid. pic.twitter.com/QobRHjjP2r
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) July 25, 2019
Holthaus then launched an attack against Rabinowitz, calling him a “selfish, entitled a**hole” and citing a current climate emergency.
“Some kinds of air travel are necessary and always will be. I’m not telling you not to visit your dying grandmother in another continent. But flying, just to fly, with literally no need to do so other than the price is cheap—that should be outlawed. It is just as deadly as a gun,” wrote Holthaus.
“This kind of behavior is the same as taking a gun and just firing blindly into the air towards a crowd just because you think it’s fun to shoot a gun. You don’t care who you’re hurting. You just care about yourself.”
“Unexamined privilege like this is literally causing the biggest existential threat we’ve ever faced as a species,” noted Holthaus, adding that “our leaders are complicit in the permanent destruction of the biosphere on the only planet in the known universe that can harbor life.”
The apology: Holthaus later apologized for the name-calling. “I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. I shouldn’t have used that word to describe a person and I apologize for it and will work on doing better. It’s the system as a whole that needs change,” he wrote.
“We all need to work together to build a world that works for everyone at this most important moment in history. If it takes swearing to do it, I will fucking swear. And I won’t be kind to people who are destroying our chance for survival on the only planet we have. I promise.”