Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old college student from Florida, is asking Elon Musk for $50,000 in exchange for no longer tracking his jet and tweeting its location. An automated Twitter account (@ElonJet) posts live updates using public data from ADS-B Exchange. The public debacle over this Twitter account has drawn attention to the pollution caused by private jet owners.
Musk isn’t the only public figure Sweeney is tracking. Other notable figures on the teen’s radar include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and rapper Drake. Sweeney has even created a website in hopes of monetizing this tracking project.
“They’re either really prominent people or just like really interesting,” Sweeney said of the people he tracks. Lately, he’s been adding people his Twitter followers suggest.
Sweeney’s newest accounts track Drake and billionaire Mark Cuban. While some are calling out how invasive these Twitter accounts are, Sweeney’s endeavors began out of an interest in aviation. He notes that Drake “has the biggest plane out of all of them, it is a giant Boeing.”
The environmental impact of these private planes has many critics pointing out how the rich contribute the most to climate change. As Inhabitat reported last year, Climate Clock global ambassador Jerome Ringo says wealthy countries like the U.S. contribute the most to climate change issues. Even the BBC has published stark statistics about how “The world’s wealthiest 10% were responsible for around half of global emissions in 2015.” Amid global climate concerns, the carbon emissions from private jets owned by billionaires like Musk and Cuban are especially troubling.
According to Sweeney, Musk offered him $5,000 to close the Twitter account. “Can you take this down? It is a security risk,” Musk wrote Sweeney via Twitter’s direct-messaging system. “I don’t love the idea of being shot by a nutcase.”
Sweeney’s response? A counter-offer. “Any chance to up that to $50K? It would be great support in college and would possibly allow me to get a car, maybe even a [Tesla] Model 3,” Sweeney replied.
As of Feb. 7, Sweeney’s jet-tracking Twitter accounts are still up and running. A tweet on Feb. 5 highlighted that one of Musk’s recent flights used 424 gallons of jet fuel and emitted 4.48 tons of CO2.
Via The Guardian
Lead image via Pixabay