- Seattle teenager Akash Shendure runs Climate Jets, a website that tracks emissions of private jets.
- He keeps tabs on more than 150 of the wealthiest individuals and families, the New York Times reported.
- Shendure uses a data base created by Jack Sweeney, who famously tracked Elon Musk’s jet.
Move over, Jack Sweeney — there’s another teen making waves for tracking the carbon emissions of the world’s wealthiest individuals.
Seattle-based Akash Shendure, 17, is the brains behind Climate Jets, a project he developed “to reveal the disparity between the carbon emissions of the ultra-rich and average Americans,” he writes on his website. Using Sweeney’s Ground Control Registration Database — which was developed to famously track Elon Musk’s private jet — Shendure identifies and compiles carbon emissions from the private jets of more than 150 wealthy Americans and their families.
Currently, Thomas Siebel, the Murdoch family, and the DeVos family, take the top three spots for highest emissions, respectively. By clicking each, users can learn more specific details about the number of flights taken, jet fuel used, and carbon dioxide emitted.
The teenager told The New York Times that in order to determine how much fuel each jet uses, he reached out to a company that sells data and told them he needed it for academic purposes.
“They sent it to me, which was really nice of them,” he told the Times. The company didn’t charge him.
Shendure is the latest to publicly keep tabs on the expenditure of private jets, following on the heels of Sweeney, now 20, who recently launched his own public-jet tracking database. Sweeney began tracking Musk’s private jet in 2020 and created the Twitter account @ElonJet to share his findings, gaining thousands of followers and even job offers.
However, by December 2022, Musk — who had just taken over at Twitter — suspended Sweeney’s account and threatened to sue the college student, who told Insider’s Grace Kay and Sam Tabahriti that he began tracking Musk as a fan.
“I don’t mean any harm and that’s never the intended purpose of the accounts,” Sweeney told Insider in December 2022. “I’m literally just sharing public information and the whole intended purpose of the account was originally because I was a fan of him.”
Sweeney receives a special thanks on Shendure’s website, along with “all the contributors to Ground Control Database” who help inform the teen’s tracking.
Shendure told the Times his goal is to use the website to increase awareness, and while the outlet notes that his findings have yet to be independently verified, he is succeeding in getting more people talking about climate change.
He said he was struck by how his peers talk about the small things they can do in their day-to-day lives to better protect the planet, but felt there wasn’t enough focus on how those actions “have such minute impacts relative to just taking a flight in a commercial airline relative to a private jet,” per the Times.
“It was surprising to me that this wasn’t being talked about more,” he told the Times.