The Hamptons is one of the most exclusive vacation spots in the United States, east of New York City at the tip of Long Island. It can be reached by car, train, or bus, but the means most favored by the wealthy who frequent it are helicopters and private jets, so much so that South Fork Airport is more frequented than commercial planes. This makes the Hamptons airport a significant source of polluting emissions, and after weeks of tension, in a summer of record temperatures and extreme weather events, protests continue to shut it down.
A group of local organizations began working with members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, a federally recognized Native American tribe based in the Hamptons, and individuals including conservation heiress Abigail Disney, Walt’s great-granddaughter, resulting in a series of “violent civil disobedience and airport sieges” to prevent Arrival and departure of private jets from the airport and raising awareness of the massive CO2 emissions of each private jet flight.”
Super privileged people contribute to global waste and pollution disproportionately to the rest of the population, and private jets are a prime example of this. According to studies, private jets pollute up to 14 times more per passenger than commercial flights. A report from the Environmental Protection Agency found that in 2022, non-commercial civilian aircraft use produced as many emissions in the United States as all scheduled flights.
The civil disobedience action in the South Fork ended with the arrest of 14 people, including the arrest of Disney, who told the press during the sit-down: “I flew on private planes. They’re beautiful, and it’s so hard to part with them, but I finally figured it out and got back into flying commercially, knowing that until then we shouldn’t even be flying as much as we do. It’s time to take responsibility for the damage we’ve caused.”
Since, 10 years ago, the new models of extremely noisy helicopters arrived to serve as flying taxis, the South Fork has – paradoxically – become a battleground between billionaires and millionaires: these own their villas near the airport and cannot afford the level of noise pollution generated by the super-rich who reside Close to the beach. You got here from New York City, said Larry, a 78-year-old New York businessman, and I don’t see why they couldn’t do that in a chauffeur-driven car like everyone else. last”.
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