Earlier this week, one of the Davos attendees, billionaire Jeff Greene, railed against American excess … after taking his wife, children, and two nannies along to Switzerland with him in one of those private jets.
“America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene told Bloomberg. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”
Greene, who ran for U.S. Senate in Florida in 2010, has a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to being an advocate for environmental sustainability. According to a 2010 article in the Tampa Bay Times, in March 2005 Greene’s three-story, 145-foot yacht Summerwind—the size of ”a 14-story building turned on its side”—dropped anchor onto one of the planet’s most pristine coral reefs in Belize, inflicting a 50-by-200-foot swath of damage. Greene wasn’t aboard at the time and denies the incident ever took place, despite scientific damage surveys and an open case file maintained by Belize’s Department of the Environment. In 2010, Belize said that if Greene or the Summerwind—whose gas tank costs about $100,000 to fill—ever returned to the country, he would be subject to a $1.87 million fine. (It’s not clear where the situation stands now.)
It seems Greene, like so many other thought leaders, is taking a “you first” strategy on that whole “smaller, better existence” thing.
Correction: I misspelled Eric's name. Now corrected.
Addition: I'm not the only one noticing this stunning hypocrisy.