Hollywood’s Carbon Footprint

Guest “Hooray for Hollywood” by David Middleton

A couple of days ago, CTM forwarded a reader suggestion to me. “Cassandra” wanted to know what the carbon footprint of the movie industry was, from movie production to the theater. With “all those annoyingly loud celebrities going on about the dangers of CO2,” it would be fun to see how big their carbon footprint was.

I found a couple of articles from 2019 and 2020, both of which linked to a 2006 paper, which appears to be the only “scientific” study of this subject.

Oil Price Dot Com, October 2019

An Inconvenient Truth: Hollywood’s Huge Carbon Footprint
By Julianne Geiger – Oct 17, 2019

Leonardo DiCaprio may have devoted his celebrity platform to zealously cheerleading on behalf of the environment, but he has fallen prey to criticism about his own carbon footprint – which is rather extensive and includes traveling around the world in private jets and yachts to educate us on how we are wrecking the planet. But DiCaprio is being upstaged by another hypocritical climate crusader – one with even deeper pockets: Hollywood. And when it comes to carbon footprints, it is giving even the oil industry a run for its money.


Hollywood cheered. After all, they are one of the loudest voices on the planet when it comes to environmental causes, and their message is sandwiched into many of the movies and much of the TV that we watch every day.

But Hollywood, more specifically the film industry, is a significant source of pollution and is considered one of the least green industries. And Leo is only part of the problem.

The movie industry is huge, complete with its own pollution. But this hasn’t stopped them from lecturing movie-goers on a wide range of issues including income disparity, social injustices, mining, and its new favorite – the environment. And if this sanctimony seems like a new trend, a quick browse through IMDB should set you right.

According to a 2006 two-year study by UCLA, the Hollywood film and television industry produces more air pollution in the five-county Los Angeles region than almost all of the other five sectors studied. In other words, Hollywood creates more pollution than individually produced by aerospace manufacturing, apparel, hotels, and even semiconductor manufacturing. Only the petroleum industry and its fuel refineries contributed more emissions.


But it’s not just Hollywood. According to BAFTA, the British film organization, one hour of UK television—fiction or nonfiction—produces 13 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is about what the average American uses every year.


Oil Price Dot Com

As a petroleum geologist, I have no doubt that our industry, particularly refining, contributes more GHG emissions than Hollywood, but we actually produce a useful product, essential to our economy and human well-being. While I am a YUGE fan of Marvel’s The Avengers and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, given a choice between oil, gasoline, natural gas & petrochemicals vs. Marvel movies, I’d give up the movies in a heartbeat. It’s difficult to watch movies while freezing in the dark… Although, most movie theaters are dark and cold… hmmm.

The other article was actually from the Grauniad…

The Grauniad, January 2020

Vegan food, recycled tuxedos – and billions of tonnes of CO2: can Hollywood ever go green?

Phil Hoad
Thu 9 Jan 2020

Two schools of thought regarding Hollywood environmentalism were on display at last weekend’s Golden Globes ceremony. In the blue corner were those determined not to stand idly by in the face of the mounting climate crisis, such as Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe drawing attention to the Australian bushfires. Or Joaquin Phoenix, “not always a virtuous man”, who urged his fellow stars to look at themselves, too, and ditch the private jets.

In the red corner was the lone, but unfailingly hectoring voice of host Ricky Gervais, railing against Hollywood hypocrisy. Should any of the winners find their minds drifting to politics while on the podium, they should “accept your little award, thank your agent and your God, and [frack] off”.

It could be that the now near-regulation Gervais Golden Globes roast, playing to the court, is in fact an added layer of hypocrisy in the great Hollywood pageant. But it did at least draw attention again to the gap between good intentions and daily practice in the entertainment industry. Film and TV production has a hefty ecological footprint: a landmark 2006 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study estimated that the industry produced 15m tonnes of CO2 a year. That might seem piddling next to the several billion tonnes emitted by the US economy that year, but in its principal sites of operation, such as Los Angeles, Hollywood was a big polluter – more so than the aerospace, clothing, hotel and semiconductor industries.


Who knows what something like Avengers: Infinity War racks up in production and beyond? If everyone’s favourite mauve Malthusian, Thanos, had really wanted to do his part for the environment, then finger-snapping half the people on the film’s jet-setting international press tour would have been a good start.


Unfortunately, it remains virtually impossible to meaningfully audit Hollywood’s eco-credentials because of a lack of overarching information. Only two of the big six traditional studios made their emissions totals freely available online in 2018: Disney (1.93m tonnes) and Sony-Columbia (1.34m). Along with those two, the others make varying corporation-wide pledges, but they remain as airily aspirational as a J Lo romcom: Universal, for example, touts its fuel-efficient transportation fleet as leading its zero-emissions drive, but will not put a date on zero-hour. Before its buyout by Disney, 21st Century Fox announced it was carbon-neutral in 2011, but the term then disappeared from later reports on the subject.

The UCLA study, 14 years old and predating the recent sustainability boom, is still the only major overview available.


In the meantime, the disconnect between publicly declared environmentalism and daily practice in Hollywood continues. Not only is blockbuster film-making a resource-intensive activity, but it is part of a bigger superstructure of capitalist enterprise that is inherently ecologically costly.


“The thing you have to remember is that entertainment is market-driven. Frankly, [audiences] don’t want to hear about climate change,” the director James Cameron – who is planning to make his Avatar sequels solar-powered and vegan-catered – recently told Variety. He remains doubtful about the impact of ecologically themed films: “I think you can insinuate these ideas into your storytelling. I’ve certainly done that with Avatar, but, frankly, Avatar came out 10 years ago. And in that time our population has grown by almost a billion people, and the effects of that alone on our environment and climate change are devastating. Does [storytelling] do that much good?”

Perhaps the problem is the kind of storytelling. Maybe ecologically progressive thinking is too challenging to the capitalist paradigm of which Hollywood remains a central part. 


The Grauniad

Comrade Hoad was doing OK right up until he declared that the only solution is the get capitalism out of the movie industry. Clearly, instead of making movies the public will pay hard-earned money to see, Hollywood should make instruction videos to teach us how to fix the weather… Instruction videos we would be forced to watch… Probably in reeducation camps.

So, I downloaded the “landmark” 2006 “study” and found a few interesting things.

To put this in perspective, consider the following. As we discuss later, in the environmental best practice section on The Day After Tomorrow, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of that film were estimated (by Future Forests) to be 10,000 tons CO2-equivalent.26 Using data from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Vogel (2001) shows that the MPAA member companies released 218 films in 199927, at an average cost of $51.5 million.28 The budget for The Day After Tomorrow was estimated at $125 million. Scaling greenhouse gas emissions proportionately to the films’ budgets would mean that the average release in 1999 caused 10,000 x 51.5/125 = 4120 tons of GHG emissions; multiplying this by the 218 releases in 1999 would give an estimated total of 898,160 tons of GHG emissions directly associated with production of feature films. This estimate is clearly extremely rough and possibly an underestimate; for instance, it is possible that the methodology used by Future Forests only counts GHG emissions that are directly caused by a project, not the indirect emissions associated with office space for ancillary services and other indirect emissions.

Note from the graph that the total GHG emissions of the motion picture (and television) industry in the Los Angeles metropolitan area are approximately 8 million tons of CO2 equivalent. The figures for California and the U.S. are 8.4 million tons and 15 million tons respectively.

The difference between the estimate of 898,160 tons of GHG emissions associated with feature films in 1999 and that of almost 8 million tons of GHG emissions associated with the motion picture industry’s activity in the Los Angeles metropolitan area suggests several causes. First, television production is most likely a significant factor that is not included in the estimate of GHG emissions associated with feature films. Second, GHG emissions that are caused by the industry but not associated with specific films or television shows are likely to be a significant factor. This would include GHG emissions associated with studio offices, buildings and other offices operated by other service providers (lawyers, advertising agencies, catering firms, etc.), possibly employee commuting, etc.

Corbett & Turco, 2016

This gives us an idea about the size of the carbon footprint of movie productions. But, what about theaters and moviegoers?

The Day After Tomorrow’s Carbon Footprint

The American scientific film, The Day After Tomorrow, premiered on Memorial Day weekend, 2004.

DateDoWRankDaily GrossTheatersAvg.Total Gross
5/28/04Friday1$23,504,430 3,425$6,862 $23,504,430
5/29/04Saturday2$23,789,623 3,425$6,945 $47,294,053
5/30/04Sunday2$21,449,531 3,425$6,262 $68,743,584
5/31/04 Monday2$17,063,757 3,425$4,982 $85,807,341

Source: Box Office Mojo

The movie ultimately grossed over $550 million worldwide, but almost half of its domestic gross occurred that first long weekend, when it took in $85.8 million.

Projection and sound system

The energy consumption of a theater’s sound system largely depends on its age. In the last 15 years or so, manufacturers have cut the amount of energy their systems consume in half, mostly by converting electricity to noise more efficiently. The best models now consume about 1.7 kwh during the course of a 105-minute movie. Unfortunately, few theaters have adopted the new technology. More probably, your local theater is using the previous-generation system, which would use about 2.8 kwh. The combined projector and system therefore account for 12.4 kwh, and 16 pounds of CO2.


The example above was for Green Lantern… (I have heard it was awful… So awful, that in the post-credits scene of Deadpool 2, Ryan Reynolds goes back in time to hilariously prevent himself from making it). Applying these numbers to The Day After Tomorrow, each screening put 18.9 lbs of evil CO2 into the air.


In 2004, the average movie ticket price was $6.21. Using that average price, about 13.8 million tickets were sold over the first four days. That’s about 1,000 tickets per theater per day. If we assume the average cineplex offered 10 showings per day, about 100 tickets were sold for each screening. Most people drive to the movie theater… at least most people in the real world do. If we assume an average of four movie-goers per vehicle, driving a 10-mile round trip to the theater and back, the first four days of The Day After Tomorrow triggered almost 3.5 million 10-mile round trips, or 34.5 million vehicle-miles.

Putting it all together

Green Lantern105minutes
12.4kWh    0.12 kWh/min
16lbs CO2    0.15 lbs CO2 /min
The Day After Tomorrow124minutes
                      14.6 kWh
                      18.9 lbs CO2
Projection/Sound           2,588,648 lbs CO2
10-mile round trips           3,454,402
miles         34,544,018
lbs CO2/mile0.79
lbs CO2   27,289,774.31 Miles drivien
lbs CO2         29,878,422 Projection/Sound + Miles
Theaters (4-days)                 14,939 tons CO2
Production                 10,000 tons CO2
Total                 24,939 tons CO2

Assuming my ballpark math is right, the theater carbon footprint of The Day After Tomorrow was 1.5 times as large as the production’s carbon footprint. Referring back to this quote:

Scaling greenhouse gas emissions proportionately to the films’ budgets would mean that the average release in 1999 caused 10,000 x 51.5/125 = 4120 tons of GHG emissions; multiplying this by the 218 releases in 1999 would give an estimated total of 898,160 tons of GHG emissions directly associated with production of feature films.

Factoring in theaters and moviegoers, 898,160 tons of CO2 emissions from movie production would equate to 2.2 million tons of CO2 emissions. Is that a lot? If the average car is driven 12,000 miles per year, it equates to 472,561 car-years. And that’s not even factoring in the carbon footprints of popcorn, hot dogs, Cheese Whiz nachos and 128 ounce carbonated soft drinks.

Disclaimer: This post was intended to be humorous. I threw it together very quickly and it is loaded with assumptions. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there were at least a few math errors. My spreadsheet is here: https://debunkhouse.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/hollywood-carbon-footprint.xlsx

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John Garrett
February 26, 2020 6:09 am

Nothing disgusts me more than hypocrisy.

DiCaprio et al are the scum of the earth.

Another wonderful Middleton post— thank you × 1,000,000 !

Malcolm Robinson
Reply to  David Middleton
February 26, 2020 12:21 pm

Perhaps he should be renamed DiHypocrio.

Reply to  Malcolm Robinson
February 26, 2020 2:02 pm

(D’ Crapio)…

Reply to  John Garrett
February 26, 2020 6:33 am

Only an industry based on telling stories could be so disgusting and yet claim the moral high ground.

Hollywood rapists, pedophiles, cheating hypocrites, drug abusers, etc., are finally being called out after decades of the industry knowingly allowing such behavior.

February 26, 2020 6:12 am

Maybe they can offset that in the carbon credits market and get to net zero.

Two links



Bryan A
Reply to  chaamjamal
February 26, 2020 6:47 am

Paying money to a Fake Carbon Credit Scam does nothing to eliminate the exhausted CO2 that they fear though. They still produce the same amount of CO2 they just give someone else money for it

Reply to  Bryan A
February 26, 2020 7:07 am

Hello Bryan

They pay to sequester photosynthesis carbon as for example blue carbon that is sequestered for thousands of years.

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 26, 2020 1:47 pm

They don’t need to sequester and kind of carbon. CO2 needs to be released. Plants starve at 150 ppm. They thrive at 1000 ppm. Its now at 435 ppm. More CO2 is good for all life.

February 26, 2020 6:17 am

love your use of the movie ‘day after tomorrow’, one of the movies where you really need to check you brains at the door.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  David Middleton
February 26, 2020 6:59 am

2001, though…… Ahhh… Best film ever…

Did you know that the Space Station model was junked after shooting – left in a field and it disappeared. Hardly an efficient use of money or energy. But then films are not meant to be energy efficient….

Reply to  David Middleton
February 26, 2020 11:54 am

“[‘day after tomorrow’ is] one of my favorite bad science fiction movies… ” As bad movies go, “Day after Tomorrow” can’t hold a candle to “Grave Robbers From Outer Space” (aka “Plan Nine from Outer Space”). On the other hand, we weren’t expected to take “Grave Robbers From Outer Space” seriously but we were expected to take “Day after Tomorrow” seriously.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 27, 2020 3:59 am

uh uh
schlock(the banana monster) john carpenters first film and he played schlock
and the genres named from the movie;-)
though its not sci fi as we know today

Jack Roth
Reply to  David Middleton
February 29, 2020 6:35 pm

David, totally agree with your taste in movies!

February 26, 2020 6:46 am

Don’t forget streaming and all the servers storing the film around the world. Lots of CO2 being burned up keeping the web alive.

Reply to  Spetzer86
February 27, 2020 4:00 am

papers here reported the 150metres?feet of red carpet is destroyed after every awards
why? plenty of people would like new carper red or any colour

February 26, 2020 6:50 am

According to socialists, socialism is the solution to every problem, even those caused by socialism.

Dodgy Geezer
February 26, 2020 6:56 am

It’s a fun post….

But I think that the takeaway is that efficiency, and hence low emissions/low wasted energy is going to be a feature of repetitive, continuous output production. Here you really gain the benefits of a 1% decrease in costs.

Film production is a classic example of a one-off production. No two films are alike. A lot of film production activities are going to be single-use and time-critical – exactly the type of activity where efficiency is least important. If you have a star who demands that burgers be shipped in from his home country 5000 miles away, fine. That’s a high airline freight cost for maybe 3 weeks, and the cost of an unhappy start is probably several days shooting, which is far higher….

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
February 26, 2020 9:28 am

“No two films are alike.”

Obviously, you haven’t been paying attention to how many “reboots” Hollywood does!

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 26, 2020 11:56 am


Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
February 27, 2020 4:04 am

all the travel standing around and extra freeloding bodies that appear as well, at least using new tech theyre not using the silver to make the old film or as many chem to devlop it etc and multiple copies.
Friend of mine Laurence Humphries RIP who sadly was killed a few weeks ago worked the first mad max and mission impossible movies downunder his tales of the sets and what went on were hilarious but also showed the utter waste as well

Ron Long
February 26, 2020 6:56 am

But David, they’re saving the world from fracking and mining, and they have to get the message out, and embedding propaganda inside movies is clever and justified. In fact, everything is justified if it gets Trump out of office, because, you know, we only have a few days? weeks? months? years? and it’s lights out bigtime. This why they support Burning Sanders, because he will destroy the economy and produce real carbon reduction!

February 26, 2020 6:56 am

It matters not if studios release numbers for their CO2 emissions. Hollywood accounting I don’t believe them anyway.

One set of books will record a huge amount of energy consumed and that is the one the tax department will see. The other set of books will show a tiny amount of CO2 emissions, and that is the one the environmentalists will see.

February 26, 2020 7:06 am

I sense a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement coming on until they come to their senses with a zero carbon industry and where is my ethical Super Fund on this?
Whadda we want? Radio! When do we wannit? Now!

Reply to  observa
February 26, 2020 12:02 pm

“Whadda we want? Radio! When do we wannit? Now!”

I am reminded of a child who was interviewed in the early days of television shortly after his family got their first TV set. He was asked which he preferred, Radio or Television. His answer was “Radio…the pictures are better”.

Rod Evans
February 26, 2020 7:17 am

I’m told the people in Canada found The Day After Tomorrow film a bit tame. They say they experience that kind of weather pattern every winter.
I am also told, the only bit they really found convincing was when Mexico granted safe sanctuary to all those who could make it to the warmth and generosity of Hermosillo. Perhaps they like a bit of snow in Hermosillo…..
One of the best excuses I heard last year from the luvvies regarding their travel hypocrisy was from Emma Thompson. She came out with the ultimate let them eat cake excuse. She said “Those who criticise her flying first class from LA to London and then campaign about too much air travel, should realise, I was simply returning home from work and would always be making that flight.
Hey ho.

Reply to  Rod Evans
February 29, 2020 7:32 am

Really shows the depth and brilliance of her thinking , doesn’t it?
Doesn’t everybody commute 11,000km to work every day?
Hah! I commuted 5000km per year,—simply going to and returning from work….

Nick Schroeder
February 26, 2020 7:18 am

“…a lack of overarching information.”

Doesn’t stop the lying, rabble-rousing, fact-free, shit-stirring, fake news MSM, propaganda machine, talking head clowns and clueless journalism majors from lynching any of the other carbon producers or “evil” climate change deniers!

Joel Snider
February 26, 2020 7:52 am

Dear God, don’t get me started on Hollywood – progressive for ‘hypocrisy’.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Joel Snider
February 26, 2020 1:54 pm

I have to wonder how many fully functional guns from BB-guns to machine guns and maybe even tanks and artillery reside in Hollywood prop rooms … in California!

Abolition Man
February 26, 2020 8:10 am

Thank you, David! Another in the long line of fun and/or interesting posts!
Can we start picketing movie theaters with our very own Green Blob protests signs now? To make it more fun we could steal them from the ER scuts and other loonies who look like they barely have the energy to hold them up. Unfortunately, I can’t participate since I live in an open carry state and don’t go to the city without carrying a pistol on my hip; that’s where the crime is, don’t ya know!
Have you checked out “The Expanse” yet? Pretty good acting and writing with a possible Earth future!

February 26, 2020 8:13 am

Don’t forget the Royal family!
Prince Charles, and Prince Harry, are very preachy. And they have huge carbon footprints.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Cam_S
February 26, 2020 1:03 pm

And big ears to boot. It’s a genetic thing….

February 26, 2020 8:32 am

Hope science will stop referring to carbon footprint and point to these dummies that element Carbon makes up 18% of your body (second to Oxygen which is about 65%).

On the outer Barcoo
Reply to  Vuk
February 26, 2020 8:46 am

And the breath of actors ontains about 45,000 ppm carbon dioxide which is exhaled into the atmosphere that only contains about 400 ppm … have they no shame?

John Bell
February 26, 2020 8:33 am

OT a bit but worth mentioning – an interesting article over at GeoExPro about C02 capture and storage. https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2020/02/recent-advances-in-climate-change-research-part-v-underground-storage-of-carbon-dioxide

February 26, 2020 8:52 am

This comes as zero surprise to me. It has always been my opinion Hollywood has the largest per capita carbon smudge in the world, making them…the world’s largest hypocrites. Thanks for taking on the calculations.

February 26, 2020 8:54 am

Take a movies total cost.
Subtract salaries, rental costs, real estate costs.
The rest of the costs are creating trash.

They break windows in the movie?
Windows made from sugar that do not break with sharp edges.
Sets are throwaways, even if they are not destroyed as part of the film. Plaster, glues, laminates, imported woods, etc.

The only reason ‘Day after tomorrow’ made $550 million is because the networks kept showing the film endlessly.

I often wonder when watching a network film where 90% of the advertisements are for the network’s shows and endless save insurance ads.
The network logs charges against their ads in their books; but, those entries are internal transfers, not real income.

The same goes for ‘Day after tomorrow’. How much of that $550 million is actual incoming income versus offset accounting?
It will take someone who has access to the actual journal entries to summarize that.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 26, 2020 9:02 am

This gives us an idea about the size of the carbon footprint of movie productions. But, what about theaters and moviegoers?

And what about all the theme parks based on movie studios? At least with a movie you can watch it at a local theater or stream it directly to your home. But if you want to go to Disney World, you have to, like, actually, literally, go there, with like actual travel and all. So the total carbon footprint of the entertainment-inspired theme parks including the travel must be really YUGE.

Maybe what we need is a giant screen at all entrances to movie theme parks showing Greta Thunberg scowling at the people in the entrance lines and saying “How dare you?”. I’m sure all of Hollywood would get behind that idea.

J Mac
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 26, 2020 11:54 am

Perfect +10! Greta Thunberg is the poster child for “The Central Scrutinizer” position!

Steve Z
February 26, 2020 9:13 am

Making movies is a very fuel-consuming operation. If a movie-maker wants to film at a specific location (to be used as a backdrop), all the actors and film crew have to be flown in, and all extraneous people who live there but would distract from the film have to be evacuated. There may be several “takes” and out-takes before everybody gets it right, then the actors and film crew have to be flown back to where they came from.

If someone is trying to make an “action-packed thriller” where good guys and bad guys are shooting at each other, the camera is usually in a helicopter following the action from above, and helicopters consume more fuel per mile than any other means of transportation. Then when the bad guy loses control of his car and crashes, the bad guy’s car and whatever he ran into cause a big explosion, emitting lots of CO2 and other pollutants found in smoke from uncontrolled burns (which are usually eliminated from controlled burns in industry).

This list could go on, but someone should compile statistics on the total CO2 emissions required to make a movie, and express a “green index” in tons CO2 emitted per minute of movie, which would probably be much higher than the average person’s CO2 emitted per day.

Reply to  Steve Z
February 26, 2020 8:54 pm

In stunt-action movie scenes, highly compressed CO2 ‘cannons’ are used to propel vehicles into mid-air.

And as for ‘creepy’ movies, isn’t dry ice used creates atmospheric misty graveyards?

February 26, 2020 9:18 am

Really shocked to hear Clint Eastwood endorses candidate Sir mini-Mike Bloomberg, who would de-carbonize all and sundry.

Reply to  bonbon
February 26, 2020 10:08 am

If so, getting senile. Unfortunate…..

Tom Abbott
Reply to  bonbon
February 26, 2020 10:40 am

Yeah, I didn’t know Clint could be bought.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 26, 2020 12:49 pm

I didn’t know Clint E was still alive.#
I thought he had joined the Sauce bloke, Newman, in the box of pieces removed from the board.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 26, 2020 1:58 pm

If Clint is a true conservative, and I think he is, then it is hard for me to imagine that he would prefer Bloomberg to Trump.

Trump has advanced the conservative agenda on all fronts in record time and with unbelievable success. What fault can be found with Trump? Tax cuts; deregulation; enhanced energy programs; has rebuilt the military; has dictators around the world on the run; and is presiding over a booming economy with economic zones in black and brown communities going strong.

Now I bet Clint likes all those things. But Clint did voice reservations about how Trump tweets and how he treats certain individuals, so I have to assume that this is the sole reason Clint is switching to Bloomberg (I don’t really think he took money from Bloomberg).

So personal piccadilos of Trump negates all the things Trump has done to advance the conserative agenda in Clint’s mind, I guess.

It doesn’t make sense to me, Clint. I think I can overlook a few traits that don’t sit well with me, if I can get such a huge return. I think Trump goes over the line on occasion with his tweets but that doesn’t change the fact that he will be known in history as one of our greatest, most effective presidents the United States ever had, and he did it all by following the conservative prescription.

Give Trump a Republican Congress and he’ll start reducing the nations debts.

And BTW, Clint, Bloomberg doesn’t seem to have much of a better bedside manner than does Trump. And if he were to gain the presidency we might see a lot more of that natural arrogance of his. I wouldn’t put him above a nasty tweet or two.

Barnes Moore
February 26, 2020 9:22 am

“given a choice between oil, gasoline, natural gas & petrochemicals vs. Marvel movies, I’d give up the movies in a heartbeat”.

Well, if we gave up fossil fuels, we would also be giving up movies since they are clearly not possible without FF – a twofer that should greatly please all the gollywood elites!

February 26, 2020 9:28 am

My guess is that the numbers the two studios claim for their annual emissions are cases of hiding the truth.

I don’t doubt that the ‘studios’ produced the claimed amounts, but these days the studios don’t directly make the movies. Almost always they set up LLC’s to make each movie. This is an accounting game to hide the net profits from the actors who get a % of the NET profits. But this would also allow the studio to not count the emissions from the filming as being from the studio.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  mm1palmer
February 26, 2020 9:38 am

Yes, and I’m sure they also use those “tricks” to ensure that losses get spread around when a movie flops. Just bankrupt the “little” studios “involved” and get creditor protection, while minimizing the hit to the “big” studio. Just look at older films from the 60s and 70s compared to today, and pay attention to the opening credits. Used to be ONE “major” studio (e.g., Universal, Paramount, Columbia); now it’s four or six different studios, many of which you’ve never heard of.

Tim Spence
February 26, 2020 9:29 am

I always thought the main waste was so many exploding oil barrels in all those B movies where the good guys bust up some central American drug cartel, Hollywood B movie style. And of course, all those Vietnam movies.

David Ipperciel
February 26, 2020 9:56 am

A proper analysis of the carbon footprint of the movie industry would have to look at the carbon per GDP generated. It is a huge industry that creates a lot of wealth and jobs. This could then be compared to other industries. Comparing to car-years of CO2 doesn’t say much. Any industry will generate GHG. Knowing which industry generates more GHG per wealth created could add to the debate. Just my 2 cents.

Reply to  David Ipperciel
February 26, 2020 11:53 am

There’s also the issue of how the carbon footprint* of movie goers compares with all other activities. (iow, if people aren’t sitting around watching movies, does their footprint go up or down?) And, thus, on the whole, is the carbon footprint of humanity bigger with Hollywood or without?

*fwiw, human emissions don’t leave a carbon footprint. the atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rate correlates with a temperature relative to an equilibrium state for the last 500 years. (that’s right, i said 500 years)…

Reply to  fonzie
February 26, 2020 12:18 pm

DM, take a look at this graph from your december 2012 piece entitled A Brief History of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Record-Breaking:

comment image

If you look closely you can see that, for the last 500 years, the carbon dioxide growth rate is contingent on a temperature above an equilibrium state. If we don’t get the temperature, then we don’t get the equivilent growth rate. It’s quite stunning just how exacting the temp/growthrate relationship is, especially so hundreds of years ago (where it’s much easier to see it with a greater degree of precision in your graph). For the last couple of centuries, of course, we have direct temperature measurements which also are well correlated with the carbon dioxide growth rate. So, we have both relatively recent & not so recent correlation…

February 26, 2020 10:06 am

Automobiles in movies all must be gasoline-bombs as they explode at the slightest impact. For that matter, every “Hollywood” (it’s usually Vancouver now) explosion has to be some giant orange fireball, which is done w/rigged-gasoline.

Yeah, you can tell they’re SO concerned about CO2.

February 26, 2020 10:15 am

DiCaprio can’t get over that chinook!
GUNTER – Leo, Leo, Leo. It was a chinook for crying out loud, not a sign from the earth goddess Gaia. Get over it.

Now DiCaprio of all things is lecturing us about “Sin” !!
Leonardo DiCaprio: ‘It’s a sin to destroy our planet’

The Prophet Lovelock is 100 now I believe, so won’t be around too much longer. Leo is a shoe in for the movie role venerating him

February 26, 2020 10:17 am

In the same spirit of fun:
I hate to tattle on my former employer, but the Kodak plant when I worked there was more than 4 miles of contiguous chemical and manufacturing operations. We had our own railway system and 4 on site power plants running on coal. Of course motion picture film was not the only product, but it was sizable. We also had to ship that film from western NY to California.

A motion picture uses miles of origination film (negative) that the scenes are shot on, a lot more of several intermediate films during the process to edit, add sound, create effects, and of course print film sent to the theaters which in general is 6000 feet long or more. A “blockbuster” would have many many reels distributed to theaters.

Having said all that, I have no real qualms about the carbon footprint of what used to be Kodak Park that employed at one time (circa 1970s) about 60,000 people, and satisfied a lot of consumer need.

Tom Abbott
February 26, 2020 10:42 am

I guess they are just going to have to stop making movies and tv programs.

After all, we only have a little over 11 years left before CO2 destroys us all.

Chris Hanley
February 26, 2020 12:53 pm

“According to a 2006 two-year study by UCLA, the Hollywood film and television industry produces more air pollution in the five-county Los Angeles region than almost all of the other five sectors studied …”.
Air pollution; what are they on about here, particulates and nitrous oxide etc. or colourless odourless life-sustaining CO2?

Mumbles McGuirck
February 26, 2020 1:05 pm

…factoring in the carbon footprints of popcorn, hot dogs, Cheese Whiz nachos and 128 ounce carbonated soft drinks.

NOT if Mini-Mike Bloomberg is elected President.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
February 26, 2020 1:46 pm

Mini-Mike Bloomberg

It’s as though Bloomberg is paying, what, a billion dollars just so that Trump can brand him for life. (i’m sure that if he had asked politely, the don would have done it for free)…

Clyde Spencer
February 26, 2020 2:12 pm

You left out the CO2 byproduct of the popcorn machines!

Michael S. Kelly
February 26, 2020 6:06 pm

A great article! Thanks!

Russ Wood
February 29, 2020 8:05 am

My wife read a Farcebook comment by a young woman: “To save energy, why don’t they make all new movies with cellphones? THEY won’t use any electricity at all.”

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