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  • - Fancy plane rides, pink Lamborghinis,

  • and giant homes in California.

  • Influencers love to flaunt a lavish lifestyle

  • but what would actually happen to the planet

  • if everybody lived like an influencer?

  • - Better yet, how many Earths would we need

  • to sustain the lifestyle of everyone saying,

  • "Make sure you give this video a thumbs up.

  • "Make sure you like, subscribe,

  • "and you comp that merch below, bro."

  • - Let's start with-

  • - Driving, the thing I hate most on Earth.

  • The most famous influencers live in America

  • where 6 million cars are purchased each year.

  • And in the year 2015, Americans' combined driving length

  • was from Earth to Pluto and back 500 times.

  • Most specifically though, influencers live here

  • in the epicenter of the entertainment industry, La La Land.

  • You might be a romantic and think of L.A.

  • as the city of leading men swinging their arms

  • and dancing on the big screen.

  • But now it's more like beefcake men swinging something else

  • on this small screen.

  • In L.A., on average people drive 9.3 miles per day,

  • which feels insane when you're from a place like Toronto,

  • but it's actually 54% less

  • than the rest of Southern California.

  • This is because many Angelenos,

  • which is what you're called when you live in L.A.

  • which is kind of amazing, take public transit.

  • But when is the last time you saw a vlogger

  • or YouTuber on a bus?

  • They'd be like, "Oh my God, is this on?

  • "Do I look okay? (gasps)

  • "It's taking a lot for me to tell you this,

  • "and you know how much I love you guys.

  • "Something really crazy happened to me.

  • "Like story time, okay.

  • "I had to take a bus."

  • (dramatic instrumental music)

  • - And the cream of the crop celebrities or influencers

  • live here in the West L.A. hills, aka the Hollywood Hills.

  • According to public data, people who live here

  • drive the most out of everyone in all of L.A.,

  • and things add up quickly as any employee or friend

  • also needs to drive up into these hills

  • to get to your house,

  • leading to an average of 11.1 vehicle miles

  • traveled per day.

  • This is why we constantly see influencers making videos

  • in their car like this.

  • - Hi, sisters. - Hi.

  • (group laughing)

  • - Oh my gosh, that was kind of scary.

  • - Also, did you know that 20% of meals in America

  • are actually eaten in the car?

  • (sighs) The American dream.

  • - I feel guilty. (crunches)

  • - But if we're all rich influencers,

  • we can afford to buy an electric vehicle

  • like a Tesla, right?

  • Let's assume we can.

  • Buying a Tesla is still actually worse for the environment

  • than taking public transit,

  • and charging it still relies on the current power grid.

  • Also, I am aware of the irony of me filming this in our car.

  • I mean, we're influencers after all.

  • Nobody's perfect

  • - And since we're in Cali, it's not that bad.

  • California has amazing renewable energy sources.

  • In 2018 only 3.3% of the power grid came from coal

  • and 0.16 came from crude oil,

  • compared to the rest of America where 13.1% comes from coal

  • and 36.4 from crude oil.

  • So charging a Tesla in L.A. is pretty green

  • compared to the rest of America and even the world.

  • But California still relies pretty heavily on natural gas,

  • not to mention the raw materials

  • it takes to make a Tesla in the first place.

  • When you add it all up,

  • it starts taking a toll on the Earth.

  • Based on eco footprint calculations,

  • we would need 4.3 Earth to sustain a world

  • where everyone had the same driving lifestyle

  • as an influencer.

  • That's just based off of driving

  • in some pretty ideal conditions.

  • But what about their- - Mansions?

  • Huge houses require a lot of energy and electricity.

  • To start, Americans consume 15% of the world's energy

  • and 20% of the world's electricity,

  • but make up only 4% of the world's population.

  • For context, the people of India and Sub-Saharan Africa

  • consume only 10% of the world's electricity

  • but make up 33% of the world's population.

  • Influencers tend to flaunt these large, gorgeous,

  • costly homes, but the true cost is on the Earth.

  • Take just air conditioning for example.

  • More than half of the air conditioning units in the world

  • are in China and the U.S.,

  • and keeping them running uses 2.5 times more electricity

  • than the whole continent of Africa uses in a year.

  • One study I found calculated that 6% of all electricity

  • in the U.S. is used for air conditioning,

  • and air conditioning our homes causes

  • more than 100 million tons

  • of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

  • Not to mention the cement or concrete that's needed

  • to build these large homes as, surprisingly,

  • concrete accounts for 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions

  • and is the second most consumed substance

  • on Earth after water.

  • But a lot of these influencers do their best.

  • They carpool.

  • They don't always eat meat.

  • They are minimalists.

  • Is that what this is?

  • This looks like an evil villain's lair in a Disney movie.

  • Even if we assume that these influencers never eat meat

  • and that they have some energy efficient appliances

  • in their home, you can run a calculation to find out

  • that if we all drove and had mansions like L.A. influencers

  • we would need 10.9 Earths to sustain the lifestyle.

  • - So hold up.

  • How are we calculating the amount of Earths?

  • Using geographical locations and behavioral averages

  • for income and neighborhood information,

  • we can measure an influencer's global hectares.

  • This measurement looks at how much land, sea,

  • and other resources are needed to produce

  • what each person's global hectare will be per year.

  • And there's many online calculators where you can figure out

  • your own eco footprint.

  • But we're actually gonna need a lot more Earths

  • because influencers, and us right now, are using a service

  • that emits a lot more carbon dioxide than you might think,

  • and that is- - Online video platforms.

  • The energy needed to store, deliver, distribute,

  • and even watch online video leads to 0.4 kilograms

  • of CO2 emissions per hour.

  • In 2018, 228.8 million people in the U.S.

  • watched digital content for 82 minutes each day,

  • adding 1.3 billion kilograms of CO2

  • to the atmosphere per year.

  • So if we all became online influencers,

  • our CO2 release would be astronomical.

  • Plus, we'd be uploading so much

  • and then downloading so much,

  • so the servers and energy to cool the servers

  • would be insane.

  • Did you know that they're trying to put servers

  • up in the Arctic so we don't have to spend as much money

  • trying to cool them and as much energy trying to cool them?

  • Either way, uploading and downloading all this video

  • would be really bad for the planet.

  • Not to mention- - The closet.

  • (sighs) Back in the closet, I see.

  • Hello darkness, my old friend

  • - The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry

  • in the world,

  • responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • MIT calculated that the global impact

  • of producing polyester alone was somewhere around

  • 706 million metric tons of carbon dioxide,

  • or about what 185 coal-fired power plants emit in a year.

  • Let alone selling the products.

  • So if 80% of people in the majority world

  • shopped like influencers in L.A.,

  • we would see a 77% increase in carbon dioxide emissions

  • associated with clothing production,

  • a 20% increase in water usage, and 7% increase in land use.

  • Who knew you'd have a gay man telling you to shop less.

  • Usually, we just have girls being like,

  • "Oh my God, be my gay best friend.

  • "Come shopping with me."

  • It's like, "Honey, if it ain't a circular economy,

  • "it ain't happening."

  • Not really killing it

  • as the gay best friend right now, am I?

  • We'll include all that info in the final tally

  • of global hectares, but before we get to that,

  • let's talk about an influencer's favorite substance,

  • and I don't mean tummy tea.

  • I mean- - Oil.

  • Half the world's oil is consumed

  • by only 17% of the world's population.

  • These countries are known as the OECD nations

  • and they are also responsible for 33%

  • of the world's CO2 emissions.

  • America itself produces 15% of the world's CO2 emissions,

  • compared to Bangladesh who has half the population

  • but only produces 1% of the world's CO2 emissions per year.

  • Remember the sprawling mansions we mentioned earlier?

  • People in Bangladesh do not live in these.

  • The 163 million people of Bangladesh

  • live within their country,

  • which is the size of about Alabama.

  • Americans, on average, consume 10 liters of oil a day,

  • but we Canadians fare even worse

  • at 10.2 liters of oil a day,

  • compared to a Bangladeshi who only uses

  • 0.1 liters of oil per day.

  • A lot of this oil is used up from flying,

  • which is something that influencers love to do

  • even during a global pandemic.

  • Ding.

  • Even if we keep the influencer lifestyle vegan,

  • we're also gonna assume

  • that they're pretty much shopping only local.

  • They got those expensive L.A. grocery stores.

  • We're gonna include a flight from New York to L.A.

  • every two months,

  • which I think is actually being kind of generous

  • for influencer lifestyles when you study them,

  • but we're gonna put that in as a well.

  • We discovered that if everyone lived like an influencer,

  • we would need 12.9 Earths to sustain the lifestyle.

  • (crickets chirping)

  • So what can we collectively take away from this?

  • - Video to dissect the idea of the aspirational lifestyle

  • that affects all of us, including us.

  • I mean, like I've got a fig tree back there.

  • I want it to look pretty.

  • We're all impacted by the consumption habits

  • we see online and in media.

  • But if we all lived like Bangladeshis,

  • we would only need this much of the Earth

  • to sustain all life, which is astounding.

  • And in our current climate crisis,

  • are these not in some ways an aspirational lifestyle?

  • I know this can get complex and muddy

  • when we talk about poverty or the quality of life,

  • but the Global Happiness Council found that in 2017,

  • Americans were the unhappiest they'd ever been

  • since starting that initiative,

  • even though they were working, eating, driving,

  • and consuming more than ever.

  • In fact, if we came together as a species

  • and evenly distributed our fuel and energy consumption

  • across the 7 billion people on this planet,

  • we would all have the same energy use

  • as somebody in Switzerland in the 1960s.

  • Look at those gorg trams.

  • Look at those cute little outfits.

  • They honestly look happy.

  • And the life expectancy of somebody in Switzerland in 1965

  • was the same as it is in America today,

  • which is much higher than the world average.