Apr 14Liked by Emily Atkin

No matter how you slice it, LAPD's (over)use of its helicopters is bad, but the climate considerations add a new layer to this discussion. Their fleet needs to be downsized if not dismantled outright, not that I expect it to happen.

Expand full comment

Wow, what an eye-opening piece!! I'm curious if this reporting would be replicable in other cities -- I'm a journalist based in NYC, and am now very curious about the NYPD's climate impact. (I don't think they use helicopters as much as the LAPD but they certainly have an excessive number of cars/trucks.)

Expand full comment

I am a bit more curious about how their fleet

compares to other big city PDs instead of celebrities or individuals. It would provide a much more relevant understanding.

Expand full comment

You know what …. It always amazes me how the most righteous amongst us can also be the most uninformed with the most misplaced views…

First, pollution is always something to work on, but its got to be a journey that balances the technology available (and possible) with the prosperity within our societies.. Each society will be at different position on managing this balance.

So, public safety with managing the escalation of crime is a decaying city such as LA driven by over liberal politics has to be balanced with the copter pollution mentioned..

Second ..The gross assumption is that CO2 is a pollutant … This has driven unscientific hysteria and fostered a new religion that has been promoted by irresponsible over liberal western governments that have decided to use it to control the population, and in turn take us to a much lower level of prosperity. Hopefully, sanity will be reinstalled soon.

These righteous people look no further than their nose and push fancy ideals about electrified solutions that significantly over extend the application of current technology. They expect everything in sight to be electrified using just wind and solar.. well good luck with that... its laughable and so unscientific its puke worthy.

So, this is their position while they ravenously consume vast quantities of CO2 (this so called pollutant) in serving their every “want” way past their “needs” using wasteful global supply chains and offshore sources of manufacturing that utilize low productive and heavily polluting foreign factories that generate vast amounts of CO2 using power sources that not only produce plenty of CO2 but are plain dirty and unhealthy. Then the products get shipped in the most wasteful and dirtiest things ever made…... These container ships pollute more than 6 times all the gas cars on the planet… then these consumer “wants” get driven right to the door in trucks that will never get electrified any time soon. And even if they were, the battery usage involved would create a mining activity to extract the materials estimated to pollute our air and water 10 times what our oil and gas sector currently generates..

This all being said …… these “bears in the air” are the very much least of our problems!!

For a reality check go to www.nigelsouthwayauthor.com for my new book on how to clean up our supply chains, and to learn why CO2 is not a problem go to Home - CO2 Coalition to convert righteousness into reality.

Or visit me at booth 907 at the Los Angeles Festival of Books on the USC campus next week-end 22/23 April. … you can buy my book and get it signed.

Expand full comment

The police emissions issue is critical, and worth pursuing. Really good piece. The general policing issue - also very important - is, of course, different. Your article does not report how police flights are being used, for what, when they are authorized, or - perhaps most importantly, their measurable effectiveness. FOI requests would likely tell you the exact purposes, durations, success/failures etc of every flight. You mention police helicopters have not lowered crime rates. How would they? Crime rates are different that arrest, capture, rescue rates. Have you requested these? Have you spoken to police about chopper operations? Let's assume we could successfully ground these flights. What would replace them?

Expand full comment

Great article. I think covering the unknown or vastly underdiscussed sources of emissions like these are important, not just because of the immediate CO2 impacts, but also because it pushes me, and I hope others, to consider whether we need some of these things in the first place, which I think police helicopters probably don't need to be, based on your reporting. At least on this scale.

Also I have to give a shoutout to the awesome graphics Emily made.

Looking forward to the second part!

Expand full comment

In the summer of '86 I had a job selling reference books door-to-door in San Bernardino (the armpit of LA region) and I my most vivid memories are of smog and police helicopters. I can only imagine what the accumulate climate impact of LAPD (and other jurisdictions nearby) is after all these decades.

Expand full comment