Kim Kardashian’s “realistic” approach to climate change isn’t enough

The mogul's response to how she's reacting to global warming is emblematic of the clueless liberal posturing of the uber wealthy.

Kim Kardashian in a black body-tight, sleeveless dress, black sunglasses and shiny silver circle ear...
Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Kim Kardashian is catching heat for saying she would prefer to pick and choose her battles when it comes to the planet slowly being cooked alive. In her cover story for Interview Magazine, the mogul was asked about her thoughts on climate change and whether she is taking action in response.

“I believe in climate change, and I believe that anything can help,” she said. “But I also believe in being realistic and I think sometimes there’s so much to worry about on this planet, and it can be really scary to live your life with anxiety. I have super climate change–involved friends, and I love learning from them. I do what I can, but you have to pick and choose what really works for you in your life. … No one’s going to be 100 percent perfect.”

Kardashian’s response has been roundly criticized as out-of-touch, particularly in light of backlash in recent weeks over celebrity excess when it comes to climate change, from alarmingly short private jet flights to their abundant water usage. Granted, the interview may have occurred before Kim’s sister, Kylie, was called out as a “climate criminal” for her three-minute flights.

The truth is that Kim is right: it is indeed hard to live life under the cloud of climate anxiety and there is only so much one can choose to change about their lives to help combat global warming. This reality, of course, applies in extremely different terms to the other 99%, to people whose feelings of helplessness mean debating whether they should just let themselves use a plastic straw for the day.

In Kim’s case, “being realistic” comes down to ultimately needing to opt for the private jet to fly across town and avoid traffic. Or exceeding her water limit by hundreds of thousands of gallons amid California’s drought.

Perhaps Kim is being unfairly crucified and singled out, but her sentiment is emblematic of the wealthy and uber-wealthy, whose liberal posturing about being XYZ-conscious tends to fall apart in actual behavior, done away by rationalizations that don’t really translate the same way at their income bracket. When it comes to Kim’s level — specifically at about 35,000 feet up in the air, where her private jets are cruising — the philosophy of picking and choosing how to fight global catastrophe tends to fall apart.