Quantcast
Climate

5 Celebrities Busted as Part of #DroughtShaming

Californians reduced their overall water usage by 29 percent in May. This is impressive because it exceeds the mandatory 25 percent reduction set by Gov. Brown in April, which didn't even take effect until June. Still, California needs to continue to reduce its water use amidst an epic drought.

So, some Californians have taken to drought shaming people—even their own neighbors—for what they see as profligate water use. A quick search on Twitter of "#droughtshaming" will reveal how common the practice is.

San Jose Mercury News reports that Southern California resident Tony Corcoran cruises wealthy communities like Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, looking for water wasters. He admits to posting more than 100 videos of water-wasters on YouTube—and he even includes their addresses. Corcoran is just one of many. Another California resident, Dan Estes, has designed a free app, DroughtShame, which records the time and place where people see water waste. And there are several other apps out there as well.

"I drought shamed the preschool next to my apartment," Estes told Mercury News. "Timer was off on their sprinklers. Those things were on for five hours, and the sidewalk was a river. I was non-confrontational, but at the same time, public."

Twenty minutes after he reported it, the sprinklers were shut off. But preschools wasting water aren't the easy targets. What everyone really hates to see is the rich and famous hogging all the water. It just really seems to piss people off. 

So without further ado, here are five celebrities who have become targets of drought shaming:

1. Tom Selleck is the most recent celebrity to fall victim to drought shaming. The actor has been accused of taking water from a Ventura County water district fire hydrant for use on his ranch. "The Calleguas Municipal Water District filed a complaint against Selleck and his wife, Jillie, that says the couple has stolen water from the district in Thousand Oaks more than a dozen times," reports KTLA 5 News. Selleck owns a 60-acre ranch with an avocado farm on part of the property.

2. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West haven't been charged with stealing water from a fire hydrant (at least not yet), but their massive estate with a vibrant green lawn and what appears to be two swimming pools is enough to upset average Californians who feel the biggest water users need to cut back more than those whose water use pales in comparison.

3. Barbra Streisand was called out when aerial photos of her lush Malibu estate emerged on the Internet. In response, Streisand has let most of the lawn go brown, is installing a greywater system and rainwater cisterns, and she said she cut her water usage by more than 50 percent in the past few months, according to U.S. News.

Read page 1

4. Not even the beloved Oprah could avoid the fiery wrath of drought shamers. An article in Gizmodo, If We're Going to Do Celebrity #DroughtShaming Let's Do It Right, explains part of the problem in calling out celebrities, such as Oprah, is that people are using outdated photos of their property and have not looked into whether or not the celebrity in question has changed his or her habits during the drought.

5. Yes, that's right. Californians even want the Playboy Mansion to face reality (at least when it comes to the drought).

As a bonus, I thought I'd throw in some rich people who aren't famous, but have some awesomely bad responses to being called out for using too much of the state's precious water resources. Steve Yuhas, a conservative talk radio host and resident of the uber wealthy community of Rancho Santa Fe, California, has made headlines for "throwing a big baby tantrum about drought cutbacks." His community is part of the Santa Fe Irrigation District, the water district with the highest water use in the state.

The Washington Post reports:

People "should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful," Yuhas fumed on social media. "We pay significant property taxes based on where we live," he added in an interview. "And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water."

Here's another person it's hard to feel bad for:

Gay Butler, quoted in the tweet above, is an interior decorator in Rancho Santa Fe, where the median income is $189,000. Butler says, “I think we’re being overly penalized, and we’re certainly being overly scrutinized by the world.”

Here's her logic (via SF Weekly) for using all that water: "You could put 20 houses on my property, and they’d have families of at least four. In my house, there is only two of us, Butler said. So they’d be using a hell of a lot more water than we’re using."

Hard to argue there ... or is it?

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Why Would 46 Senators Support Burning Trees for Electricity When It Contributes More to Climate Change Than Coal?

5 Extreme Weather Events Impacting the Planet

4 Ways the U.S. Can Rapidly Reduce Carbon Emissions and Grow the Economy

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals
Baby mountain gorilla. Pixabay

Conservation and 'Renewed Hope': Mountain Gorilla Numbers Rebound

First, the good news. Collaborative conservation efforts have brought "renewed hope" for mountain gorillas and two large whale species, according to today's update from the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The mountain gorilla subspecies moved from "critically endangered" to "endangered" due to anti-poaching patrols and veterinary interventions. In 2008, their population dropped to as low as 680 individuals––but the new estimates reveal that the number of mountain gorillas has increased to more than 1,000 individuals—the highest figure ever recorded for the eastern gorilla subspecies, the IUCN said.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Westend61 / Getty Images

EcoWatch Gratitude Photo Contest: Submit Now!

EcoWatch is pleased to announce its first photo contest! Show us what in nature you are most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Whether you have a love for oceans, animals, or parks, we want to see your best photos that capture what you love about this planet.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Agricultural workers in Salinas, California. Michael Davidson / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

200+ Groups Call on Senate to Reject 'Pesticide Industry Loyalist' as USDA's Top Scientist

By Andrea Germanos

Denouncing his "strong ties to corporate agribusiness and pesticide companies," more than 240 groups urged the Senate on Wednesday to reject the nomination of Scott Hutchins, President Donald Trump's pick for chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
The world's forested area shrunk by 129 million hectares between 1990 and 2015. Pixabay

France Looks to Curb Palm Oil and Beef Imports to Halt Deforestation

In a significant move to combat worldwide deforestation, the French government unveiled a national strategy on Wednesday that looks to curb imports of soybean, palm oil, beef and beef products, cocoa, rubber, as well as wood and its derivatives.

The new plan, a joint effort from five French ministries, identifies these items as contributing the most to "imported deforestation"—meaning these products are directly or indirectly tied to forest degradation.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Oceans
The dramatic conclusions of a recent study on ocean warming have been cast in doubt by newly discovered errors. marion faria photography / Getty Images

New Findings Cast Doubt on Claim That Oceans Have Warmed 60% More Than Scientists Thought

Two weeks ago, EcoWatch reported on a terrifying study that claimed the world's oceans had warmed 60 percent more in the past 25 years than previously thought. This raised the possibility that the earth was more even more sensitive to climate change than scientists had believed, meaning we have even less time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep temperatures within a livable range.

In the two weeks since the study was first published in Nature, however, errors have been spotted in the paper that cast doubt on that alarming 60 percent figure.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Pixabay

Turkey Is Bad on Antibiotics—Pork and Beef, Even Worse

By David Wallinga, MD

Heading into the holidays, many of our families are planning meals centered around a delicious turkey, ham or brisket. But a new analysis from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and our partners at Food Animal Concerns Trust shows that our families' health is at significant risk from how these American meats are typically produced.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
The Great Australian Bight is home to one of only two southern right whale calving grounds in the world. Greenpeace / Jaimen Hudson

An Oil Spill in the Great Australian Bight Could Be Twice as Bad as Deepwater Horizon

Equinor, Norway's state oil company formerly known as Statoil, has faced criticism from environmentalists over its plans to drill the Great Australian Bight off the country's southern coast. A potential spill in the area would threaten the ecosystem and endanger the largest breeding populations of endangered southern right whales in the world.

Such fears are now confirmed if a blowout should actually occur, according to a leaked draft Oil Pollution Emergency Plan authored by Equinor and obtained by Greenpeace's Australia Pacific branch.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Thanasis Zovoilis / Moment / Getty Images

Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt

Seasonal spikes of atrazine–a weed killer that can disrupt hormones and harm developing fetuses–contaminate drinking water in corn-growing areas of the Midwest and beyond, according to an analysis of federal records by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!