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
Climate
In 2018, the Arctic region had the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage on record. NOAAPMEL / YouTube

The Past 5 Years Were the Arctic's Warmest on Record

The Arctic is still warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth, and the region's air temperatures in the past five years between 2014-2018 have exceeded all previous records since 1900, according to a peer-reviewed report released by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday.

The agency's 13th annual Arctic Report Card also concluded that 2018 was second only to 2016 in terms of the region's overall warmth.

Keep reading... Show less
Science
Partial solar eclipse. ndersbknudsen, CC BY 2.0

3 Key Dangers of Solar Geoengineering and Why Some Critics Urge a Global Ban

By Justin Mikulka

A Harvard research team recently announced plans to perform early tests to shoot sunlight-reflecting particles into the high atmosphere to slow or reverse global warming.

These research efforts, which could take shape as soon as the first half of 2019, fall under the banner of a geoengineering technology known as solar radiation management, which is sometimes called "sun dimming."

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Even an increase of 2°C would cause significant sea level rise. pxhere

Report: Current Climate Policies Will Warm the World by 3.3˚C

This past October, a widely disseminated United Nations report warned that far-reaching and significant climate impacts will already occur at 1.5˚C of warming by 2100.

But in a study released Tuesday, researchers determined that the current climate polices of governments around the world will push Earth towards 3.3˚C of warming. That's more than two times the aspirational 1.5˚C target adopted by nearly 200 nations under the 2015 Paris agreement.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
garett_mosher / iStock / Getty Images

McDonald's to Reduce Antibiotics Use in Beef

In a significant win in the fight to save antibiotics, McDonald's—the largest and most iconic burger chain on the planet—announced Tuesday that it will address the use of antibiotics in its international supply chain for beef by 2021.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights/Opinion
Protesters clashes with riot police on Foch avenue next to the Place de l'Etoile, setting cars ablaze during a Yellow Vest protest on Dec. 1 in Paris. Etienne De Malglaive / Getty Images

The Lesson From a Burning Paris: We Can’t Tax Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis

By Wenonah Hauter

The images from the streets of Paris over the past weeks are stark and poignant: thousands of angry protesters, largely representing the struggling French working class, resorting to mass civil unrest to express fear and frustration over a proposed new gas tax. For the moment, the protests have been successful. French President Emmanuel Macron backed off the new tax proposal, at least for six months. The popular uprising won, seemingly at the expense of the global fight against climate change and the future wellbeing of our planet.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Rainbow Mountains in Vinicuna, Perú. Megan Lough / UI International Programs / CC BY-ND 2.0

7 Reasons Why #Mountains Matter

December 11 is International Mountain Day, an annual occasion designated by the United Nations to celebrate Earth's precious mountains.

Mountains aren't just a sight to behold—they cover 22 percent of the planet's land surface and provide habitat for plants, animals and about 1 billion human beings. The vital landforms also supply critical resources such as fresh water, food and even renewable energy.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Tetra Images / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Don’t Stress About What Kind of Christmas Tree to Buy, but Reuse Artificial Trees and Compost Natural Ones

By Bert Cregg

Environmentally conscious consumers often ask me whether a real Christmas tree or an artificial one is the more sustainable choice. As a horticulture and forestry researcher, I know this question is also a concern for the Christmas tree industry, which is wary of losing market share to artificial trees.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
The Woolsey Fire seen from Topanga, California on Nov. 9. Peter Buschmann / Forest Service, USDA

Hotter Planet Makes Extreme Weather Deadlier, New Study Finds

By Jake Johnson

With people across the globe mobilizing, putting their bodies on the line, and getting arrested en masse as part of a broad effort to force the political establishment to immediately pursue ambitious solutions to the climate crisis, new research published on Monday provided a grim look at what the future will bring if transformative change is not achieved: colossal flooding, bigger fires, stronger hurricanes and much more.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

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