Really, JetBlue?

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/">Joe Shlabotnik</a>

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My roommate just gchatted me asking if I wanted to go with her to Austin tomorrow night and come back Wednesday morning. Um, excuse me? But wait, she told me, it gets better: The grand total cost for this jaunt: $20 round trip on JetBlue. My answer? Of course I want to go! I’ve always wanted to visit Austin, and the price is unbelievably right.

Well, I can’t go because of a bunch of other commitments, but believe me, I am tempted. I wondered if I could take a rain check, so I decided to do some googling on this amazing deal. I found out that the promotion, part of JetBlue’s anniversary sale, applies to certain flights this Tuesday and Wednesday only. Just for kicks, I looked up the emissions of a round trip flight from Oakland to Austin (2,987 miles) on TerraPass’ emissions calculator. The damage: 1,108 pounds of CO2. For the same carbon price, you could eat 175 cheeseburgers. Or go see 73 really dazzling stadium rock shows. Or…you get my drift.

Far be it from me to complain about cheap airfares—I fly a lot, and I’ve grumbled about paying more for last minute flights than I want to. But I’ve also been deterred by high fares, and considering the high carbon cost of flying, that’s probably a good thing. JetBlue professes to care about the environment. So why are they making it so easy (and tempting) to fly halfway across the country for dinner and a few drinks?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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