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Is Taylor Swift’s Jet Really As Much Of An Environmental Problem As They Say It Is?

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WSU chapter.

Is Taylor Swift’s Jet Really As Much Of An Environmental Problem As They Say It Is?

Taylor Swift, a billionaire and musician, is a world renown woman who also happens to own a private jet consequently. Taylor’s most recent tour, dubbed the Eras tour, has an estimated earning of over a billion dollars alone. On TikTok and other social media sites, there has been a huge controversy on Taylor Swift’s carbon emissions through the use of her jet. You’ll find individuals that vouch that she’s one of the largest contributors to the current climate crisis, but is that true? We should start this by establishing what amount of pollution exclusively plane emissions contribute.

According to a study done by D.S. Lee et al.,succinctly summarized by NOAA Research, tells us that “…global air travel and transport is responsible for 3.5 percent of all drivers of climate change from human activities.” This means that plane and jet usage is only about 3.5 percent of all contributors of climate change as of 2020. We can deduct from this that Taylor Swift’s jet use isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to the devastation on our climate. That being said, when Earth has come to such a pivotal point, we must be extra conscious of all ways we are part of the problem. To be specific, a climate clock was designed by Gan Golan, Andrew Boyd, Katie Peyton Hofstadter, and Adrian Carpenter with a handful of scientists as well as copious amounts of research that is done every year, to help us visualize the world ending effects that pollution was having. According to this ticking time bomb of a countdown, we only have 5 years left until the earth and its climate is passed saving.

Knowing this information, we should dissect the actual statistics when it comes to the effects Taylor Swift is having with her actions alone, aside from the approximately 38,000 other private jet users. I should preface this by stating that it is important for her to use a private form of transportation, especially when flying due to the security and safety hazards that flying commercially would bring. Her current status as a mega star would make any situation more dangerous in the presence of the general public. That being said, we know from a study performed by the Institute for Policy Studies in 2023, found that private jets emit at least 10 times more pollutants per passenger compared to commercial planes. So overall, just by her using a jet, you can expect more impact in any scenario than on a standard commercial flight.

Taylor Swift alone produced, with the average person emitting only 7 tons of CO2 annually, 8,293.54 tonnes in all in the year 2022. This is a continuing pattern as she has emitted 77.83 tons of carbon dioxide just between December 25 and January 30 of this year. That is almost 11 times more than the average person in just over a month. She’s even been documented taking plane rides only 30 minutes long and rumored to take some less than 15 minutes long, but we can’t be sure she herself was actually on these flights. This puts her extremely high on the list of CO2 emitters, but the actual list of heaviest contributors varies as the statistics on plane usage aren’t exact. With this in mind, we gained this information from an individual on twitter named Celebrity Jets who has since been suspended. He gathered these numbers by using information in the public domain such as flight trackers to compile information like flight times, CO2 emissions, miles, and more. Taylor Swift is in fact not the largest offender out of everyone, but her current trajectory does have her in the number one spot.

After considering all of this information, there is always more to the story from multiple sources. For instance, a Taylor Swift representative said that her jet is regularly loaned out to other people so the plane rides cannot be solely attributed to her. There was also an individual on the internet who pointed out that many of the calculations were done with a specific plane that wasn’t even the exact one Taylor Swift uses so the emissions would actually be lower. In an age where it’s hard to find solid evidence of anything, you must be hyper vigilant of what you choose to believe. In the end, we do know one thing to be 100% true. We must strive for improvement, even when it seems difficult due to the fact that a large chunk of the other 96% of the human activities towards climate change is done by major corporations. We can do better in small ways as we make choices that affect our deteriorating environment.

America’s favorite popstar has made some efforts in reversing the damage she’s doing. Taylor Swift buys double the amount of necessary carbon credits needed for flying her jet. Carbon Credits are basically permission slips to emit CO2 and one credit equals 1 ton of emissions. An article by Shachi Wadhawan on an environmental website on Earth.org explains that “Carbon credits can be generated from either reducing emissions, removing preexisting greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, or avoiding the release of emissions altogether.” This purchase doesn’t eliminate her actions, but it does help make a change for the better in return. Despite all of this, we can see that Taylor Swift is continuously a part of the problem as her flight patterns continue. But what we do know, the state of the world is not something we can blame on one person as destroying our climate is as much a group effort as saving it is.

Celia Lyon is a writer for Her Campus for the Washington State University chapter. She enjoys writing monthly articles about current world events, topics of female issues, and entertainment. She has a passion for writing and is excited to write articles for you to read as a creative outlet for her. Beyond writing for Her Campus, Celia is a Junior with a major in Nursing. Her future plans are to attend graduate school and be a Nurse-Midwife. When it comes to writing, she doesn't have formal experience but she has had work published in other campus magazines. More importantly, she's fostered a life long love for writing fictional stories beginning even before she could formulate a proper sentence. She loves hanging out and spending time with her friends and attending Creative Writing club. Celia's most favorite things to do in her life are Minecraft, writing her fantasy novel, and watching movies.