February 23, 2024

The nation is abuzz with questions about the Super Bowl and, it seems, foremost among them is: Will Taylor Swift be able to get to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl on Feb. 11 after performing in Tokyo on Feb. 10? The answer is pretty simple: Swift has a private jet, so yes. 

You likely already know about Swift’s private jet, if you’ve spent any time online in the last few years. A 2022 study by the sustainability marketing agency Yard found that Swift is one of the worst contributors to climate change when it comes to CO2 emissions from private jets. Her emissions at the time were 1,184.8 times more than the average person’s total annual emissions.

The chatter has picked up a bit more lately, though. Part of that uptick could be attributed to the fact that Swift’s legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter to Jack Sweeney, a college student who tracks public figures’ private jet usage and publishes that data on social media. Swift’s team argues it is “stalking and harassing behavior,” according to The Washington Post. But to be clear, Sweeney’s data is publicly available by the Federal Aviation Administration. This isn’t Sweeney’s first rodeo — he faced similar legal threats from Elon Musk. 

In response, Swifties are saying that she isn’t the worst celebrity when it comes to CO2 emissions. “Other celebrities fly more!” they argue, citing questionable data from Pop Factions. “How else is she supposed to get around?” they question. 

Mashable Light Speed

The second question is fair. Swift simply cannot take a commercial flight. But critics argue that the problem isn’t that she has a private jet, it’s how often she uses it. For instance, her jet recently logged a 13-minute flight from Cahokia/St Louis, Illinois, to St Louis, Missouri, releasing an absurd amount of CO2 that could have been reasonably avoided with a 40-minute drive.

Not to mention, if Swift flies 14,000 miles from Tokyo to Las Vegas to Melbourne, where she’s set to continue her own Eras Tour on Feb. 16, The Washington Post estimates the trip could “burn about 8,800 gallons of fuel and create about 90 tons of carbon emissions.” That’s way more than the average American will produce in a year.

While Swift should be held responsible for her contribution to climate change, we shouldn’t allow this to distract us from the biggest problems facing the climate today: Roughly 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global emissions.

And on Sunday night, Swift’s private jet will be one of many parked at the airport.

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