Photo: Canadian Press
FILE – Taylor Swift walks on the field after the AFC Championship NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 28, 2024 in Baltimore. Swift’s travels have been under fire on social media in recent weeks, with people pointing out the global-warming carbon emissions released on every flight. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
Singer Taylor Swift’s private jet travel has been heavily criticized on social media in recent weeks, with people pointing out the amount of global warming carbon dioxide emitted with each flight.
The megastar is dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, one of the most famous players in the NFL. Their growing romance has drawn attention, with Swift traveling a lot on a private jet and appearing at several games.Over the past few days, the chatter has gotten even louder. After the Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens Sunday to send them to the Super Bowl, which will be held in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.
Swift is the latest in a long list of celebrities, government officials and elite businessmen. Scrutiny about private jet travel. A look at Swift’s recent trip, carbon emissions from private jets and commercial projects, and one of the controversial yet most popular solutions that have emerged to combat such pollution. Let’s.
SWIFT’s carbon footprint
If Swift attends the Super Bowl, she will be traveling from Tokyo, where she is on tour. That means, Over 19,400 miles (30,500 kilometers) by private jet in less than two weeks. How much carbon dioxide will that amount to?
Gregory Keolian, co-director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems, said the exact carbon footprint depends on many factors, including flight route and number of passengers, but rough estimates can be made. Traveling 19,400 miles in one of Swift’s jets, a Dassault Falcon 900LX, can emit more than 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, he said.
That’s about 14 times the annual emissions of the average American household, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
How realistic business travel will be for Swift is debatable. After all, she’s so famous that even if she wanted to, boarding a commercial flight could be confusing for airline crews and the public airports she frequents. Keolian said there are other important ways public figures on private planes can address climate change, such as through influencing public attitudes, perceptions, investments and voters.
Julia Stein, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, said the controversy over Swift’s use of a private jet highlights the “huge disparity” between wealthy and low-income people when it comes to per capita greenhouse gas emissions. He said there was.
“[With Swift]you can see this playing out on a kind of microcosmic scale, but it also applies historically to carbon emissions in developed countries,” she says.
Others have been examined
Swift is the latest of many globe-trotting celebrities to come under scrutiny for environmental pollution. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many others regularly make headlines for traveling on private jets.
Jeff Colgan, a political science professor at Brown University, said: “It’s surprising that Ms. Swift has caused so much ire when the overwhelming majority of private jet passengers are men over 50.” It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “In reality, we should be focusing on a broader group of people.”
Big events, from the Olympics to the annual United Nations climate change summit known as the Conference of the Parties, have also been criticized because thousands of people fly to attend, and all travel contributes to climate change.
All air travel produces emissions, but private jets produce far more emissions per person. A 2023 study by the Institute for Policy Studies found that private jets emit at least 10 times more pollutants per passenger than airliners.
One often-discussed way to address pollution from air travel is to pay for carbon offsets, which aim to balance the emissions produced. For example, trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere, so offset programs include planting trees that, at least in theory, offset pollution from air travel.
Gates defended his trip by saying: private plane He says he buys offsets and supports clean technology and other sustainability efforts. A spokesperson for Swift did not respond to inquiries from The Associated Press, but told The Washington Post: buy offset. A spokesperson did not provide further details.
Still, there are many questions about the effectiveness of offsets. Regulations are lax, and recent media investigations have found that some programs overestimate carbon capture or engage in questionable practices.
“Offsetting remains a climate change wilderness, rife with fraud, failed projects and questionable effectiveness,” said Jonathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, an organization promoting climate solutions. speaks. Success will depend on how the forest is managed over the long term. ”
Foley, along with many climate scientists and policy experts, argues that instead of offsetting air travel, it would be far better to significantly reduce the use of planes, especially private jets, while developing cleaner fuels. are doing. Several airlines are also developing airplanes that are powered by electricity and emit no emissions.