It’s rare that my climate friends ask me anything about Taylor Swift, my favorite artist… so when it happened, I knew it must be a weird week.
In fact, reports have come out about celebrity private jet use, and people have… well… lots of takes. Turns out that my pal Taylor was pegged as having the highest emissions from private jet use.
We must start with the fact that flying is one of the worst personal decisions one can make with regard to climate change. Private jets? Even worse. Not to mention, private jets are the embodiment of disastrous income inequality that allows the few to lead lives the majority of us can’t even begin to dream about. This is a great piece about the need to end the use of private jets.
Some have also emphasized, though, that this is merely a distraction from the vast systemic problems at hand caused by the fossil fuel companies (and the systemic problems that allow one person to make enough money for private jets). Axios explains. I mean yes — Taylor’s private jet use is horrible, but also, it’s a fraction of the pollution of a company like BP, which popularized the idea of a “carbon footprint.” They hoped to shift blame away from them and toward individuals.
More interesting than choosing a side of this debate seems to be the nature of celebrity itself. What I’m left wondering is why do we care so much, and how can we capitalize on that? Just because it’s alongside Taylor Swift’s name, climate change is getting in paper’s across the globe. It’s ridiculous, it’s tragic, but could it be helpful? Just imagine the awareness that could be raised — climate change, covering tabloids the world over! Maybe then people would finally find that the real scandal is in the way the fossil fuel companies have made our government in their image.