The Taylor Swift song “Getaway Car” might be better suited as “Getaway Plane,” after the singer was named the celebrity with the highest amount of carbon emissions from flying her private jet. The internet was ablaze on Friday when sustainability marketing firm Yard revealed Swift’s private jet had emitted 8,293.54 tonnes of carbon dioxide this year, making her the top polluter among celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Drake taking short flights on private jets.
Since the beginning of the year, Swift’s jet has reportedly taken 170 trips and travelled an average of about 140 miles per flight. The singer’s Co2 emissions totaled 1,184.8 times more than the average person’s total annual emission, says Yard. Representatives for Swift quickly came to her defense, claiming the singer’s jet was often loaned out to other parties. “Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals,” a spokesperson told various news outlets over the weekend. “To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect.”
While the “Bad Blood” singer may not always be on-board when her private jet takes flight, the statement still didn’t stop people on social media from sharing hundreds of memes and viral reactions to the star’s annual emissions. The responses were mixed. Many people criticised Swift for her frequent private jet usage, suggesting it showed a disregard for the environmental impact of flying private. “That article said that Taylor Swift’s used her private jet 170 times since January. We’re only 209 days into 2022,” tweeted another user. “So this year there’s only been 39 days where Taylor Swift hasn’t flown on her private jet. What is she doing lol does she use it to pop out for milk”.
“So apparently Taylor Swift has racked up the most CO2 emissions of any celebrity by using her private jet, and has taken 170 trips this year ALONE,” tweeted someone else.”Girl, you’re making it harder and harder for me to defend you.” “Listen I also like Taylor Swift’s music but no one should have a private jet,” said one fan. “You can have a propeller plane or you can get on a commercial jet. Because frankly no one should have private jet money.” Of course, the Swifties came rushing to the singer’s defense. Though, among their responses were some of the most absurd excuses for a celebrity the internet has likely ever seen. “So you want pilots to not have a job?” said one Swiftie, literally.
“Taylor Swift has expressed her love for penguins on multiple occasions and donates every year to their cause,” another one tweeted, because carbon emissions equals penguin appreciation. Notably, an entire climate crisis cannot just be pinned down to one person. If fossil fuel manufacturers are responsible for more than 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions over the last three decades, then Taylor Swift’s private jet usage must be minimal in comparison, some people argued.
“Taylor Swift and Kylie Jenner are not single-handedly driving anthropogenic climate change,” said one environmental science student on Twitter. “Riding your bike to work and doing Meatless Mondays is not going to reverse it unless everyone does it.” Understandable, but others still claimed that celebrities emitting 1,000 times more carbon dioxide than the average person are part of the problem nonetheless, and celebrities must take accountability for their carbon footprint. “I am also an environmental science graduate and I just want to say that equating the use of a private jet for a short distance to someone using their car is ridiculous,” one person said in response. “Private jets produce significantly more carbon emissions than a car. An 80 minute flight isn’t worth it.”
And then there were the ridiculous and absolutely hilarious tweets from people who seemed to have no opinion on the matter. Others couldn’t help but reimagine popular Taylor Swift songs with references to her infamous private jet usage. While it’s unclear where the internet stands on Taylor Swift’s frequent flights, it’s no secret that private jets are responsible for 14 times more emissions per passenger than a commercial airplane. Celebrities like Swift and Drake may have defended themselves against the backlash, but the world’s richest one per cent of people are still responsible for half of the carbon emissions caused by flying.