The dangers of exposing Taylor Swift and her private jet and harmful emissions ‘luxury’

The climate crisis did not start this week, but its tangible consequences are being added to the package of public policies taken by governments such as Spain that have turned the issue onto the front page of the media. All disasters, climate or not, have straw men, people pointing to them, and one of them was Taylor Swift.

The unbearable life of the rich, a form that hangs and frustrates equal parts

The unbearable life of the rich, a form that hangs and frustrates equal parts

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The American singer is the one who made the most flights on her private jet in 2022, but she’s not alone. The Celebrity Ten Ranking, published by Yard and calculated by the Celebrity Jets bot, had a huge impact. Behind Swift appears producer Jay-Z, Beyoncé’s husband, film director Steven Spielberg or presenter Oprah Winfrey, each emitting between 4,000 and 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

The calculations were made by Jack Swenney, a 19-year-old programming student who was offered $5,000 by Elon Musk if he stopped tweeting about the carbon footprint of celebrity private travels. Not only refused, but Your automated Celebrity Jets profile Adds thousands of followers. Publish the take-off and landing location, aircraft model, travel time, amount of carbon dioxide emitted, and aircraft owner. This does not mean that the latter is always present inside.

Taylor Swift has justified herself by saying that she is not the only one using the plane. Rapper Drake has also said that his plane is empty on most of the short flights. But most of the time, it isn’t even necessary for others to “chase” them because they are Famous People They brag about their private jet ride on social media. Kylie Jenner caused a flurry of disapproval by uploading a photo in the middle of two planes in which she joked about choosing between the two. The habits of the rich elicit fascination and resentment, but they rarely reach this level. However, experts warn that this reaction can be counterproductive.

“The phenomenon of celebrity shaming seems to me, to say the least, delicate,” believes Bruno Martin, a scientific researcher and climate activist. He warns that “saying that climate change is only the fault of the rich to use private jets is to divert the focus from the structural changes that must be made in the consumption habits of all the world’s population”. Martín refers to those who have used the arrangement to critique the effort required on an individual level.

“We call them straw megaphones,” says Hector Tijero, a biochemist, ecologist and Vice-Mas Madrid. “People focus on saying why would you recycle or ride a bike or use cardboard straw if the rich or corporate came in later and polluted a lot more,” he explains. Tejero differentiates between people looking for easy clicking and those who do so with good intentions and highlights climate inequality, “but ultimately it is layoffs, a form of moral self-justification.” Martin endorses: “For me it’s getting caught up in the pseudo-dilemma and throwing balls.” “We have to face the drastic changes in our lifestyle.”

Private jets, a simple problem

Neither the experts consulted nor the anti-climate activists endorsed the harmful habits of celebrities. But they warn of another danger: “Private planes are completely unethical because of the amount of emissions they emit per passenger, especially if we compare them to a commercial flight. They should be banned. But on a global scale for emissions, it’s not a very large percentage”, admits Bruno Martin.

“Private planes are evil,” Tejiro said. It’s an ultra-luxury and highly polluting mode of transportation, emits 10 times as much pollution as commercial airliners and nearly 50 times more than a train. “What is happening is that their contribution to climate change is very limited: in 2019, it is estimated that private aircraft that took off from Spain released about 203 kilotons of carbon dioxide, less than what is emitted by road transport in one day. 0.06% of the total Spain emissions,” reveals a Doctor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Private jets are evil, but their contribution to climate change is very limited

Hector Tejero

And carbon dioxide from aviation is not the only pollutant from transportation. Within global emissions, transmission is 15%. Of this percentage, aviation accounts for less than 10%, and from there, private jets make up 2 or 4%,” Martin asserts. It is not a serious problem. In itself Because there are very few wealthy people compared to all people on Earth,” he compares. Far from believing that they should not be regulated, experts call for private jets to be included in more ambitious and comprehensive policies. “It is not enough to ban them,” Tejero sums up.

So why are they so angry? “They are well-known people, it is easy to put their face on and connect with your private life. Oil chiefs, CEOs and major investors in the United States will have a worse carbon footprint than Taylor Swift and much more structural strength, but no one knows them. It is no coincidence that no one knows them,” the biochemist explains. Those who participate in these ratings are people from the field of show.For his part, the promoter of Scienseed believes that the strength of these people is their symbolic significance.

“The habits worn by singers, actors and celebrities are problematic, because in their public face they lead an overconsumption and hyperactive life. They lay off or, worse yet, encourage consumption and perpetuate the idea that success is spent and spent more and more, something that goes head-to-head with the material limits of our planet ”, thinks Martin, citing videos of rappers with the brand sportswear or expensive cars and motorcycles. It is the main problem with luxurious broadcasting, made of unnecessary extravagance that demoralizes the citizens. Governments should deal with it because of its symbolic weight, not because it has a huge impact on the global scale of greenhouse gas emissions,” he differs.

The habits of singers, actors, and celebrities are problematic, because they lay off or, worse, encourage consumption and perpetuate the idea that success is spent and more is spent

Bruno Martin
Scientific Publisher

Moving due to social pressure

Taking into account all these nuances, Hector Tijero considers it positive that celebrities who do it poorly are at risk and that, for the first time, they must justify themselves through their habits. “Environmental transformation will take effect due to social pressure and exposure of irresponsible or unsustainable people,” he says, but asks to stay away from comparisons with the daily lives of citizens.

On the other hand, Bruno Martin does not believe that “this kind of condemnation is a symptom of a society more committed to the climate crisis”, but rather sees “an easy reaction from those who know that the climate crisis is an urgent problem for us. The time but has not yet taken its part in the solution.” “.

Environmental transformation will take effect due to social pressure and expose those who are irresponsible or unsustainable

Hector Tejero

On the other hand, indulging in celebrity rankings can cause discontent with environmental policies: “It seems natural and reasonable to me that people see this behavior of the wealthy and feel deceived or deceived into thinking it is unfair to demand changes in consumption while continuing their highly polluted lives. But I would say to these people that the climate crisis will not be resolved if a person stops flying, no matter how rich or poor they are,” warns Martin.

One of the strategies the caller uses in his writing and in his Ecoinsomnes podcast is to turn the rejection of “luxury broadcasting” into an incentive to improve our efforts. “There is not a very positive tendency to view these changes as sacrifices and refocus them as opportunities. Not everything consists of a decrease in quality of life, because the model of future progress and well-being will be associated with thinking differently,” he says. Tejiro agrees, saying: “The issue of air transport is more interesting on a symbolic level. Environmental transformation will mean changes for all of us.” In short, they both conclude that “we must change the perception of what it means to live well”.


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