Art by Katie Wu

Celebrity flights major contributor to CO2 emissions

On Taylor Swift’s latest albums, nature makes up a major part of the cover art. Recorded in the spring of 2020, the cover of “Folklore” finds Swift standing in a foggy forest. On “Evermore,” recorded in the fall of 2020, Swift once again stands in a forest, as a faint fall sunset blankets the sky in the distance.

While Swift’s album covers and songs seem to insinuate her love of nature, they are not going to reverse the effects of climate change nor reverse her recent contributions to the already-warming planet.

Yard, A UK sustainability marketing agency provided flight data of celebrities with the worst private jet CO2 emissions, and Swift tops the list.

Other celebrities, according to Yard, including Kylie Jenner and Drake have taken private jet trips as short as 20 minutes.

Senior Gabriela Hakeman is both founder of the Plant-Based Club and a member of the Eco Club. She said celebrities are using their power and wealth to pollute the world at an unprecedented rate compared to regular people.

“They’re not connected to what’s going on with climate change because they feel like their actions don’t have consequences because they are celebrities,” Hakeman said.

Despite advocating for climate change and branding themselves environmentalists, Hakeman said celebrities often do more harm than good when it comes to the environment.

While the average person might produce about seven metric tons of CO2 annually, celebrities produce more than 3,300 metric tons from their private jets alone.

Hakeman said that celebrities should be held more accountable for their daily resource consumption.

“It’s frustrating because celebrities are role models for many people and are setting bad examples on how we should treat our planet.” Hakeman said.

While sophomore Isabelle Carlsen said Taylor Swift is the reason she began playing the guitar and writing poetry, she said she also recognizes Swift’s personal neglect when it comes to climate change.

“I feel it’s irresponsible and irrational to use a plane for such short distances where the time is only 30 minutes,” Carlsen said.

AP Environmental Science teacher Alicia Szebert said not thinking about actions has consequences. Szebert said it’s difficult for people to change if an issue, like climate change, doesn’t directly affect them.

“If you’re taking a private jet for things that you don’t need, you’re exploiting resources and it is wasteful,” Szebert said.

According to Szebert, the best thing is for people to think about how their actions affect the world.

Szebert said, “If everybody did that, we would be able to maintain a healthy ecosystem and healthy environment for a longer amount of time.”