Hold Celebrities Accountable for Their Environmental Waste, Too

Feel like this shouldn’t have to be said

Kayla Vokolek
4 min readSep 2, 2022


Photo by Unsplash, credit to Timothy Newman.

I’ll defend Taylor Swift’s dating history, and her music for the most part, but I draw the line at her ungodly amount of private jet carbon emissions.

The Twitter account Celebrity Jets, which imports from “the world’s largest public source of unfiltered flight data,” found that Taylor Swift’s “aircraft’s total flight emissions were 8,293.54 tonnes of carbon, which is 1,184.8 times more than the average person’s total annual emissions.”

Taylor Swift’s spokesperson would like you to know that her plane is regularly loaned out to others, but Vulture commenter kmm said it best: “Unless the loans were exclusively to Make-A-Wish kids, I’m not buying it. It’s your plane, you loaned it out.”

She may not be Jeff Bezos, but as damaging as her actions are — her “jet has amassed a vast 22,923 minutes in the air” in just seven months — I still figured billionaires would be leagues ahead of her in carbon emissions. Yet, her private jet alone is about equal with them: “20 billionaires contributed an average of about 8,190 tons of CO2” in 2018. Granted, researchers declared their estimates conservative due to various constraints.

I also assumed that an epitome of waste and ego — joyrides to space — would be comparable to numerous private jet flights in their environmental degradation. Yet “an 11-minute [space] flight emits no fewer than 75 tonnes of carbon per passenger once indirect emissions are taken into account (and more likely, in the 250–1,000 tonnes range),” as this team also made very conservative estimates.

While I mostly saw Internet memes joking that she uses a private jet to get from one side of her house to the other, I saw some deflecting blame, arguing that billionaire CEOs and corporations have the power to wield — and actively do enact — so much more harm to the environment.

Is that the standard here? To not be Roman Abramovich — billionaire oligarch and friend of Putin — who has a staggering carbon footprint of 33,859 tons of CO2 per year?

Taylor Swift is of course only one of many celebrities selfishly using up limited resources. I live in Southern California, where…



Kayla Vokolek

Creative writing grad located in LA