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Cameron Terry
Cameron Terry
Sports Editor

Junior Cameron Terry is a second year reporter and  first year sports editor. As a sports editor, she is eager to learn more about the various sports terminologies, expand her horizons, and meet new people...

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The views expressed in this article belong to the reporter, and do not reflect the views held by Rockbridge County High School, the Prowler Staff, and its members.

Opinion: Jet-Set Privilege

Taylor Swift and the Toxic Celebrity Culture That Mocks Sustainability
Opinion: Jet-Set Privilege
Brody Kirkpatrick

The average American is responsible for approximately 16 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, encompassing all of their activities. Meanwhile, one of the biggest celebrities in the American music scene has generated nearly 518 times that amount from the use of her private jet alone, all within just half a year. 

Of course, the person I’m talking about is Taylor Swift. While her music may touch the hearts of many millions, (not including me), her jet emissions will fill the lungs of many millions more (including me). In the long run, it affects everyone for the worst, from Sacramento to Rockbridge County, and everywhere in between and beyond. According to Newsweek, in the span of just a single month, from Dec. 25, 2023 through Jan. 30, 2024, one of her jets emitted 77.8342 tons of CO2.  That figure is even more significant when considering the cumulative impact of her travels…

From the same source, during the American leg of her Eras tour, her jet traveled nearly 37,053 miles, generating 77.5 tons of CO2 over almost 113 flight hours with her Dassault Falcon 7x. For the South American leg of the tour, the jet emitted approximately 61.6 tons of CO2 over 29,431 miles. Compared to the ‘average American’s’ carbon footprint, these numbers are nothing short of staggering.   

Swift’s use of private jets is not just a personal choice, but a reflection of the broader issues of celebrity culture and its environmental impact. As figures with significant influence over the general population, celebrities of Swift’s caliber have the power to set examples for sustainable living. However, the convenience of luxury and private travel seem to overshadow the omnipresent need for environmental conservation. 

 The debate is not around denying Swift or any other individuals their (sometimes undeserved) success or the fruits of their labor. It’s about recognizing the disproportionate impact that such a lifestyle can have on the entire world. It’s about urging those in positions of fame, and as a result, power, to lead by example and make choices that align with the need to reduce carbon emissions. 

I’m not here to say Taylor Swift and every other person with a private jet is the sole cause for global warming and ozone degradation, the leader in carbon emissions is actually China, with their endless fields of (child operated) factories. However, for a person who people look up to, idolize even, (based on my own observation of the ‘Swiftie’ alien species, not experience), Taylor Swift hasn’t been the most friendly to the climate, which raises the question, how much does Ms. (bad) Breakup Songs actually care for the environment–and her fans? 

Note: This is an educated opinion/critique with factual basing, and should be treated as such. 

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About the Contributor
Brody Kirkpatrick
Brody Kirkpatrick, Reporter
Sophomore Brody Kirkpatrick is an aspiring human being, as well as being a first year reporter with the Prowler. He likes to fill his time with work, swim during the fall and winter, and oxygen breathing almost 99 percent of the time, an activity that he advises all humans practice on a daily basis. Kirkpatrick also claims to be a professional Call of Duty player, however the statistics don’t reflect that, leading many critics to believe he is just a “casual”. Brody was placed into Journalism after a class was removed, and despite it not being his first choice, he still intends to put his best work into the class and the Prowler as a whole.

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