INTRO FEATURE: On the Runway | Zane Demangone
It is rare in the world of celebrities for anyone to avoid getting caught in hot water – spanning from inane conflicts to revolting ideations. These days, it seems the hottest trend in launching yourself into a public relations nightmare comes not in the form of careless words, but multimillion-dollar private jets.
You may have heard about Taylor Swift’s recent run-in with her jet issues – as broken down by marketing firm "Yard". The long and short of the matter is that Taylor Swift has taken over 170 flights this year on her private jets (plural). Jets by the name of N898TS and N621MM are known to be her frequent indulgences, both with a sticker price north of $10 million.
People are quite troubled by this, reasonably so, seeing as she emitted over 1,000 times more carbon dioxide with her flying habits alone than the average person emits in a year. Floyd Mayweather’s jet emissions also manage to pass the 1,000 times mark, with Jay-Z narrowly missing the four figures. Looking at this, it’s quite hard to understand how the burden for stopping climate change can be shoved on us while the more fortunate of our species kick their feet up in one of the least climate efficient modes of transportation per passenger next to flinging yourself through the air with a tank of compressed CFCs. Yet, here we are, and the best defense that Taylor Swift’s team put up was that – wait for it – it was the same jet, but it wasn’t Swift herself aboard, but other billionaires renting the jet.
Another person you may have heard of, Prince Harry, formerly had a positive image regarding the matter, due a speech he made before the UN General Assembly on July 18, 2022, on the issue of climate change. However, he is remembered these days for utilizing his private jet to go to a one-day sporting event, upon which he would also likely fly back on the same plane, or maybe circumnavigate the globe a couple times for fun. Never fear, though, as he can often be seen driving an electric car! This is better than any joke I could personally come up with.
As is the case with the internet, there’s a Twitter account for it. Run by Jack Sweeney of @ElonJet fame, @CelebJets is a new spin on the classic format, releasing a tweet every time a known celebrity jet takes off or lands – all with an invoice conveniently attached listing the carbon emissions of the celebrity romp. Security concerns aside, this constitutes a great equalizer in the fight against climate change, but mostly against hypocrisy. Personally, I would fly on a private jet – I have little shame in that regard. It seems like fun, and economy class has never been something I have been terribly excited to crawl into. I concede that I am not nearly that fortunate, but I definitely would not give a song and dance in front of the United Nations regarding climate change before indulging in recreational climate destruction. Unleashing the flight records of some of the loudest of our society is a clean way to level the playing field between them and the rest of us stuck on the ground.
And, for what it’s worth, if you are spending that much on a simple day trip, it wouldn’t cost much more to offset your emissions. It costs around $10 to cover a metric ton of CO2 emissions. I would bet that their coffee probably costs more.