LOS ANGELES - Scrutiny over Taylor Swift's use of private jets has hit a boiling point on social media for the past several weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
People have pointed out that Swift's constant travel in private jets has contributed to warming emissions of carbon dioxide released with every flight.
The megastar who is currently dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce – one of NFL's most celebrated players – has steadily relied on air travel in order to attend Kelce's games.
The chatter around Swift's private jet use got even louder when sports fans – and "Swiftie" fans – speculated whether or not the artist would be in attendance for the Super Bowl since she is performing in Tokyo, Japan the night before.
How much will Swift pollute to make it to the Super Bowl?
If Swift attends the Super Bowl, she will be traveling from Tokyo, where she is on tour. That will mean more than 19,400 miles by private jet in just under two weeks.
Calculating exact carbon emissions depends on a lot of factors, including flight paths and the amount of passengers.
But a rough estimate is possible thanks to Gregory Keoleian, co-director of the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan.
Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes look on during a game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images
Traveling 19,400 miles on a Dassault Falcon 900LX, one of Swift’s jets, could release more than 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, he said.
That's roughly 14 times as much as the average American household emits in a single year, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Why Swift is in the hot seat
Some of the drama started when bad blood continued to brew between Swift and a student at the University of Central Florida who became well known for tracking private jets – including Elon Musk’s – and posting it on social media.
The Washington Post was first to report this week that the singer's legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter to Jack Sweeney back in December threatening to "pursue any and all legal remedies" if he doesn't stop his "stalking and harassing behavior."
The controversy over Swift’s use of private jets illustrates the "great disparity" between the wealthy and lower-income people when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions each person generates, said Julia Stein, a professor at University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
"You’re seeing this play out on kind of a microcosmic scale (with Swift), but that’s true too of industrialized countries with their carbon emissions, historically," she said.
The Associated Press and FOX 35 contributed to this story. It was reported from Los Angeles.