This blog post starts as many in 2024 do: with Taylor Swift. Specifically, the attention Tay Tay (as her friends call her) has received for her private jet use. So.much.attention. I get it in many ways: those “impact per human” graphs showing a HUGE impact next to the tiny little spec of an average person are shocking!

Carbon Emissions Per Human

Image Source: MeetGreen®

But I don’t think this kind of thinking does us, the occupants of this earth, any good. In fact, it might just do the opposite. Hear me out:

False Comparison

Regardless of my mom’s opinion, I’m not on Taylor Swift’s level. I don’t sell out stadiums, meet world leaders, or own private jets. And neither do you or the average person. In fact, “average” doesn’t do it justice; we’re the VAST majority, and we should start thinking and acting like it. While we don’t individually compare to Taylor Swift’s level of impact…we do collectively. And us all making a tiny little change or lobbying our local government to make one for us makes a much more significant difference than grounding (or just complaining about) some jets.


Have you ever gone to rinse out that yogurt container and thought, “What’s the point? Recycling is a scam,” and tossed it in the trash? This type of message seeps into our heads, creating an all-or-nothing dichotomy that leads to complacency. Messages like T. Swift preaching climate action and then flying to the Super Bowl can start making us feel okay about cutting corners. Why fight for the action that’s needed when all these rich people are polluting more than us?

Or worse…DOOM!

Is it just me, or do you not hear about climate denial much anymore? The strategy appears to have changed from “What?! But snow still exists!” to “Eh, buy a Hummer; we’re all screwed anyways.” A dangerous yet effective shift in messaging. Not doing anything is so easy. And we’ll take any excuse to stop feeling bad about the status quo. But the world DOES have hope, and just because a handful of people have outsized climate impacts doesn’t mean we should lose ours.

It’s What ‘Business As Usual’ Wants!

I wrote a whole blog about this a while back, and it holds up and wraps this blog post up into a bow with nice legislative calls to action and everything. Check it out: The Role Companies Play in Sustainability