Taylor Swift is in the midst of a major world tour, her best so far. She’s juggling concerts, an upcoming album, and now, Jack Sweeney. This name might sound familiar as the jet-tracking student who previously clashed with Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, and the Kardashians. Sweeney has made Swift his latest target. Swift, like Musk, is not taking it lightly and has threatened legal action against the University of Central Florida student for tracking her jet usage on social media. The 21-year-old is drawing significant attention from his followers as Swift is constantly on the move due to her Eras Tour.
With data from the Federal Aviation Administration, tracking her trips and substantial carbon footprint is straightforward. According to Bloomberg, she was the top carbon dioxide polluter in 2022, emitting almost 8,300 tons—1,100 times more than the average person’s annual emissions, as stated by the digital sustainability consultancy Yard. Swift, worth $1.1 billion, is set to perform four shows in Tokyo this week, followed by several in Singapore, among other locations. Her travel isn’t solely for work; her personal life also contributes, such as her expected visit to Las Vegas to support her boyfriend, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, in the Super Bowl.
After traveling 19,400 miles on her Dassault Falcon 900LX jet, Swift will have added 100 tons of carbon dioxide to her footprint, reported by the Associated Press. She could humorously attribute this to her boyfriend with a song, “Look What You Made Me Do.” Her legal team is determined to address Sweeney’s actions.
A lawyer from Venable LLP, in a December 22 letter to Sweeney, stated, “You have engaged in stalking and harassing behavior by consistently publishing real-time and precise information about our client’s location. This might seem like a game to you, hoping it will bring wealth or fame, but it’s a serious safety concern for our client.”
The reaction from Swift’s fans, popularly called as Swifties, has been mixed, with some finding the legal threats excessive given the public nature of Swift’s activities. Sweeney views the legal threats as intimidation, following the backlash Swift faced over her jet’s environmental impact. Swift’s team has prepared a defense, stating, “Prior to the tour, Taylor purchased more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all her travel.” In December 2023, Swift’s relationship with Travis Kelce made headlines not for romance but for generating 138 tons of CO2 in three months. To offset these trips, she would need to plant over 2,200 trees.
A Taylor Swift subreddit with 1.7 million followers has seen varied reactions. One user stated, ‘I’m really disappointed, tbh. This is such a cruel move. It’s public info that’s already out there, there’s not much she can do, but threatening a college kid over this is just cruel. What a way to point the focus on her carbon footprint though.’ Another rationalized, ‘Elon already got so much shit for picking a fight with this kid, she should really not expect this to go super well PR-wise.’
Musk, the second-richest person on earth in 2022, haggled with a 19-year-old Sweeney to stop stalking his private jet on Twitter for a measly $50,000.Classy Mark Cuban on the other hand asked nicely and got Sweeney to disable @MCubansJets in exchange for his friendship and business advice. Perhaps, Taylor Swift can offer Sweeney and his friends some concert tickets and be done with it?