Miramar Air Show Fuels the Climate Crisis – Boycott It!

by on August 9, 2022 · 6 comments

in Environment, Military, San Diego

By Gary Butterfield

Fellow San Diegans

Heathrow Airport in London just recently hit an all-time high temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit and new heat records continue to soar across a sweltering Europe and Central Asia while wildfires burn out of control throughout the globe.  Why, it even hit 102 degrees in Portland, Oregon.

As the visible effects of climate change resound throughout the earth, it becomes increasingly important that all of us do our part to responsibly reduce our carbon footprints.  This is especially true in San Diego, since our oceans and our coasts are at high risk of damage by climate change.

San Diegans are asked to modify our behaviors to lessen our carbon usage; we must demand the same commitment from our institutions.  Many local municipalities are revealing actions to help implement a meaningful Climate Action Plan to secure a Zero Carbon Future for their citizens.  So far none of these plans address the military’s contribution to the climate crisis!

San Diego is home to the nation’s largest concentration of active duty military personnel, as well as to a significant number of veterans.  Since the US military is the single largest institutional user of petroleum products and the single largest institutional emitter of greenhouse gases in the world,  it is reasonable to posit that this outsized military presence contributes a disproportionately large percentage of the pollution in our County.

The Blue Angels, in their training and performances, use highly-polluting jet fuel in copious amounts that produce additional greenhouse gases to contaminate our environment. For example, based on figures provided by the Blue Angels, the Commanding Officer needs 3,000 flight training hours to qualify and the other 14 pilots 1,350 flight hours.

The F/A-18 burns about 1,200 gallons of fuel per hour.  That’s over 26 million gallons of jet fuel just to get the cast to the runway.  Add another 20,000 gallons for the three-day show and the result is tons of greenhouse gases (and worse) emitted into the atmosphere.  This is for entertainment!  At a time when we are asked to alter our behavior, how can we allow this optional weekend of pollution to occur?

The Miramar Air Show is scheduled to be in San Diego from September 23-25th.  It will feature the USAF F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team and the Blue Angels.  Tickets are already being sold  starting at $351 each on-line, depending on where on the field they are placed.  Children’s tickets are less, and grandstand tickets are also less.  They are trying to make sure that everyone sees the pollution, breathed the pollution and contributed to the greenhouse gas problem the world is having.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace is once again planning to protest the Miramar Air Show and we are asking people to not attend.  This action is called “No MAS”, meaning No Miramar Air Show, but also, in Spanish, No MAS means No More.

Back in 2019 SD350, the Sunrise Movement, and others endorsed our actions and their members demonstrated with us during the September lead up to the event.  Our focus this year will be “Air Show Fuels Climate Crisis” and we are asking climate and social justice organizations to endorse our actions and encourage their members to participate.

We at Veterans For Peace believe the Blue Angels are a symbol of unchecked military pollution.  We can’t afford it!  Our planet cannot afford it! Veterans for Peace – those very people that were part of the conflicts the US has had, is against this “show”.  Help save the planet; help save lives.

Gary Butterfield is the former president of the San Diego chapter of Veterans for Peace


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

eric b August 9, 2022 at 9:52 am

I’ve been saying and doing this for years.
What a waste!
No $ 4 War.
This is like Trumps wish of a military parade.
These shows should be illegal!


Gilbert E Field August 9, 2022 at 12:26 pm

Great letter, Gary.
I was shocked to learn that 10% of all Blue Angel pilots over time have been killed in practices or shows.
Another reason NOT to have them flying all over San Diego skies.


Judi August 9, 2022 at 1:51 pm

Wow! Had never heard that Gil!


Gilbert E Field August 9, 2022 at 2:54 pm

262 Blue Angels pilots since inception.
27 deaths.
10.3% have died in practice or performance.


Chris August 10, 2022 at 12:34 pm
Will August 13, 2022 at 8:53 am

Our all-volunteer military looks at this as a recruitment tool. Same for football flyovers and such. It is a huge waste of resources. Just pay the troops more instead of blowing tremendous sums of money on this silly shit for old men.


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