Austria’s premiere biannual air show, Airpower, has recently come under criticism from the Green Party. Airpower13 is being held this Friday and Saturday at Hinterstoisser Air Base located just north of of the town of Zeltweg, in the province of Styria.
As the event is organized by the Austrian Armed Forces in collaboration with the province of Styria, the Green Party apparently feels it has a need to weigh-in on the festivities. Green Party spokesman Erwin Webersink said: “At the very least, 150,000 to 300,000 litres of kerosene will be burnt during that weekend, and around half a million kilograms of carbon dioxide (will be) emitted.” One wonders about the sourcing and accuracy of the calculations (if any) that went into that over-broad statement to say the least.
Digging a deeper hole, Webersink added that the damage caused by the several months of training before the event should also be taken into account, stating “The Eurofighter alone uses 3,500 litres of kerosene every hour.” If one takes Erwin’s arguments to their logical conclusion, one could trump up what would sound like a full scale ecological disaster. The last Airpower air show, Airpower11 attracted 290,000 attendees, and Airpower13 is anticipated to be even bigger. So, let’s see… what’s the carbon footprint of say, 300,000 people traveling to this event from all across Europe? Increased carbon dioxide emissions due to the rapid-breathing excitement of the attendees and/or from all that walking to look at the warbirds? Whatever, dude.
As mentioned, some financial support is provided by the nation’s defense ministry, about 25%, with the rest coming from corporate sponsors, fees and merchandising with additional support provided from the province of Styria, which benefits mightily from the massive economic activity the show generates for the region.
Editor’s Note: Lest readers get the wrong impression based on the tone of this article, we here at Warbirds News are fully against the destruction of our environment, but Air Shows?!? They’re probably at number 10,000 on the list of sources of environmental pollutants attributable to mankind, somewhere below house pet flatulence.