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Are Airshows Ethical?  
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2145 times:

I like airshows, and I love watching planes strut their stuff.

However, if one accepts that we are going to run out of oil in the not too distant future, is it sensible or indeed ethical (given that we need oil for things like transporting food and other goods essential for life) to spank so much fuel just for entertainment?

I know that some airshows have other purposes besides entertainment. Marketing of aircraft etc. is obviously important. But, there are plenty of shows that must guzzle huge quantities of fuel just for the sake of it.

I guess one could take the argument to absurd levels and say that if such things were prohibited then we shouldn't be driving our cars just to go for a day out or whatever, so where does one draw the line?

Given that we are talking about such valuable resources for all of mankind, should it really be acceptable to say that just because one can financially afford to waste fuel that this should be allowed? Fuel prices are punishing enough at the moment as it is.

For the record, I think that a moderate amount of wastage for entertainment purposes is not necessarily a bad thing, and like I say, I love watching them.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2744 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2138 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
so where does one draw the line?

We do not. If they can afford it let them fly. I guess we should then ban Joe Blow from getting his pilot's license just for the fun of it.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
should it really be acceptable to say that just because one can financially afford to waste fuel that this should be allowed?

Yes.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
However, if one accepts that we are going to run out of oil in the not too distant future,

We are getting access to more and more every day. So I would say we still have quite a few years left. WE also have Plenty of Nat gas which is taking over from oil to power many thing's like power plant's and heating in the home leaving more oil for Airshow's.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6361 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2135 times:

I honestly think, when it comes to oil, there are a lot bigger concerns than air shows. There are so many vehicles out there (cars, trucks, etc) that use far more petrol than they should, especially in places like the US and Australia where "bigger is better", even if it isn't needed. For example, a soccer mom having a 10 seat SUV in suburban Los Angeles because, while she only has 2 kids, she has to drive their friends twice a week. Things like that, in my mind, are of much greater concern than a simple air show.

User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2122 times:

Quoting SW733 (Reply 2):
I honestly think, when it comes to oil, there are a lot bigger concerns than air shows.

Absolutely. It was just an example really that came to mind when watching some videos of shows recently.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7966 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2114 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
However, if one accepts that we are going to run out of oil in the not too distant future

I do not accept this. Source?? I'm sure we'll always have oil, even when we switch off from oil whenever that will be. Sure, I'd like the switch from oil to be sooner, but let me tell ya, when it costs so much to access some of this harder to reach oil, the switch will happen very very quickly.

Again, maybe progress isn't happening as quickly as we'd like, but alternate energy/fuel is being researched and implemented and will be in place wayyy before we run out of oil...



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2105 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 4):
I do not accept this. Source??

I will freely admit that I have no idea as to potential timescales or quantities available in relation to fossil fuels. However, I don't think I need to cite a source for mentioning a pretty much globally-known environmental argument. I don't make any claim, merely pose the question 'if one were to accept such a position'. Having said that, I do believe it makes a good deal of sense that fossil fuels are a finite resource, as your own words also imply. I suppose therefore it then depends of what the definition of 'not too distant future' would be. I guess I imagine that in terms of a few generations, something of that order....



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2097 times:

I'm thinking that air shows use far less fuel than auto racing. Think of all the fuel and tires that are used up in an average summer weekend just in the US.

Markets 'ration' scarce resources because as prices rise they drive people to make other choices. So I'm fine with people being as wasteful as they like as long as THEY are paying for it.

What pisses me off is when these same people cry about it and want the government to shield them from market forces. All this does is stifle private sector innovation (and even worse, replace it with arbitrary government regulation).

Whenever I see some jacknut in a monster truck driving like he stole it I just think "well, gas must not be too expensive yet".


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15810 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2061 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
However, if one accepts that we are going to run out of oil in the not too distant future, is it sensible or indeed ethical (given that we need oil for things like transporting food and other goods essential for life) to spank so much fuel just for entertainment?

Yes. They bought it, they can do what they want with it.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
But, there are plenty of shows that must guzzle huge quantities of fuel just for the sake of it.

I doubt the quantity is huge by any measure.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
so where does one draw the line?

You don't draw a line, period.

You can do what you want with the resources you own, and everyone else can do what they want with the resources they own.




Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
Given that we are talking about such valuable resources for all of mankind,

There is no all mankind. Some entity somewhere is in control of each drop of fuel.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 2):
Things like that, in my mind, are of much greater concern than a simple air show.

...just not your concern.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 6):
I'm thinking that air shows use far less fuel than auto racing. Think of all the fuel and tires that are used up in an average summer weekend just in the US.

Although without figures to back it up, I'm inclined to agree, at least in that I can easily believe the amount of fuel burned per participant / spectator in motor racing is higher than airshows. In the UK at least air shows are the second most attended public entertainment (after football), crowds tend to be huge, in the tens of thousands. By contrast most motor races (F1, the biggest bike races, and Rally excluded) attract a relatively small hard core of spectators yet burn fuel like there is no tomorrow. I know the fuel consumption of a Typhoon versus a Formula Renault car are hardly comparable but I'd wager that the fuel burned split amongst spectators is less for the jet in most shows.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 6):
Markets 'ration' scarce resources because as prices rise they drive people to make other choices. So I'm fine with people being as wasteful as they like as long as THEY are paying for it.

At the risk of pissing people off, I'm not fine with people being wasteful when there are alternatives. Occasional entertainment is fine so I'm down with airshows and motor races, but day in day out driving a range rover around town and carrying no passengers is wasteful for the sake of it. If you want a luxury car there are far cleaner options for a similar price tag, inefficient vehicles are often, possibly inadvertently, status symbols and this must stop IMO.

My views are not completely down to global warming predictions, though that is certainly part of it, but also significantly of air quality. The correlation between exhaust fumes in the air and reduced health in a population are significant. I live in Belfast, the city with the UK's worst air pollution due to it's geography keeping fumes here longer. It correspondingly has very high rates of asthma and other issues in the population. This is an area that air shows don't irritate me, they tend take place away from towns and their fumes are well distributed and should not do anyone any noticeable harm.
air shows in the middle of nowhere

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 6):
What pisses me off is when these same people cry about it and want the government to shield them from market forces. All this does is stifle private sector innovation (and even worse, replace it with arbitrary government regulation).

This also pisses me off.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 6):
Whenever I see some jacknut in a monster truck driving like he stole it I just think "well, gas must not be too expensive yet".

There will always be a rich upper crust who are sheltered from the price of fuel by wealth so it is no longer significant. Seeing jacknuts (I like that phrase) being wantonly wasteful it can sometimes piss me off greatly depending on the merits of the case.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2046 times:

Quoting GST (Reply 8):
At the risk of pissing people off, I'm not fine with people being wasteful when there are alternatives. Occasional entertainment is fine so I'm down with airshows and motor races, but day in day out driving a range rover around town and carrying no passengers is wasteful for the sake of it. If you want a luxury car there are far cleaner options for a similar price tag, inefficient vehicles are often, possibly inadvertently, status symbols and this must stop IMO.

My views are not completely down to global warming predictions, though that is certainly part of it, but also significantly of air quality. The correlation between exhaust fumes in the air and reduced health in a population are significant. I live in Belfast, the city with the UK's worst air pollution due to it's geography keeping fumes here longer. It correspondingly has very high rates of asthma and other issues in the population. This is an area that air shows don't irritate me, they tend take place away from towns and their fumes are well distributed and should not do anyone any noticeable harm.
air shows in the middle of nowhere

I can buy into this, regulation does have a role when you're talking about impacts of behavior on other people. But bigger picture I'm confident that unless artificially mitigated, the prices of things will drive behavioral change except for the wealthiest. Who are going to do weird/stupid shit anyway simply because they can.  


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1995 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
if one accepts that we are going to run out of oil in the not too distant future, is

Knowledgeable people do not accept that. Saudia Arabia has proven reserves for 81 years at current production levels, Venezuela 391 years, Canada 178 years, Iraq 163 years, etc.

That does not include oil like the Arctic regions, unexplored offshore oil sources, even things like the Bakken Shale in the US - which would extend US reserves for another 100+ years.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
given that we need oil for things like transporting food and other goods essential for life

While some of the fuel used in air shows might be usable for transport of food and such, the total amount of fuel used in all the air shows world wide wouldn't supply a reasonably sized cargo airline for a year.

Most of the need for fuel for transport is different types of oil products than that used for aviation fuel. It can't be used for that type of transport. Gas turbine engines which use oil products similar to jet fuel are terribly inefficient for ground transportation, and even for surface ship transportation.

It has been tried in railroads, trucks and ships. Not a good use for the product.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
should it really be acceptable to say that just because one can financially afford to waste fuel that this should be allowed?

Should people be allowed to buy candy because that food could be better used to feed hungry children in Africa. Frankly, that is a more valid question. And a better use of resources.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
Fuel prices are punishing enough at the moment as it is.

Fuel prices are punishing for several reasons

1) Oil / Fuel is a commodity where cost of production and distribution is not the primary driver of end user price. Most of the fluctuation in oil prices is due to speculation - the artificial buying and selling of future supplies. To make money for bankers and wealthy investors.

2) World demand is increasing - most significantly the amount of oil the China is buying on the free market. When they are willing to pay high prices for oil which a country like France used to buy cheaply, it drives up the price.

3) Almost all the 'cheap' to produce oil has been found. Most new supplies of oil will cost more to develop, produce and refine.

4) Environmental restrictions on oil refineries is causing supply problems in much of the world. Take Canada for example. One of the primary oil producing nations in the world. Yet it imports gasoline and jet fuel. Because the NIMBYs have stopped the building of new, more efficient, clean technology refineries. So Canada has to sell most of its locally produced oil overseas, and buy back the refined products it needs.

Frankly, the greatest thing which will drive down wasteful usage of oil products is rising prices. As prices increase, usages for oil which are not really economically efficient will disappear.

The vast majority of people who fly on passenger jets do not "NEED" to fly. We don't need to take vacations on sunny beach side resorts. That would be a better fuel savings - stop the holiday travel.

In the end - in a few hundred years, I'm sure oil will not be used as a fuel - but as a manufacturing product. But the price will be several hundred or thousand precentages of current prices.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1976 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):

Thanks for the detailed reply.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6157 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1976 times:
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Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):

Knowledgeable people do not accept that. Saudia Arabia has proven reserves for 81 years at current production levels, Venezuela 391 years, Canada 178 years, Iraq 163 years, etc.

That does not include oil like the Arctic regions, unexplored offshore oil sources, even things like the Bakken Shale in the US - which would extend US reserves for another 100+ years.

A proven reserve is a term used for a well that is drilled, capped and ready to go. There are A LOT more unproven reserves in the USA alone. Some politicians like to throw around the proven reserve word to make it look like we have less oil than we actually do. Our President likes to say that oil production is up, but that is only true on private lands. Production is down on federal lands.

There is a lot of oil in the world and we are not going to run out in the near future.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
to spank so much fuel just for entertainment?

Last weekend I went to a huge tractor/garden tractor show.

DTW-EVV 6-9-12 Delta (9E) CRJ-200 (by falstaff Jun 11 2012 in Trip Reports)

We wasted a lot of gasoline and put a lot of carbon emissions into the air. I am sure not a single person there cared or ever will because we were there to have fun, just like people at air shows.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15810 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1972 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):
Knowledgeable people do not accept that.

We will never run out of oil. What we will run low on is easy to get oil. As that runs out, prices go up so alternatives look better, and probably become cheaper too. Of course, there is also the fact that some oil that is uneconomical to extract today might become economical tomorrow based in increasing prices and technological advances.

Quoting GST (Reply 8):
At the risk of pissing people off, I'm not fine with people being wasteful when there are alternatives.

Then you feel free to look on disapprovingly at whatever I choose to drive and I'll feel free to flip you the bird.

Quoting GST (Reply 8):
If you want a luxury car there are far cleaner options for a similar price tag, inefficient vehicles are often, possibly inadvertently, status symbols and this must stop IMO.

You don't have to do it. But I will for one very, very good reason: I want to. You don't have to like it, but I don't have to give a fuck.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 12):
Last weekend I went to a huge tractor/garden tractor show.

I'm not one for drag racing, but this is some good redneck fun right here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjc8l_u-BSg
It's just a shame that you can't get the smell through the computer.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6157 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1961 times:
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Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
I'm not one for drag racing, but this is some good redneck fun right here:

You're right that does look fun! My kind of event!



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1946 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
I'm not one for drag racing,
Quoting falstaff (Reply 14):
You're right that does look fun!

For over 20 years, I've been involved in 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile dirt track racing - sprint cars, modifieds, stocks, etc.

And for anyone who cares - a lot of those race cars run on methanol, not gasoline.


User currently offlinen6238p From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 509 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1929 times:

The Chicago Air and Water show will use just under 100,000 gallons of jet/avgas over the course of the week leading up to and including the show. The event will attract around 2 million people to the lakeshore and is one of, if not the biggest economic events of the Chicago summer. The impact is well into the tens of millions of dollars for sponsors, government, and local businesses. I think everyone who attends or supports an air show can sleep well tonight.


To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1697 times:

There is always a need for entertainment, so I don't have a problem with using some fuel for that. No different than someone flying around the world on holiday. Just don't take the p*** though.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
We will never run out of oil.

Wrong. There is a finite amount in the ground - how much is anyone's guess. But there is still only so much there. It may not become economic to extract, so its price will rise exponentially, until only the richest can afford it, then consumption will slow, until it is all gone. But it is a limited resource.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2675 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1694 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting SW733 (Reply 2):
For example, a soccer mom having a 10 seat SUV in suburban Los Angeles because, while she only has 2 kids, she has to drive their friends twice a week.

I don't have a 10 seat SUV, but I do drive a relatively large sedan with a large-ish 4-litre engine. Why? Because I want to. I don't need all the power that the engine produces and rarely (almost never) push it to its limits. It's got plenty of space to carry 5 people and two large suitcases, yet the only thing that goes in the boot is my backpack for when I go to uni. I don't need all that space, and I certainly don't need all that power, but I choose to because I can. If I can afford to pay for the extra petrol that the car uses, why can't I use it?

And where do you draw the line? Buses use quite a lot more fuel per trip than a car. Should we then legislate that buses must stop operating when there's fewer than a certain number of passengers on board? Is a bus with one passenger on board considered 'wasteful', as that passenger doesn't need an entire bus to be transported around?

Quoting GST (Reply 8):
If you want a luxury car there are far cleaner options for a similar price tag, inefficient vehicles are often, possibly inadvertently, status symbols and this must stop IMO.

I'm sorry, but that is utterly ridiculous. If I buy a car as a status symbol, then the only thing that are in consideration are whether I can afford it, and the driving enjoyment I get. How 'clean' it is doesn't come into consideration at all - except, perhaps, when calculating fuel costs. I'm quite certain that when people buy cars as a status symbol, they think along the same lines.



Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1679 times:

"Don't believe the man behind the curtain"!...Don't believe for a second the globe is running out of gas. Political hot air. Funny how everything is the fault of the consumer yet it is not the consumer that manufacturers the products THEY get us addicted too. Cigarettes, high fat content foods, 32oz soft drinks, gasoline. We are accused of over indulging. Yet the fat ones at the top laugh all the way to the bank. Mr. Bush accused the Americans of being addicted to oil. No were not!....we are addicted to our Freedom to move about...we could care less if road kill propelled our cars. Mr. Bushes family obtained their wealth through Texas Oil. Who was the addict here I ask?

We now have our "very concerned" mayor of New York. He has banned public smoking, salt on tables in restaurants, 32OZ. soft drinks, and now popcorn. since when has any politician truly cared about the health of strangers? This guy is on a power kick just like all the others. So I say to you, go live your life as you wish, go burn your gas, many getting rich from it and want you to waste, eat your popcorn and get fat from your enormous popcorn bucket. Life is short and it is your choice, no one else's. Big industry has damaged this planet, not civilians, and they did it for profit.

Russian Jet...I admire your concern and it has been mine as well but you have to look beyond the ones that tell you to stop playing with yourself or you'll go blind. So if you go blind then no worries...you get to keep playing with yourself. Not technically, just read between the lines. While your a concerned citizen remember that your government officials are driving tonight to social events on your dime in 20,000lb armoured cars burning incredible amounts of fuel. Do you really think they are thinking..."Green"?


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15810 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1626 times:

Quoting signol (Reply 17):
Wrong. There is a finite amount in the ground

...but we will never run out of it. Getting all of it will be basically impossible, so we'll never run out. It will get more expensive but never completely depleted.

I don't see how that is so hard for people to understand.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13169 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1600 times:

What has hurt many airshows are major accidents that kill spectators or off-site persons or complaints by NIMBYS from the noise and risks. Insurance becomes impossible to afford and fast rising admission fees make them unaffordable for fans to attend. National military based airshow teams and shows themselves have to cut back due to taxpayer and budget pressures. Local governments may not make enough money from attendees to cover policing, traffic control, fire, EMT and related costs. 'Ethical' issues as to fuel use are comparatively minor issues vs these others.

User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1574 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
..but we will never run out of it. Getting all of it will be basically impossible, so we'll never run out. It will get more expensive but never completely depleted.

I get you point, but I think that despite extraction being more and more expensive, there will always be people willing to pay it for a rarer and rarer commodity, until supply is eventually exhausted.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7655 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1525 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):
Should people be allowed to buy candy because that food could be better used to feed hungry children in Africa. Frankly, that is a more valid question. And a better use of resources.

Is feeding a hungry person in Africa a good use of resources, all that will happen is they will grow up have children of their own who will also be hungry and need saving, it's a cycle that needs to be broken.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20201 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1513 times:

I view an airshow as a form of art, really. Not just aerobatics presentations, but airshows in general. They are about appreciating aircraft as something other than purely functional machinery.

Is it a "waste" of energy? Sure. Then again, a painting is a "waste" of time that the painter could be using to accomplish "real" work. A sports competition is a "waste" of time and resources that could also be accomplishing something "more constructive." Are these things unethical?

Eliminating all air shows tomorrow will do nothing to stop global warming or to ease our dependence on fossil fuels, given the tiny allocation of fossil fuels that air shows use. That will solve nothing; finding an alternative aviation fuel for long-term use will be the solution.

But if there is one thing that makes us different from robots, it is our love of things frivolous, fun, and beautiful. That is what makes us human and makes life worth living.


25 2707200X : I would say yes. Airshows are not a common event in communities, It provides a rare opportunity for the common person/families to see and get close, e
26 BMI727 : It pains me to see how many people are actually taking this question seriously. It's just sad really.
27 RussianJet : So I started a debate about usage of fuel and fossil fuels using an airshow as an example. That is sad, why? Think I was pretty clear that I like the
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