The CF Snowbirds in action. (Erin Haluschak photo)

LETTER – Snowbirds training during climate crisis shows disregard to no-fly movement

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

Whether you’re on the ground supporting the no-fly movement, or because of COVID-19 your travel life has been a little odd over the last couple of years – maybe you found different or other things to do.

Perhaps you discovered a kind of recreation that wasn’t available to previous generations in times of lockdown or war. One rainy afternoon I found myself on a gravel road winding through a vast plain with stunning vistas stretching out in all directions. To the right of me was a great salt lake. In the distance, I could see high snow-covered peaks, and above that, white cirrus clouds painted on a blue sky. I then entered a reddish desert, where off in the distance could be seen the looming stratovolcano Palpana, with its multicolored slopes and ridges, topped with a snow-covered caldera. As I went further down the road, more volcanoes appeared on the horizon with stunning colours beneath a perfectly blue sky.

Now of course I wasn’t actually on Ruta 21 in Chile on the border with Bolivia, but I was driving with Street View on GoogleMaps. I had a great sense of what it was like being there, without the stress of connecting flights, bad meals, rental cars… or spewing carbon into the atmosphere.

Using Google Maps, a ‘traveller’ can go on hiking trips, and view a ton of fantastic photos. Virtual travel in 4k or 8k is here.

The youth of the planet have called for a No-Fly movement, which means no-fly. It doesn’t mean buying carbon offsets, or paying a carbon tax, and then flying anyway. It means no flying until the climate emergency is over, or until a time when planes switch to hydrogen/electric. To have Snowbirds take flight during the climate emergency is a gigantic middle finger to the no-fly movement, and to the fate of a livable Earth. The carbon the Snowbirds will put into the atmosphere over the next couple of weeks is going to be up there for 300 years.

Fred Fern,


Comox Valley Record