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Armies Around The World Go Green To Save Fuel – And Lives

Posted by keith on April 15th, 2009

Life imitates art in the most absurd way imaginable; or could it be headline writers desperate to find a “green” angle on anything; or perhaps this is a genuine case of the writer cocking a snook at the amount of greenwashing going on.

Here’s the article, from The Independent:

You could, perhaps, call it the “military-ecological complex”. For the world’s most powerful armies are going green, trying to kickstart an environmental-technological revolution in civvy street in the process. Nearly half a century after the outgoing US president, former general Dwight Eisenhower, warned that a proliferating “military-industrial complex” threatened to drive the world towards destruction, defence establishments are beginning to try to help to save it instead. And they have found that green initiatives can preserve lives on the battlefield too.

The Pentagon – which gave the world the gas-guzzling, 68 ton M1 Abrams tank, which does just over half a mile to the gallon – is leading the charge. But Britain’s own Ministry of Defence, responsible for 70 per cent of all the government’s carbon dioxide emissions, is not far behind. And the prestigious Royal United Services Institute is to hold a conference this year on what other Nato countries are doing.

The US military – the country’s largest single energy consumer – has embarked on a drive to save fuel, and thus lives. Half of its wartime casualties are sustained by convoys, which are mostly carrying fuel and are a favoured target for enemies. It estimates that every 1 per cent of fuel saved means 6,444 soldiers do not have to travel in a vulnerable convoy.

One simple innovation – insulating tents in Iraq and Afghanistan with a layer of hard foam, reducing the need to heat and cool them – has saved 100,000 gallons of fuel a day. The Pentagon aims to get a quarter of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. It is to buy 4,000 electric cars (the world’s largest single order) for use on its bases, and is developing hybrid armoured vehicles for the battlefield.

It has saved fuel by cutting the weight of aircraft – removing floor mats, redundant tools, loading thick manuals on to laptops, and using lighter paint – and within seven years plans to fly them on a 50/50 blend of ordinary fuel and biofuel, probably made from algae.

Killing to save the planet!

Of course, The Onion got there first…

In The Know: How Can We Make The War In Iraq More Eco-Friendly?

One Response to “Armies Around The World Go Green To Save Fuel – And Lives”

  1. Anti-ecological militarism | Toban Black Says:

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