Military green

I just read an excerpt from Amanda Little's book Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells—Our Ride to the Renewable Future on Grist [LINK]. The excerpt is about the Department of Defense's efforts to be more "green," meaning energy efficient in this case. I had wondered a little about the fuel usage of the military, and specifically about how the military uses fuel and meets its energy needs in Iraq, but I hadn't really read much about it until now. Not to spoil the read, which I definitely recommend, but the most shocking numbers are probably that the cost of fuel (diesel or gas) increases by an order of magnitude when the cost of transport and security for field delivery is included, and another order of magnitude when it is delivered aerially. Also, just the sheer amount of fuel used by the DoD is amazing... billions of dollars annually? Crazy! So this excerpt is really about the efforts to improve energy efficiency, increase security, and decrease costs by the DoD. While I'm not a big proponent of many of the DoD's efforts, it is exciting to hear that it is looking pretty seriously at alternative energy technology. Many of our favorite things have come from such R&D efforts (e.g., the internet), so maybe these efforts will accelerate some technologies and get them into commercial use faster than could otherwise be expected.

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