(NYT) With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys that lumber across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels.Once the Military embraces alternative energy, so to will the rest of the nation. Many of our modern conveniences come to us by way of military research and development. Or by way of NASA, which is only a thin step away from the military.
Last week, a Marine company from California arrived in the rugged outback of Helmand Province bearing novel equipment: portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; solar chargers for computers and communications equipment.
The 150 Marines of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, will be the first to take renewable technology into a battle zone, where the new equipment will replace diesel and kerosene-based fuels that would ordinarily generate power to run their encampment.
Even as Congress has struggled unsuccessfully to pass an energy bill and many states have put renewable energy on hold because of the recession, the military this year has pushed rapidly forward. After a decade of waging wars in remote corners of the globe where fuel is not readily available, senior commanders have come to see overdependence[sic] on fossil fuel as a big liability, and renewable technologies -- which have become more reliable and less expensive over the past few years -- as providing a potential answer. These new types of renewable energy now account for only a small percentage of the power used by the armed forces, but military leaders plan to rapidly expand their use over the next decade.
The overly large concept of global warming may not entice people to go green, but when you can show simple, understandable, and concrete benefits of alternative energy, it will start to become more acceptable for the general population to move away from fossil fuels.
Hat Tip: Bark Bark Woof Woof