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The military option


Benjamin Sibelman
Living Worlds Productions

The military option

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When it comes to solving the climate crisis, it kind of looks like democracy has failed.  While Chinese leaders make major promises of greenhouse emission reductions, and back them up with huge spending on green technology, Democrats in the U.S. Congress are losing to people who believe global warming is caused by sunspots.  So if elected leaders won't step up to the plate, who else has enough power to get America moving in the right direction in a big way?  How about . . . the U.S. Navy?

That's right, the Secretary of the Navy recently said he "wants 50 percent of the power for the Navy and Marines to come from renewable energy sources by 2020," as quoted by a great article that was the headline for today's New York Times email edition.  This is largely because shipping fossil fuels to the front lines is getting so expensive in both money and lives.  Of course, "He and other experts also said that greater reliance on renewable energy improved national security, because fossil fuels often came from unstable regions and scarce supplies were a potential source of international conflict," which we could have told them forty years ago.

At any rate, it's a good thing they've finally noticed this, because everyone knows military spending eats up half of our government's budget.  According to experts cited in the article, that means "the military has the buying power to create products and markets. That, in turn, may make renewable energy more practical and affordable for everyday uses."

So maybe there's a bright side to Republicans gaining control of Congress, and probably keeping us in Afghanistan far longer than us liberal "surrender monkeys" would like.  Maybe in the process, they'll give the military enough funds for solar panels and biofuels (some of them based on repurposed opium poppies :-) to make a real difference in the speed of clean-energy adoption in America.
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