The military is going green and it is about bottom lines and practicality more than it is about saving the planet.
The New York Times revealed that by the time a gallon of gasoline gets deep into Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, it costs about $400. Then there is the human cost. The article points out that one soldier or civilian dies protecting every 24 deliveries of gasoline in the Middle East. "We had a couple of tenuous supply lines across Pakistan that are costing us a heck of a lot, and they're very dangerous," said Marine Corps Gen. James Conway in the Times story.
So to cut down on the dollar and human cost of this, the military is going green. Solar tent shields and computer chargers have been delivered to Helmand Province. They will reduce the military’s reliance on gasoline generators. Beyond that, the military is committing to having half of the energy needs for the Navy and Marines come from renewable sources within the next ten years.
An article in Slate points out that the Navy has already launched a hybrid amphibian-assault ship that runs on electricity while cruising at low speeds. Also, the Air Force is using biofuels including algae energy for many of its planes. Slate also reports that there’s “talk of a biofuel plant that can turn illegal poppies into a power source.”
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