Archive for Military
www.nationalgeographic.com 19th November 2010
Quoted from source:
‘When the Navy F/A-18 jet called the Green Hornet takes off over the Chesapeake Bay on Earth Day, it will aim to break a barrier that has proven far more durable than the speed of sound. The twin-engine tactical aircraft is prepared on April 22 to make a supersonic flight on biofuel—its tanks filled 50 percent with oil refined from the crushed seeds of the flowering Camelina sativa plant. The test flight at the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, Maryland will be a milestone in the Navy’s efforts to reduce its reliance on petroleum, and perhaps, in the elusive search for an alternative fuel for aviation. The event is meant to showcase the Pentagon’s efforts to increase use of renewable energy, not only as a climate change initiative but to protect the military from energy price fluctuations and dependence on foreign oil. When President Obama announced his offshore drilling and energy security plan last month at Andrews Air Force Base, he used the Green Hornet as a backdrop. As naval aviation’s biggest fuel consumer, the F/A-18 Super Hornet is a fitting test aircraft. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has set a that half of naval energy consumption will come from alternative sources by 2020. A “Great Green Fleet,” to sail by 2016, will include nuclear ships, as well as surface combatants with hybrid electric power systems using biofuel and biofuel-powered aircraft. But for now, the Navy is seeking only to certify its first blend of biofuel and petroleum, by showing it can be used for the Super Hornet’s full range of flight operations. That includes demonstrating that the alternative fuel can deliver the power needed to fly faster than the speed of sound (343 meters per second).’
Read more on the US military’s attempts to move away from fossil fuels in LMV’s published editorial ‘The Army of the Sun: the US Military’s Move Away from Fossil Fuels’.
1st November 2010
La Mode Verte’s director, Edward Scott-Clarke, has just had his first article published for the Henry Jackson Society, a UK foreign policy government think tank. The article discusses the future energy needs of armed forces and how this will have a knock-on effect in the way the world as a whole views renewable resources. The military, in the US in particular, has been at the fore-front of changing human energy use patterns: from sail to coal in the 19th century, from coal to oil and then from oil to nuclear power. The current interest of the US military in renewable energy could be what the world needs to shift away from its reliance on fossil fuels.
Read the article: ‘The Army of the Sun: the US military’s move away from Fossil Fuels’.
www.nytimes.com 4th October 2010
The United States military is experimenting with renewable energies due to the vulnerability of fossil fuel transportation on the battlefield. With the military frequently in operation in remote parts of the world with limited access to fuel, military officials have come to see a reliance on fossil fuels as a liability to combat effectiveness. As a result, whereas many businesses in the USA have put renewable energy projects on hold due to the recession, the US army has pushed ahead with energy reform. Current fuel convoys have drawn the attention of insurgent attacks and new statistics show that for every 24 convoys that set out, one soldier or civilian engaged in fuel transport is killed. No where in the problem more acute than in the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan where parked convoys are regularly attacked and torched by Taliban fighters. However, the change in attitude to fossil fuels is not just for increased fuel reliability. It would also free up troops set aside to guard fuel depots and convoys and make units more mobile and independent. The US navy alone (including the marines) intends to have 50% of its energy needs met by renewables by 2020 including power for military bases and electric transport. An electric vessel called USS Makin Island is already in use and saved 900,000 gallons of fuel on its maiden voyage from Mississippi to San Diego. The US airforce has also stated that its entire fleet will be able to run on bio-fuels by 2011 allowing the military to grow crops wherever their airfields are.
www.nytimes.co.uk 6th October 2010
It is a phenomena that has received a lot of attention but up until now, the actual cause of the drastic decline in honeybee populations in the USA has been elusive. Since 2006, 20-40% of bee colonies have collapsed prompting accusations against pesticides and GM foods. Now, an unlikely partnership between the US military and bee experts from the University of Montana have unveiled another theory. According to a paper published in the academic journal PLoS One, the researchers have blamed the interaction of a fungus and a virus for the decline in bee populations. Although the exact way in which the double-act effects the bees is unknown (the next stage of the study focuses on this), several factors indicate that bee nutrition is involved in some way. This is not the first time the US military has been interested in bees. With the help of the same University of Montana, the army has carried out research on the bee’s ability to detect landmines.
Sources: www.independent.co.uk 6th September 2010
The boar population in Germany has expanded to such a size that farmers are demanding the army steps in to deal with the problem. The boards have caused widespread damage to maize fields throughout Germany and have even posed a threat to human life. Boar-related traffic accidents have killed 27 and wounded around 3000 in the last year. Furthermore, boar stampedes have been recorded in towns resulting in the police being called to shoo them away. The rapid expansion of the boar populations is a result of a lack of natural predators in Germany (although the wolf is now making a come back in Eastern Germany) as well as the increase in maize production, a particular favourite of boars. Although local hunting groups have increased the quota on their annual cull, as well as lifting a ban on night-time hunting with torches, farmers claim the epidemic is now out of the hands of the hunters. Considering the fact that 447,000 boards were killed last year alone gives some indication of the scale of the problem. Environmentalists, hunting groups, and the military alike have been quick to dismiss the idea however.