GREEN TECHNOLOGY AND THE U.S. MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: WE WILL ONLY GET THE FIRST WHEN THE SECOND CHOOSES TO END ITS DEPENDENCE ON FOSSIL FUELS.
A lot of people keep throwing their hands up into the air and bemoaning the fact that the world still hasn’t fully gone ‘green’ like it could, or ‘should’ do, by weaning itself off its dependence on fossil fuels, which, we’ve been told umpteen times, are the cause for greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, climate change, species extinction, desertification, soil erosion on our coast lines, and a whole other host of unholy horrors too numerous to mention.
We hear countless ‘greenies’, and righteously-indignant peaceniks all exhorting us that we, or ‘they’, meaning governments and private industry, ‘should’, all of a sudden, just drop what their doing, abandon the internal combustion engine, along with all of the industrial and research and development-based infrastructure which supports it, and which is built up around it, and turn on a dime and start moving everything and everybody around with trains, planes, and maybe automobiles, powered with either solar panels on their roofs, wind turbine propellers, or some sort of hydrogen energy which nobody has yet been able to explain how they’re going to not have to burn any fossil fuels to make the hydrogen out of all that free tap water.
This brings me to the main point behind this piece. The main reason why our planet has yet to forsake fossil fuels and the internal combustion piston and jet engine is quite simple: Because the world’s biggest military-industrial complex, which supplies equipment to the world’s biggest military organization, that is to say the United States of America and her allies, has yet to see fit to feel ready, willing, much less able to make the changeover efficiently, and still be able to deploy its personnel and equipment tactically and strategically in the field without jeopardizing national security, as well as the security of its allies, and that of the planet in general.
The U.S.A.’s military-industrial complex gobbles up literally millions of gallons of fossils fuels per year, just to keep the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, as well as the Coast Guard, deployed throughout the world. Although the Navy has reduced its dependence on fossil fuels significantly by having a nuclear-powered carrier fleet, large segments of the vessels which support and protect these huge carriers still run on either Diesel or gas-turbine powered engines.
The Air Force is renowned to be a huge gas-guzzler, what with a huge fleet of B-52 and B-1 bombers, F-14, F-16, and F-18 fighter jets to keep fuelled up and ready to take off at a moment’s notice, as well as to use them on training missions, Hollywood movies, routine patrols, as well as deployments in actual combat. The Army has a huge fleet of Hummers, which have large 6+ litre Diesel engines and automatic transmissions, which gobble up a lot of fuel compared to the 4 cylinder Jeep which they replaced, which had a manual transmission.
All in all, the United States Armed Services is stuck with huge costs for fuel, lubricants, solvents, etc to equip and maintain its high-tech fleet of equipment and weapon systems. And the government-run and financed system of research and development has traditionally been geared towards researching and developing new products and systems which utilize fossil fuels and internal combustion modes of locomotion.
All this has now changed since the environmental crisis and, I would venture to guess, the last two Gulf Wars. The U.S. Defence Department has probably been analysing just how risky it has become to guarantee America’s now much-talked about ‘energy security’. America can only rely for so much and for so long on ‘dirty’ Canadian oil from the Alberta tar sands before public opinion in both countries as well as around the world turns against them, and some group of indigenous peoples along with environmentalists make a big stink out of the issue at the United Nations in New York, or better yet at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, decrying the damage to Mother Earth as a ‘Crime against Humanity’.
America is already overtly paranoid of being dependent for energy on the likes of the Arab-Muslim world, whose more militant elements have sworn to wage all-out Jihad against America, and have shown no hesitation to utilize oil money to do so in their attempts to limit America’s expansionist agenda into the Middle-East and Central Asia. The T. Boone Pickens of this world most certainly have influence in Congress, as well as all the way up into Canada, where shale gas exploration is ploughing ahead in the face of stiff opposition from civil society pressure groups of all sorts, while governments in most Canadian provinces blithely are doing their level best to loosen the regulatory framework so as to fast track the penetration of shale gas drilling, what with its still unproven and unperfected water-gobbling and polluting methods for drilling causing no shortage of public outcry amongst nature lovers in some of the province of Québec’s still as yet virgin and undeveloped rural areas.
So all signs point to America looking for some sort of viable solution to this dependence on foreign oil. It’s only a question of time before government research and development dollars bear fruit and new methods for locomotion are developed either in America, Japan, or even China, either in fuel cell technology, solar energy, battery-storage capacity, wind power, hydrogen power, or some other form of alternative energy supply.
Then, and only then will we see the world be transformed away from a dependence on fossil fuels. Because, as we all know, or should know, the military consumes the lion’s share of research and development funds of governments, especially in the U.S.A., and these funds are used to develop the military equipment necessary to defend and promote our way of life both at home and abroad. Then and only then do these technological breakthroughs, which have first been developed, tested and proven in military situations, ‘trickle down’ to the civilian sector by being adapted, modified and miniaturized for civilian use.
So basically, that’s it. As soon as the U.S.A. starts coming out with electrical fighter aircraft, or plasma-powered bombers, or Hummers powered with hydrogen fuel cells, you’ll know that your public transit bus, train, plane or car won’t be far behind. So all you ‘greenies’ can just stop throwing up your hands and exhorting us all about what we ‘should’ be doing: Uncle Sam is taking care of business, believe it or not, regardless of how much debt it’s in, and how much of it is held by the Chinese.
Tomorrow electric Stealth bombers, the next, arriving ‘stealthily’ at your destination in an electrically-powered airliner. Don’t believe me? You really ‘shouldn’t’ think that way!!!