Quick, tell me: who is the largest consumer of energy in America? It’s the Defense Department. Recently they have begun to reason that decreasing fuel consumption, especially fuels obtained from foreign sources, is essential to national security. They seek decreases not only for themselves but for all Americans. Consider these changes by the U.S. military.
- Climate change has been officially accepted since the 2010 Quadrenniel Defense Review and addressing it been made a matter of national security.
- The Air Force has the goal of using 50% alternative blends fuels by 2016 (tho’ not all are green).
- The Defense Dept. requires that new fuels have a carbon footprint no greater than what they replace.
- The budget for clean energy has tripled in the last four years to $1.2 billion.
As the article in Yes! magazine reported, the reasons for greening changes in the military all relate to its national security mission, not economics or the environment. Reasons cited in the article include (1) the more energy consumed the more vulnerable you are; (2) climate change increases global instability and makes military deaths more likely; (3) more than 1,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan moving fuel.
Because of their massive use of energy and budget to go with it, it’s hard to identify any entity in the U.S. that can drive the change to renewable energies with greater impact than the military. Of course, the motives of the military are to preserve the non-jubilee, Multi Earth ways that give the U.S. stature in the world. The Defense Department is not envisioning a peace economy. However, their new direction may have some inadvertant by-products that increase One Earth options. Good is so powerful and so creative that it is often born of a dark parent.
What do you think? What impacts will a greener military evoke?