Monday, 20 June 2011

The Greenest Warriors

Of all the advances in warfare two are great victories for the planet, and the taxpayers pocketbook.  On and under the seas we have nuclear propulsion.  Burning through 700,000 barrels of oil or 2% of total consumption for the USA Military, the USS Kitty Hawk was a dirty dirty beast.  It retired in 2009 and at today’s prices its appetite was $70 million a year. Multiply that by the roughly 100 Nuclear Subs and the 38 surface ships and the world is burning some 70 million barrels less oil a year thanks to Nukes. That’s enough oil to run the USA for 3.5 days.
In the last four years the US air force has cut fuel consumption nearly 20%, a big part of that is the energy efficiency of drones vs. piloted planes.  Another nail in the coffin for the F35. Compare the operational cost of running a  fully loaded reaper drone  which burns  385 gallons per hour, to a F16 which uses a staggering 7,000 gallons per hour. Sure a reaper cannot do every mission the F35 might be assigned, but Drones are in their infancy, so why are we buying planes for 2020, when the future is already clear. What a fantastic illustration of how being green is not only about sustainability but also fiscal responsibility.

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