We should be following the military's lead on fossil fuels

Tuesday , November 28, 2017 - 7:00 AM1 comment

During a recent Citizens’ Climate Lobby monthly meeting, retired United States Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Devereaux outlined some of the efforts our military is taking to reduce fossil fuel consumption on the front lines. Did you know it costs over $400 per gallon of fuel delivered to the forward bases in Afghanistan? That one out of every 24 convoys delivering fuel to the front lines experiences a casualty and that 30 percent of casualties are from convoys and supply lines? That the Department of Defense accounts for 93 percent of the total energy used by the federal government, and that the Air Force is responsible for 55 percent of that total?

Due to the costs in terms of lives and money, the military is rethinking its dependency on fossil fuels and exploring renewable energy use on the front lines.

They are also planning for a changing climate. The military brass is not all that concerned with what’s causing climate change and how to fix it: after all, they have more immediate matters to attend to. But they are planning for it, assessing the costs of mitigation, and exploring ways to be resilient to its effects both in current conflicts and potential future ones.

Fossil fuels are essential to our armed forces and our economy, but we should use them only where we need them and cut them where we can. We’d all do well to be as concerned as our military, and I for one support their efforts.

John Armstrong


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