Showing posts with label Department of Defense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Department of Defense. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Turning Seawater Into Fuel

Mention the Defense Department these days and you'll get shit from both the left and the right. The left hates everything they do and fails to recognize how they are leaders in non military activity such as breast cancer research. The right complains about how much money they spend and how they are in a constant state of intervention around the world.

Yet, it's stories like this that show that they are of enormous benefit to our society.

After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel.The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel could one day relieve the military’s dependence on oil-based fuels and is being heralded as a “game changer” because it could allow military ships to develop their own fuel and stay operational 100 percent of the time, rather than having to refuel at sea.

Consider the implications of this as related to climate change. Obviously, seawater is in ample supply and this technology could massively reduce carbon emissions and put us on a path for renewable and sustainable energy for quite a long time.

Way to go, US Military!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Usual Malarky

The gun community and the Right are foaming at the mouth again about gun free zones after the Navy Yard shooting. As usual, they aren't really thinking. If they allowed anyone to carry a gun in a place like the Navy Yard, then guys like Aaron Alexis, a gun enthusiast with mental health problems, would have free access to roam around as they please. Further, Alexis was going in to kill people no matter what the state of defense in the Navy Yard. This was a very mentally disturbed man who was angry at his employer.

This military directive, issued in February 1992 under George HW Bush, explains the policy of the Department of Defense on Use of Deadly Force and the Carrying of Firearms by DoD Personnel Engaged in Law Enforcement and Security Duties. It is a very reasonable policy that makes perfect sense which is why the gun community hates it.

Speaking of making perfect sense, props to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for politely asking his customers to leave their guns at home. This comes on the heels of some gun supporters playing a role in "ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.” I guess there was an incident recently at the Newtown, Connecticut Starbucks. Man, these folks are all class. I love the first photo in the link that shows the woman working on her laptop next to the nutjobs.

Note that Mr. Schultz did not call for a ban on the premises of his stores which means people can still bring guns into Starbuck's. Essentially what he is saying is, "Hey, jack wagons, take your psycho elsewhere."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother Earth

It's Mother's Day and I thought I'd giver a shout out to Mother Earth. Recent data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration shows that we have now reached the milestone of 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere and I'm wondering if people are finally going to start to wake up.

Thankfully, the Department of Defense has been alert for awhile. Here are a few tidbits of what we have to look forward to regarding climate change.

• First, climate change will shape the operating environment, roles, and missions that the Department undertakes. It may have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to greater competition for more limited and critical life-sustaining resources like food and water. While the effects of climate change alone do not cause conflict, they may act as accelerants of instability or conflict in parts of the world. Climate change may also lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response, both within the United States and overseas.

• Second, DoD will need to adjust to the impacts of climate change on its facilities, infrastructure, training and testing activities, and military capabilities. DoD’s operational readiness hinges on continued access to land, air, and sea training and test space, all of which are subject to the effects of climate change.

Grim, indeed and we can already see it happening. Yet the good news is that we can affect change and reverse our course by simply changing the grazing habits of cattle.

When all is said and done, the end result is what counts. Environmentalist Bill McKibben observes, "Done right, some studies suggest, this method of raising cattle could put much of the atmosphere's oversupply of greenhouse gases back in the soil inside half a century. That means shifting from feedlot farming to rotational grazing is one of the few changes we could make that's on the same scale as the problem of global warming."

Not only could we stop loading up the atmosphere with CO2 but we could actually put it back in the soil within 50 years. Here is the full TED talk by Dr. Savory

The new milestone of 400ppm in our atmosphere should be the red line in the sand. If we implement these changes along with a gradual shift to renewable energy, the future detailed by the DoD will not come to pass. It's time to start taking care of Mother Earth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013