Military, Energy, Climate Change.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MyDesktopBroke, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #1
    After watching this video, I realize that I was somewhat thick for not connecting the effectiveness of fuel to the over all effectiveness and safety of the military.

    Maybe I just haven't been looking in the right places, but I've never seen or read a discussion that addressed the need for alternative sources of energy from a military stand point. Of course, once you think about it, it makes perfect sense, considering our tanks, planes, drones, trucks, and warships all rely on oil. Imagine if a day comes that will actually run out of oil (or people refuse to sell it, or w/e). There goes our ability to use practically all of our offensive and defensive machines. If we don't have an alternative lined up, what do we do?

    Another thing I didn't think about was how the change in oil prices dramatically effects the military and their budget. Like the video says, when a barrel of oil goes up $20, and the military buys billions of barrels, it makes an enormous impact.

    Anyway, I posted this in PRSI because anything to do with war, renewable energy, or climate change (or all 3) has the risk of descending into lunacy.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    The military has definitely attempted to figure out solutions to the problem, some of them include:
    A. Using solar and wind power to replace diesel generators in war zones, as fuel convoys are large targets
    B. Using jatropha, algae and other biofuels for jets. There has been rather some testing.
     
  3. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #3
    Whatever gave you that impression? :p

    I can't see the video at work, but the military will be the last place to change the source of energy it uses.
     
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #4
    I mean, the military uses .5 percent of the world's oil. But, changing it would likely be forms of efficiency measures, rather the replacements. Remember the average tank uses 2 gallons per mile, not 2 miles per gallon.
     
  5. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    They hopped onto the nuclear bandwagon early, at least the US Navy did. That alone has done a lot to reduce the risk of a fuel shortage. However the Air Force is a prodigious user of petrol. Lifting that tonnage into the air doesn't come cheap of easy. UAVs will reduce a lot of that going forward.
     
  6. MyDesktopBroke thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I thought the part about fuel convoys was especially interesting, because machines at the front line need fuel, but the convoys are an open target to attack, so they also need protection, which in turn creates a need for even more fuel, and the fuel trucks also run on fuel.
     
  7. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #7
    This was one of the "good or lucky?" moments of the Iraq War. As our armored forces moved far forward, our support line was so stretched out that it became an easy target. The Jessica Lynch story was defined by an attack on a fuel convoy and frankly, I'm surprised that the Iraqis didn't attack these convoys more than they did.

    Currently, I've heard that the US Army is working on a series of Hybrid vehicles. However, this system happens to fall within the FCS (Future Combat Systems) which has taken serious budget cuts.

    It's an interesting and ever-present problem for the military; no one wants to end up like Rommel.
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Oil for the military was the whole idea behind the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

    "...no one wants to end up like Rommel." We interdicted Rommel's supplies.

    Patton had the same fuel problem, which led to the "Red Ball Express". Even made a movie about that. The rapid advance of Patton's 3rd Army out-ran the supply lines. My father was in the middle of all that.
     
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #9
    Many of our warships use nuclear power, but your point is well-taken.
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #10
    Wow, I had forgotten about the Red Ball Express and Patton's 3rd.

    Good point about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

    Yep, while the Navy maintains a large number of nuclear powered ships, there are significant exceptions like the Tarawa and Wasp-class amphibious ships. And, of course, the carriers still have to carry jet fuel.

    Ultimately, I think while the US military will try to figure out ways to lower its oil consumption, there are inherent difficulties in doing this and this reality isn't going to change for a very, very long time.
     
  11. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #11
  12. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #12
    Very interesting, from the article:

    The lubrication ability could be a problem, but on the other hand, seals and gaskets might last longer.
     

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