I don't know why I'd never thought about the military as a progressive force for change until I read this, but it makes sense: racial integration and that miracle we call the internet both marched out of the military. Now, one more modern change is coming — the military is going greener than fatigues!
The Department of Defense is responsible for over 1.5 percent of all US energy consumption, and it's now looking (prepare for the most overused phrase in "eco" . . . "journalism") to green up its act. (At least I spared you a "Red, White, and Green" joke — this time.) To see five ways the military and Department of Defense hope to cut bills and conserve energy on their new mission to save the planet,
- Create portable solar and wind power stations for emergencies like Hurricane Katrina.
- Fuel Air Force planes with biofuel.
- Develop hybrid military vehicles.
- Install solar panels on air-base buildings.
- Spray tents with foam insulation (hold your breath!) to reduce heating and air-conditioning needs.
The foam insulation alone has cut energy use by 45 percent. Is this money well spent? Is the military the perfect place to nurture environmental advances or do reports like these camouflage eco-deficiencies in other areas of government?