Today the Pentagon said that they needed to move away from Fossil Fuels, and much like the rocketry that allowed us to go to the moon, much like the internet that is disrupting hundreds of business models, the military going green might be the way to prove that we can do this, and remove some of the road blocks that have cropped up in moving to a much more sustainable future.
The Military has had a huge impact on what we do, and regardless of how people think about the military, it has been military sponsored projects that have had enormous impacts on society and people over the last 60 years. From rockets to the internet, from nuclear power to ruggedized electronics, radar, sonar, and a ton of other technologies that makes our lives easier and safer, most of these have come out the needs of the military.
Today’s NY Times reports that the military has seen the liability of running on fossil fuels and have started working on renewable energy that can be obtained anywhere in the world.
Even as Congress has struggled unsuccessfully to pass an energy bill and many states have put renewable energy on hold because of the recession, the military this year has pushed rapidly forward. After a decade of waging wars in remote corners of the globe where fuel is not readily available, senior commanders have come to see overdependence on fossil fuel as a big liability, and renewable technologies — which have become more reliable and less expensive over the past few years — as providing a potential answer. These new types of renewable energy now account for only a small percentage of the power used by the armed forces, but military leaders plan to rapidly expand their use over the next decade. Source: NY Times
Why is this a good idea?
While there are many people who do not like the military, there have been steady advances out of DARPA and the Military Industrial Complex that have made our lives more interesting. While the general public might not understand the relationship between military technology and today’s IPAD computer, there are a lot of former military technologies that have filtered down to the consumer market. Replacements or a complete removal of fossil fuels and being able to go anywhere in the world with a much smaller or missing infrastructure is one way that America in many ways can use to solve many of their own problems at home.
This is a project well worth following and learning more about because it has the potential of significant influence on the future of America. We have seen the explosive growth in industries as military technology moves to the consumer realm, the internet is just one example of that. Green technologies go anywhere without a country infrastructure is another potential explosive technology that will change many lives as it starts to take off. The bonus benefit of this is that military people who learn these technologies are going to bring them with them, and be able to support those technologies when they hit the commercial markets.
Green technology might just not be the same when these technologies hit the market.
(Cross-posted @ Managing Intellectual Property & IT Security)