Sunday, August 22, 2010


To minimize 'serious' casualties, a top commander in Iraq is calling for renewable energy to reduce demand for petroleum to fuel generators at US outposts. That, in turn, would reduce the number of vulnerable fuel convoys, such as these entering Kuwait. By Gustavo Ferrari, AP, 2006

The irony of our war in Iraq has been excruciating on many fronts. We now try to wind it down. Back in September 2006 there was a headline that hit me like an oil gusher: "In the Iraqi war zone, U.S. Army calls for 'green' power."[Originally in the Christian Science Monitor, 9-7-06] The military strategists had determined that in order to secure their energy needs in the desert, solar and wind power were much more suitable than their oil convoy dependent diesel generators. They put out an urgent appeal for these alternative energy sources, so they could be more secure as they occupy Iraq, to guarantee access to its oilfields.

Demo of solar/wind unit installed at Ft. Irwin, USA

Why not cut out the whole destructive armed forces middlemen, and instead deploy alternative energy in every town in America, thereby securing our energy needs locally, without having to occupy foreign lands? Contrary to this logic, we're developing solar/wind units that can be dropped to troops in desert or on mountaintops. Please read this uniquely informative article.

Yes, it would be a complicated effort-- converting from our oil dependent infrastructure, but it's also inevitable. We do have the capability. It requires a dedicated national effort, using our own national resources. We must convert from this wasteful harmful investment in military technology, and make direct investment in the civilian sector. Applied science and technology to meet the practical peaceful productive needs of our society. This idea that military research and development is the best way to spin off technical benefits to the rest of the country is counterintuitive mumbo jumbo.

Below is an until now unpublished commentary I wrote in the week after finding the above news story.

The oil convoy lifelines to our troops occupying Iraq are an Achilles heel. That's where the insurgents hit us. In the land of oil and desert heat, we need petroleum to fuel generators for the lights and power and a.c. that keep our forward bases running. To correct this strategic vulnerability we're installing advanced solar collectors and wind generators. The new tech that can help make the U.S. independent of oil is therefore being driven by the needs of our killing machine imposed in Iraq because of our overwhelming ongoing dependence.

Can't we be more pro-active and direct in meeting the needs of our society? Is the only credible method of tech development to be achieved through the military defense industry? Is it not serious science if it doesn't come out of think tanks and Pentagon projects whose bottom line is the imperative to kill others to secure one's own lifestyle?

cientists and businessmen can be powerful diplomats, ambassadors of good will. Let's stop requiring that the end state of their research must somehow issue from the gun barrels of lethal weapons. Direct R & D for clean energy, needs to receive more government and private funding than the military option.

Isn't it sad that our best creative efforts have become imbedded in a permanent military industry? Our natural tendency to rule roughshod over other cultures from American Indians to the peoples of Iraq is historical reality. But our faith points us towards a completely different reality.

Dying You destroyed our death. Rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus come in glory. [From the Catholic mass just after the Consecration] Our kingdom is not of this world. Each of us has a very limited time on the planet. None of us will cheat death no matter the level of our national and personal security. It is how we live that will carry our souls, the level of our kindness and our truly compassionate conservatism.

et's live within our means, by creating the means for national and personal energy independence. "If you want peace, work for justice." --Pope Paul VI No more unjust wars to corner the world's resources. We live in an interdependent world that would like us to lead toward energy solutions, not energy servitude.

Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, NYT photo---- Members of the last American combat brigade [>50,000 others remain] in Iraq crossed into Kuwait early on Thursday as the military neared its Aug. 31 deadline to end combat operations

Related article to article sited above:

Illuminations by Kathy Brahney

1 comment:

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