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Lean, Green, Fighting Machines

04 Apr 2012  |   Lea Brumfield

The U.S. military’s elite Navy SEAL forces have a new battle to fight: against climate change.  A recent military investment of $2 million in solar technology will allow SEAL teams to power their equipment, purify water, and even refrigerate medical supplies and food no matter where they are deployed.

"It's really the first step in the Navy's effort to make the SEALs net-zero energy and net-zero water (use) down the road," said Thomas Hicks, the Navy's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy.

The military has been reducing its environmental footprint across all branches, having recognized the strong connection between our national security and our dependence on polluting fossil fuels.  Some Army bases are aiming for net-zero energy use, and the Navy and Air Force are experimenting with biofuels created with wood waste –and yes, even algae.  Sadly, anti-environmental lawmakers in Congress – continuing to side with the big polluters who are funding their campaigns – have repeatedly questioned and criticized the military’s new-energy strategies.

Hicks’ response:

"[Energy investments] are about improving our combat capability, improving our mission effectiveness, and reducing our vulnerabilities to foreign sources of fossil fuel... It's about returning more of our brave sailors and Marines back home to their families safely."

Read more at Scientific American.



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