Tuesday 15 May 2012

Green armies

If there’s one aspect of human activity which I’d never describe as being in any way environmentally sound, it has to be warfare.  Using the earth’s resources to build weapons to kill, maim, and destroy is never going to be on anyone’s top ten list of sustainable activities.  So I was fascinated to read at the weekend that the army is ‘going green’.
It seems that they’re planning to install solar panels and wind turbines at bases in Afghanistan, and have been testing such an installation in Cyprus.  The plan is to deploy the new equipment later this year, and that it will slash fuel consumption by 45%.
However, lest anyone should think that the army is going soft, a member of the test team made it clear that this plan was all about saving lives, and had nothing to do with “tree hugging”.  The problem to which this is a response is really nothing to do with the environment at all – it’s just that the efforts to pacify that country have been so unsuccessful that fuel convoys are being regularly attacked by the Taliban.  The equation is a simple one: fewer convoys = fewer attacks = fewer deaths.
Now of course we should commend the army for reducing fuel usage, and for doing anything and everything it can to cut the loss of life in Afghanistan.  But we should not pretend that it has anything to do with environmentalism.  The only ‘green’ warfare is no warfare.


Welsh Agenda said...

A few years ago one of the arms manufacturers (I think it was General Dynamics UK) made a play about their new environmentally friendly, low carbon missile factory. The small print pointed out that this only applied to the manufacture of the missiles and not to any pollution or environmental damage they may cause when in use!

G Horton-Jones said...

Lions led by donkeys
I am reminded of the Falklands when some spokesperson said on TV that the Brecon Beacons were essential because they were identical to the Falklands and that in an earlier statement made out that a townscape created at Sennybridge was "in Belfast"
This week another spokesperson put out that Salisbury plain and Imber village were essential because they replicated Afghanistan.

From a Welsh perspective having just experienced a minimum height fly past could some one remind the the RAF that Richthofen was killed by ground fire and that by 1914 100 years ago all aircraft were known to be vulnerable to 303 rounds with a height range of about one mile and this still remains the case