Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Obama's 21st Century Navy

Ever-vigilant about America's military power and the ecology, President Obama has rolled out his plans for the new energy-efficient Navy. Pictured is the brilliant innovation for battle cruisers and destroyers. Instead of using ecology-destroying fossil fuels, the new Navy has found a way to harness the wind.

They haven't quite figured out how to configure the wind-utilizer engines (aka "sails") on aircraft carriers, but just give them time and a few hundred billion taxpayer dollars. And if you think those wind-driven warships are brilliant, wait until you see the solar-powered versions. But until those ships are built, we'll have to make do with our present surface Navy. Still, this administration is not letting any grass grow under its feet in the area of green technology.

This past August, Obama announced his biofuel initiative for the military. It is budgeted at about $510 million over the next three years. He calls it an investment in the future. Of course, that's what he called Solyndra and LightSquared too. But let's not kick a dead horse. Congress has not yet funded this "investment" (read: taxpayer dollars thrown down another rathole). It's unlikely that it ever will. But that won't stop Obama.

Obama recently compared himself to Teddy Roosevelt, a fellow progressive. In 1907, Congress refused to fund a world tour of America's Great White Fleet. TR announced that he would send the fleet anyway--he had enough in his presidential contingency fund to get the fleet halfway around the world, and it would be up to Congress to get it home. Obama now wants to conduct the Navy's 2012 summer war exercises using the "Great Green Fleet" carrier strike force. Following in TR's footsteps, he has already made a deal with the Navy using $12 million in Defense Department procurement authority to purchase 450,000 gallons of biofuel.

Unlike those impure and un-green traditional fossil fuels, this fuel costs about $15 per gallon. It is the largest biofuel purchase in history, so you can imagine where most of the proposed $510 million will go if that "investment" is ever funded by Congress. Now this is an important military development. So who better than Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make the first big public statement? Combining green-energy (?) with Obama's hurry-up play on the economy, Vilsack said: "This is not work we can afford to put off for another day."

The administration's idea of supporting the military during belt-tightening time is to spend $15 per gallon for biofuel that is questionably "green" in order not to spend $4 per gallon for the current JP-5 fuel. If Obama truly intends for the military to cut $1 trillion from their budgets over the next ten years, this is not an auspicious start. Paying nearly four times as much for fuel which may ultimately prove to be inefficient and more damaging to the environment than the old fuel is bad strategy. On top of that, the high cost of that fuel, in the midst of cutbacks, means less money for genuine military upgrades.

Now that I think of it, that is probably exactly what Obama intends.

40 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

"we have not yet begun to fight;" "don't give up the ship" "I have invested 500 million in our {read companies who are big contributors to my campaign, and make my eco-weenie radical base love me} future!"

I am still recovering from the man who least deserves to be called "commander-in-chief" cutting short his taxpayer funded Hawaiian junket to all of a sudden show up at the Army/Navy game, suck yet more oxygen out of the broadcast by helping with the play by play" all of a sudden pretend he gives a rat's ass about our military other than to cut it down to size.

End of rant for now

tryanmax said...

This is stupid because I know from other sources that all branches of the military are already and have been researching alternative fuels as a strategic initiative. You know, in case supply lines get cut off.

Put in terms Obama can understand, the military are like ├╝ber-Boy Scouts, always prepared. Oh wait, never mind, Zero probably thinks the Boy Scouts are a hate group. Forget I said anything, Barry.

The bottom line is, the military--if it needs alternative fuels or biofuels or whatever--is already on top of it. They don't need politicians like Barry mucking things up with their "good intentions."

Furthermore, nobody needs a "Green War." Wars are won by giving the enemy as much sudden lead poisoning as possible. If Gaia happens to be standing in the way, that's her problem.

On the other hand, as the Greenies get more militant, I hope and pray they arm themselves with eco-friendly gear. It's technological inferiority will make me feel safe.

T-Rav said...

Well, I guess if the navy and all the rest of us started living like it was the 17th century, before the Industrial Revolution came along, then we wouldn't have to worry about evil air pollution or CO2 emissions or anything like that. Of course, there'd probably also be a 20% mortality rate, but there's too many of us humans anyway, am I right?

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
You forgot the possibility of yet another non fossil fuel energy for powering ships. Oars, after all there used to be very effective war ships which used oars and ramming techniques. using oars would also help reduce the unemployment situation we face.
With those two replacing the use of fossil fuels and the costly chemical explosives we could afford an even grander vacation for the bubcus in chief.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I guess he figured that would be a twofer. He gets credit for cutting his vacation short, and shows up at a quasi-military event to mug for the cameras. Now, the question becomes will they be using biofuels for the extra cost of using two jumbo jets to get to Hawaii instead of just one if he and Michelle had traveled together?

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I'm sure you're right about the military being able to figure out its own needs and contingencies. It does seem that continuing to use the old-fashioned fuels at a much lower cost would have been better if what we need is a reserve of our own locally-manufactured fuel. Then instead of wasting backup fuel, we would be using the already-available fuel that might be cut off at some future date.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: You're correct. Mother Earth doesn't want so many people cluttering up her kingdom.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: The trireme and the quinquireme made the Greek and Roman navies the masters of the seas. We could learn from them. Besides, we could put all those rowers to work, cutting unemployment while at the same time making big inroads into the obesity problem. "Hortator, increase the oarsmens' pace. Prepare to ram!"

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - how many oars do you think it might take to move an aircraft carrier at full speed? I'm just not sure how oars would work on a nuclear submarine (sans nuclear, of course) though. The hole for oars might cause problems.

Individualist said...

Ours is not to question why

Ours is but to do or die

Into the valley of Death bicycled the 300....

Hmmm...... Going green with the military just is not that poetic is it.

tryanmax said...

We may as well consider the oarsmen thing. A debtor nation is not far from being a slave nation of slaves. Will those be red flags flying from the triremes?

Actually, I've gotten that backwards. Besides the reality that China is not set to lead the coming century, history shows that nations instigate war to avoid paying debts, not to collect them. Think about it, it wasn't bankers who were camping out in city parks.

We can breathe easy so long as Democrats remain dovish. If they start acting hawkish, it's time to get nervous. But first they have to get the Republicans to take over dovishness. (Ron Paul, anyone?)

ArmChairGeneral said...

OR we could let our own countymen have the keystone pipeline and drill in Anwar but then we'd would have plenty of time to develop REAL alternative energy sources and wouldn't have to rely on Obama's Muslim allies in OPEC.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: They're working on watertight oar ports for submarines. Obama is setting aside a few billion dollars for research and development at the green energy firm Oars R Us. I think the firm is owned by Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I wonder if Obama knows what the main construction materials of sailing ships are? I am not talking about racing boats. Those are made of fiberglass and metal. I am talking about the type of ship that is represented by the first picture. It is wood.

If I remember correctly, the forests around Boston were decimated by the ship-building industry creating whalers. In fact Boston, and 90% of the East Coast Ports don't have forests around their areas because of ship-building.

Going back to an industry that destroyed forests is NOT eco-friendly.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Well, poetic is not exactly the word I would use.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Very interesting scenario. I think you should become a professional conspiracy theorist. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

ACG: But if we go forward with the KeystoneXL Pipeline, and open up ANWR, we wouldn't have an energy crisis. Crises are a major part of the agenda for "fundamentally transforming America." Thus, we must continue to buy Islamist oil while supporting wasteful green energy at home. What you're suggesting is that the people should control the government, and we can't have that, now can we?

Individualist said...

Joel

You bring up a good point. We went on vacation to Chancellorsville & Frediericksburg to see the sites of the Civil War battles there. I beleive it was Fredericksburg where the South had set up on higher ground past the River.

There was an open field and the Park Ranger was explaining that we had to imagine that the tree line to the woods was actually 150 yeards further back since it had grwon in.

Some obviously liberal person remarked how strange that was given all the deforestation in the 20th century.

The PArk Ranger corrected him stateed that in fact due to all the logging for firewood there were less forests at the time of the Civil War and that over the 20th century much of the forest was recalimed because commercial forresters in Virginia grow in set batches that are harevested every year so the actual amount of forest is never depleted.

The liberal had no answer.

BevfromNYC said...

Actually, there should be nothing wrong the the military working on finding new ways to use alternate forms of fuel. Military/Private industry research cooperation in the space program brought about many major advancements in technology.

However, mandating the use of biofuels when they have not proved yet to be efficient or viable to the exclusion of reliable fossil or nuclear fuels is dangerous and a risk to national security.

I know, I know, you said that, but I'm saying it again...

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: Obama has already figured that out. Though it would further deplete wood forests, he will use butterfly wings to make the wind-utilizer engines (sails), thereby saving saving the polyester and nylon forests.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: The ranger had his facts right. With conservation and setting aside national parkland, there is considerably more forest land today than there was at the end of the nineteenth century.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's true. And there are very good reasons for doing this actually, in particular concern about supply. That's the primary motivation.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: NASA really was an excellent blend of government/private cooperation. Somehow, I don't think that Obama understands how that worked.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: You, Bev and I agree on that. But trying to explain to an Obamist how to get the proper balance is a near-impossibility.

tryanmax said...

I knew somebody would think it sounded conspiracy theorist-y. I prefer the term "war gaming."

I'm not saying there's a plan in place that includes Ron Paul, or that anything like that is right around the corner. I'm just saying that Ron Paul would be part of a step in the wrong direction for the GOP. If the GOP started turning dovish, the Dems would start getting more hawkish just to remain contrary.

tryanmax said...

Pulling out in time for Christmas is baloney. A tour is a tour and if a soldier is out over Christmas the pull out of Iraq won't change that.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I didn't think for a minute you really believed that. I was just suggesting that you should be a professional conspiracy-theorist because your theory sounds more genuine than most of the theories that large numbers of Americans believe. I certainly would rather listen to your pretend conspiracy theory than most of the real ones, like the Truthers.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: That's very true. But Obama doesn't know that.

T-Rav said...

Ron Paul must not be the GOP nominee, ever, under any circumstances. If he gets the nomination, that is the end of our hopes to get rid of Obama.

tryanmax said...

LawHawk, Thank You!

I could probably be one of those guys who writes thriller novels only to be investigated by the CIA when they come true. Good thing I hate those kind of novels.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: You could probably pull that off. At least you know two lawyers who could help you out. LOL

ArmChairGeneral said...

The problem with 'air power' on a steel ship the size of an aircraft carrier is that such a power would grant less momentum than continental drift. So in this instance if one of Obama's sail equipped nuclear aircraft carriers were heading to Africa on a Wednesday the continent of North America would beat it there.

Individualist said...

Arm Chair General

If the TugBoats pull The Barack Obama the first air powered air craft carrier out to sea to a postion three mile off the Coast of Manhattan and the Air Power provides a propulsion of three centimeters per millenia and the North American continent is drifting toward Africa at a rate of four centimeter millenia.


Will the Barack Obama find itself beached on the Jersey Shore before the US Government declares Bankruptcy.

You m ay use your calculators for this problem.

ArmChairGeneral said...

I don't need a calculator. Snookie can answer that one.

Individualist said...

Well ACG

According to the executive order by the White house regarding the grading of answers on a test I cannot tell you if relying on snookie for an answer is wrong or right.

However we can give you an Obama logo O with a smiley face in it for participating.

LawHawkRFD said...

ACG: Better late than never. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: I thought I was back in algebra class for a moment.

LawHawkRFD said...

ACG: You caught me. I just put my calculator away.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Do I get one too? Or do I have to show my work?

Benyamin said...

Biofuel based jet fuel is proven; a Navy F/A-18 broke the sound barrier with that "untested" jet fuel two years ago (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/04/navy-converts-biofuel-into-noise-to-celebrate-earth-day/). And one of the other commentators made a good point: if some other country cuts off oil supplies, then our military will be out of luck. Unless, of course, it turns to biofuel, which happen to have quite a lot of. Biofuel isn't that expensive (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/pentagon-researcher-promises-cheap-biofuel-for-jets/) and the benefits of decreased reliance on foreign oil certainly outweigh the costs.

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