Letter to the editor: Don’t forget to think about future military fuels | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Don’t forget to think about future military fuels

Ralph Ragsdale

It sounds decisive to set a deadline for eliminating the burning of fossil fuels. But it can be foolhardy to do so. For example, if the needs of the military are slighted in any way, and adversaries are not similarly hampered, disaster can result. Should one hang his hat on the fact that we can’t know the future and new things are always being invented, so don’t worry?

To be specific, what will the U.S. Army use in place of gasoline and diesel? Electricity? And how will they recharge their batteries — on a tank, for example? Solar panel? Remember when we forced Rommel to run out of fuel in North Africa? But tanks won’t be used in the next war, you say. No rolling stock whatsoever?

Then there is the U.S. Air Force. So far, one plane has made one test flight using renewable fuel. Will there be enough fast-food grease, new crops and seaweed to process in digestors to meet the Air Force fuel requirements for planes and drones? And there is commercial consumption to consider.

The U.S. Navy uses heavy fuel oil and a smidgen of nuclear energy to propel its ships and generate electricity. I suppose we can convert the entire fleet to nuclear power and dump the low-level waste into the Marianas Trench. Nuclear powered patrol torpedo boats? Oh, but they won’t be used in the next war, you say. Just carrier planes running on seaweed and corn.

Unfortunately, not much electricity is required to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, and the fuel is classified. Oy vey.

By the way, is it true that the heating up of the atmosphere is due to all of those folders and files we are sending up there?

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