The Biofueled Military

Critics say biofuels are too expensive for the US military to purchase.

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As long as major populations

As long as major populations continue to rely on fossil fuels to supply their energy needs, the potential risks of environmental damage as well as the costs to consumers will only increase at an accelerating pace. Moreover, world peace between countries could become increasingly threatened with diminishing resources that are based on oil and coal economies. Alternative sources of energy will only continue to be less competitive if there is a lack of political will and action to innovate and develop these options. However, where there is strong commitment, we have many examples, including the declining cost of computing, DNA sequencing, and agricultural production, where innovation can spur on what would previously be inconceivable.

While I am not a great fan of the US military industrial complex, I do see long term benefits of these energy programs that could eventually spill out into civilian life. This could be much like what resulted from the US space program in the later half of the 20th century. Nevertheless, it would be preferable if a much greater commitment towards development of alternative energies was also adopted by civilian branches of governments world-wide. Biotechnology has a lot of offer towards these ends if societies chose to exploit it more aggressively than they do presently.

It is interesting to reflect that the US entry into World War II was clinched by the attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese. Historians have pointed out that the major impetus for this decision was actually provoked by the cutting off of oil supplies to Japan, which would have left the Japanese military equipment inoperable within 18 months. Faced with such a looming and serious crisis in their imperialistic plans, the Japanese government concluded that they had no option but to take on the US. The rest is history.

The article fails to mention

The article fails to mention that this is purely political. The short-sided politicians, such as the honorable republican from a major gas producing state, are going to say, of course, get off the bandwagon to find alternative fuels and buy our cheap gas! Who care what will happen 50 years down the road. Who cares about national security. Let's continue to tap our gas guzzling industry until the well runs dry.

The US imported 207 billion

The US imported 207 billion gallons (5B barrels) of oil in 2007. The US defense budget for 2013 is ~$800 billion. Lets assume a fourth of the cost for defense (~$200 billion) is needed to maintain our supply of cheap imported oil. This suggests we pay at least $1 in defense costs for EACH gallon of oil we use. In other words your cost for gas for your car is actually $5 a gallon indirectly ($4 at the pump + $1 for defense)! In my opinion if we use locally produced biofuels, we could cut our defense budget and thus cut the federal deficit by $200 billion. If we can get the military budget to fund development of something productive rather than destructive like biofuels I say its a good idea. This does not even include the effect of returning $500B (5B barrels * $100/barrel) in capital to the overall economy each year.

As long as it's really fuel

As long as it's really fuel from alternative sources, I'm all for it. However if it's fuel from corn and other food bases then the military is contributing to the most elementary cause of discontent, riots, uproar and war: high food prices and food shortage.

The voices against the plans in the article are mostly from politicians bought and payed for by the oil lobby. I'll listen to their arguments after I have been able to scrutinise their payroll. Cheap fuel comes with dirty hands, very dirty hands, and not the black oily kind but the red bloody one.