How the U.S. Military Churns Out More Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Entire Countries – The Pentagon is the world’s biggest consumer of fossil fuels—and agent of climate change.

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How the U.S. Military Churns Out More Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Entire Countries – The Pentagon is the world’s biggest consumer of fossil fuels—and agent of climate change.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. You really don’t want to know how much gets spent on fuel in the military, annually. At one of my stations, it was nearly $3M a day, just for the aircraft. That’s over a billion a year and that’s not counting vehicles, generators, etc.

    At one base.

    Just for perspective:

    1 million seconds is about 2 weeks.

    1 billion seconds is about 32 years.

  2. I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve been stationed on a cruiser and destroyer. Depending on how many engines you have running and how fast you’ve been going, a normal fuel burn rate is probably about 20-30,000 gallons a day.

    The subs and carriers are all nuclear powered, but there’s plenty of other ships out there turning and burning.

    Edit:
    https://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-09/fyi-what-kind-gas-mileage-can-you-get-naval-warship/

    Neat article for reference

  3. It is highly likely the US military churns out more greenhouse gas emissions than many medium size countries. But, I feel the root cause of much of the waste are bureaucratic process and policies.

    For example, many of the bureaucratic institutions facilitate waste. In the military, your typically commander is not rewarded for saving the environment or cutting costs. In fact, many commanders are chastised if their organisation doesn’t consume all the budgets their predecessor may have requested. I saw this fist hand in an infantry unit. One day at the range, we had to throw over 100 grenades. After throwing about 10, you go into automatic mode. My arm hurt from throwing so many. So, I asked the Lieutenant “Why are we using so much ammunition in one event ?” The answer was “The ammo was ordered 5 years ago. It came late. We get in trouble if we don’t use it up. And, this our last live ammo operation for the fiscal year. So, have fun blowing stuff up.” Essentially, the leaders feel pressured to consume. The logic of being forced to use your budget plus some encourages waste. Until bureaucratic leaders are recognized for making savings, they will waste.

  4. Yep, where i’m at overseas, every single meal is served on plastic or styrofoam, and every ounce of water we drink comes out of a plastic bottle. May not sound like much, but the same conditions at multiple bases, tens of thousands of meals per day. Good lord, I could go on for days about what a wasteful boondoggle the us military is.

    Source: 8 yrs of bullshit

  5. In my perfect world, nuclear powerwould be way more prominent powering most stuff and if not the then solar or wind. For military needs we would use fuel for its mobile ability but most of the public would use electric ran transpo, trains buses and lesser amount of cars.

    Big super tankers use bunker fuel. One of the most polluting fuels there is. If they were forced to use nuclear that would significantly decrease the carbon emissions. One day when we figure out fusion( nuclear reacion using only hydrogen)
    This shit hopefully be in a better place.

  6. General Devereaux came to our uni to talk about jets they call flying gas stations because they’re so inefficient. Apparently they are working hard to seek better solutions.

  7. When I was in the Navy, and we were heading back from deployment in the Pacific, to make the carrier light enough to sail into Pearl Harbor the ship just dumped tons of jet fuel into the ocean. Good times.

  8. Just the cost of keeping global water ways clear and open is absolutely fucking massive and its basically done by 3-4 countries. All the other countries are essentially free riders on that.

    There are also a ton of countries who basically have no real defense because the U.S., UK, AUS, Germany or other country serves that purpose on their behalf.

  9. The military wastes a huge amount of money and is a huge consumer in fossil fuels but if we cut our military down by 70 percent yes a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. I am prior service army and it blew my mind how many non service members worked for the military in some way. The amount of civilian jobs for the military were incredible. And as much as I agree we don’t need our military remotely this big their is countries that will take advantage of us having a much smaller military. I cannot stand the us government and military(the actual figures of them not the men and women that laid down their lives to protect us, I respect them more than anyone in the world)but, we cannot just take away 70 percent of our military it doesn’t work like that.

  10. Austerity economics is why we can’t have nice things. Just declare a national emergency already, and dump WW2-levels of funding into optimizing solar tech, and totally re-designing the military from the ground-up. Invent fusion while you’re at it– because [why wouldn’t you?](https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-762f32a6dbfbecc4ec824b604c0571f0) (We could have achieved fusion 2 or 3 times over already, if we’d just spent the damn money decades ago)

    Then design & build a renewable fighter fleet to replace the existing one. Imagine 100% green & recyclable unmanned attack drones, which can stay airborne 24/7, to protect our emerging, environmentally-friendly military industrial complex. Some trade-offs in range & striking power may be necessary, but that’s fine, because as total energy independence is achieved, influence over foreign fuel sources will become irrelevant; focus can return to domestic defense.

    Meanwhile, tax fossil fuels & carbon-polluting industries into the ground, and use the dividends to pay an unconditional living wage to every family in America, so the consumer economy can bounce forward during the gradual collapse of the current, wasteful, fossil-fueled corporate paradigm.

  11. I wish we lived in a world where countries like the US don’t need to put so much money into their militaries and instead put all of that funding towards groups like nasa and solving climate change

  12. I did 4 years in USMC and I promise you, guys who are in the military also think its absolutely ridiculous the amount of fuel that is wasted on training operations that are unnecessary and not beneficial to anyone.

  13. It’s not like the airforce and mobile infantry run on electric vehicles. I would not be surprised to find out it’s the Navy that burns the least amount of fossil fuels because they have nuclear powered submarines and air craft carriers.

  14. The US has 1.3 million active duty troops and another 850,000+ in reserve. There are roughly 85 countries with a smaller population than the US military. If you dont want to count the reserves then there are still 80 countries with fewer than 1.3 million people. This is only for active duty military. If you include the defense department (which this article does) the number goes up to 2.8 million people.

    My point is you must put these numbers into perspective. Saying the US military uses more fuel or produces more greenhouse gases than entire countries has no meaning without context.

  15. When I was in the Air Force I was astounded by how much fuel we used for seemingly no reason. 36,000 lbs of JP8 just for a training exercise for one plane. Think about that then think about the thousands of planes in the hundreds of bases across the US and elsewhere.

  16. As a former military member who was aircrew, people cannot fathom how much waste and pollution the military creates EVERY SINGLE DAY. Think about it. They have to train, which requires they that they have vehicles to train in. Airplanes, tanks, Humvees, etc being driven EVERY DAY and being trained on everyday all day. There are people who are deployed right now flying missions off somewhere in West Asia or East Asia EVERY SINGLE DAY to collect information. There’s so much waste.

  17. We really need to just bring all the troops back to the US including giving up all foreign bases and then reduce active duty members while increasing reservist/ guard.

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