It’s tough to envision the military being a field with a small carbon footprint, based on all the transportation of people and goods, the heavy machinery needed, etc. But I definitely think that small initiatives can be taken to minimize that footprint, like these eco-friendly bullets described in the article linked below. The new ammo was introduced by the Army earlier this year and has been distributed to some troops in Afghanistan, and has a steel rather than a lead core (lead is extremely toxic to the environment, and can poison humans and animals if its residues finds their way into soil and water). Also, the ammo performs better, so it is not as if the army is making strategic sacrifices. So, if the military can continue pursuits like these, I think they can make themselves a little bit greener than they are.
Certain elements of military operations will either lag behind, or never have the capability, to enact environmentally-conscious changes. Think of the variety of military vehicles on all terrains: helicopters, planes, tanks, and so on. I imagine it’d be exceedingly difficult to alter the energy sources for such large – and vital – carriers of troops. You can then account for the pure logistics of mobilizing an entire force of military personnel and the supplies they need. I don’t foresee the military being environmentally friendly for a long time, if ever.
Perhaps we will make strides – this article details some intriguing developments. I’m just skeptical that such methods will be used to a significant degree.
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