An interesting theme emerged in natural security news this week: tradeoffs. As any economist will tell you, you can’t have it all. Tradeoffs are inevitable. Energy is no different, and measures taken to reduce dependency on one energy source may increase dependency on another, or may end up exacerbating the consequences of climate change.
These are a few of my camera phone photos of the Office of Naval Research’s Ion Tiger hydrogen fuel cell UAV, one of many new gadgets on display at the Naval Energy Forum Wednesday and Thursday of this week. While many of the energy technologies being hyped at the forum are just concepts on paper today, it’s always good to get a peek at DOD’s technologies that are further along in development.
Photo: Ion Tiger hydrogen fuel cell UAV. Courtesy of Christine Parthemore and the Center for a New American Security.
Instead of writing a full recap of day one of the Naval Energy Forum, I thought I’d just present the highlights (below) as I Tweeted (Twittered?) them yesterday. You can watch today’s proceedings on the Navy’s website; our own Sharon Burke presents around 10:45 a.m. during a panel discussion on "Greening DON." Many interesting tidbits throughout the day, and noteworthy that they had about 700 attendees and still turned away another 100. These issues are growing concerns for the nation and for the U.S. military, in no small part because of the leadership the Navy has shown. My kudos to all our Navy friends for hosting this forum.
The Navy announced plans to launch the “Great Green Fleet” – a carrier strike group with ships and fighter jets fueled by biofuels and nuclear energy – yesterday, DOD Buzz reports.
Meanwhile, Green Inc. a New York Times blog reports that Tanzania has suspended production of all biofuels due to concerns about the country’s food security.
In response to the droughts California has faced, Reuters reports that California’s passage of SB 790 or the “Stormwater Resource Planning Act” will help treat and reuse rainwater rather than dumping it in the Pacific. Greenspace, a blog from the Los Angeles Times, reviews water security initiatives in California.
BBC reports that the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer of 2020.
Douglas W. Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, told a Senate energy panel Wednesday that while their assessment showed that a cap-and-trade system would slow the U.S. economy, it "[did] not include any benefits from averting climate change," The Washington Post reports.
For those of you who could not get out to the Naval Energy Forum this morning, follow Christine Parthemore on Twitter, @clparthemore, as she live tweets all the action. Also be sure to check out her roundup from the Naval Energy Forum, tomorrow, right here on the Natural Security Blog.
U.S. Navy sailors from the USS Ingraham remove a damaged roof during disaster relief operations in Pago Pago, American Samoa on October 3, 2009. The USS Ingraham was one of the U.S. military's first responders to provide assistance in the wake of a devastating tsunami that struck the island after a nearby earthquake on September 29, 2009. In an interview with the Ingraham's commanding officer, CDR Matthew Ovios told the Natural Security Blog that his sailors helped in debris removal, assisted in search and rescue operations, and provided medical treatment for minor injuries. According to CDR Ovios, the operation was part of a joint effort with the Air Force, Coast Guard, Army National Guard, and Navy under the Joint Task Force Homeland Defense.
Photo: Courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young, U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense.
One disaster after another seems to be hitting the Pacific Ocean area. We’ve been following emergency relief efforts as the military tries to aid those hit by Typhoons Parma and Melor, Tropical Storm Ketsana, as well as the earthquake in Indonesia and the tsunami it spawned that hit American Samoa. With so many relief operations occurring simultaneously, it is important to know how we’re using our forces and what resources have been most valuable.
The following is a live blog feed of the “DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable” with U.S. Navy CDR Matthew Ovios, commanding officer of the USS Ingraham. The USS Ingraham had provided disaster relief to American Samoa following a devastating tsunami that struck the island on September 29, 2009. CDR Ovios participated from aboard the USS Ingraham which is en route to the Arabian Sea.
3:00 PM CDR Ovios: The USS Ingraham departed from Naval Station Everett, Washington on September 3 and had been participating in a combined exercise in the Pacific with the French Navy on September 29. When the exercise concluded, we made for Pago Pago and we received word that there had been a tsunami. We arrived in America Samoa on October 1.
3:03 PM What did the USS Ingraham bring that was unique to this disaster relief mission?
CDR Ovios: Well the Ingraham was the only asset in the area with helicopter support to do aerial search and rescue.
We will live blog a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST with U.S.Navy CDR Matthew Ovios, commanding officer of the USS Ingraham. CDR Ovios will discuss the USS Ingraham's disaster relief efforts in American Samoa following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck in late September. For some background, American Forces Press Service featured a story last week on the USS Ingraham and the ongoing disaster relief missions in the Pacific.