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Air Conditioning Bill - $20 bn for US Military

Air conditioning is one of the huge fuel-consumers to the rich world today, resulting in major contribution to climate change emissions - a contribution that, in the main, is unnecessary.

The bill for air conditioning by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan has been $20 billion, it was revealed on 29 June 2011 by the BBC Radio 4, Today Programme. Huge! Shifting air conditioning fuel has also cost 1000 American and 150 British lives. Brigadeer-General Steve Anderson (retired) explained that this is because of the long, arduous journeys to remote locations take a long time and are through hazardous terrain. This raises the effective price of fuel to $30 per gallon. He also explained that much of the air conditioning is to keep equipment cool [and also one might expect that US personnel would demand personal comfort]; it is difficult, he said, to keep temperatures down to 85 degrees (F) when it is 125 degrees outside, because the tents are so poorly insulated.

What was significant was that neither he nor the Radio 4 interviewer questioned whether and why the air conditioning was necessary. It was indeed commented that the tents should be better insulated, and that energy efficiency has a direct effect on military effectiveness. The irony of expensive fuel in a country awash with oil was mentioned.

The question of contribution to climate change emissions and the need to reduce them was not even mentioned. Neither posed the question of how much of this air conditioning was really necessary (even if we accept that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was necessary). Are not their adversaries almost as effective without air conditioning? Is it not time for all sectors of American life - even the military - to wake up to the responsibility they share with us all for reversing our destruction of God's world? (Revelation 11:18, especially last two lines)

For more see Climate Change and Global Economy and A New View In Theology and Practice.

This page is an expression of part of a project to understand the links between climate change, global economy and other matters including society's beliefs and aspirations. It is designed to stimulate thinking and discourse. Comments, queries welcome.

This page is written on behalf of the CCGE Group by Andrew Basden, but the views expressed herein are his and not necessarily those of the other members of the Group. Written on the Amiga with Protext. Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2008 - present, but you may use this material subject to certain conditions.

Created: 29 June 2011. Last updated: