What did we get from the space program? Tang and calculators. At least those are the two most frequent things I hear about.
Not to belittle the real implications of war, but it appears our involvement in Iraq and Aghanistan may be the impetus for a shift to alternative fuels. From Monday’s Washington Post:
“Every time you bring a gallon of fuel forward, you have to send a convoy,” said Alan R. Shaffer, director of defense research and engineering at the Pentagon. “That puts people’s lives at risk.”
Spurred by this grim reality, the Pentagon, which traditionally has not made saving energy much of a priority, has launched initiatives to find alternative fuel sources. The goals include saving money, preserving dwindling natural resources and lessening U.S. dependence on foreign sources.
Work is ongoing to turn trash into fuel, create flexible solar panels, use algae for jet fuel and spraying foam on tents to insulate them, reducing fuel use to heat or cool them. All of that takes trucks off the road, saving lives as well as fuel.
In the arguments about the Kitsap Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project, some have made the case that businesses within the park could be ideally located to partner with the Naval shipyard in developing fuel and other resources that would save energy. At least, now, we know the Pentagon is interested in such solutions.