Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Afghan War - A Different Perspective

Remember the commitment UK politicians gave at the Kyoto summit, to save millions of tons of CO2? This subsequently shackled British industry and commerce to prohibitively expensive ‘alternative energy’ sources, with pay-back periods far in excess of their life expectancy.  

The illogical schemes where individuals are encouraged to set up wind turbines to generate minute and intermittent quantities of power, which our power-generating companies are forced to buy at 3 x the cost they can reliably produce themselves. The objective being for those individuals to make enormous profits  save a few kg of CO2 per week.

Well here’s a suggestion that SR’s readers may wish our government to consider:

Withdraw from Afghanistan. Immediately.

The CO2 savings will be enormous. 

Thousands of troops, contractors and equipment constantly flown forwards and backwards nearly halfway across the world.

Millions of miles driven unnecessarily across inhospitable country where a vehicle’s mpg plummets to single figures. This is not just a single vehicle – to get one person from A to B usually involves a whole convoy.

Then, there’s all the CO2 generated, manufacturing the equipment that’s air freighted to the country. Most then has to be written off, because many of the locals simply blow it up. 

Probably though, the greatest production of CO2 is caused by all the bombs & bullets used. CO2 produced from the manufacture of millions of rounds of ammunition, and thousands of tons of ordnance. 

Added to which, is all that CO2 released from the propellants & explosives themselves, at detonation.  Consider for example, the simple nitroglycerin reaction C3H5(NO3)3 → 3CO2 + 2.5H2O + 1.5N2 + 0.25O2; or, for PETN  the reaction equation is C(CH2ONO2)4 → 2CO + 4H2O + 3CO2 + 2N2. 

Huge amounts of CO2 are also produced from the detonation of a single thermobaric "fuel-air bomb".

Contributed by co-author Joe Public


Dark Lochnagar said...

To say nothing about the farting the troops do, eating those army rations.

Oldrightie said...

War is always profitable for somebody, Subrosa. As you and I have often discussed. It's that which is preventing any common sense or decency to prevail.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

I apologize that this is off-topic, but I do suggest going over and reading an article from Dr. Jim Swire, a man I admire more than I can tell you.

I know you discussed Lockerbie in a recent post but this came online since that, I believe. You did have some excellent links there, Subrosa.

Keith Ruffles said...

You actually make a very good point about the environmental damage that war can cause and which can take decades to put right; I've been reading about the use of the Agent Orange defoliant in Vietnam and it makes for harrowing reading:

It's often an overlooked consequence of war and it's good that you've brought attention to it. We'll make an environmentalist of you yet!

Joe Public said...

DL - At least at our 1st attempt at invasion & subjugation, our horses left manure behind to try to help fertilise the land.

Joe Public said...

OR - "War is always profitable for somebody...."

Yet the politicians who decide to send our troops to war somehow never seem to get injured.

Joe Public said...

KR - "We'll make an environmentalist of you yet!"

It's not that we don't care about the environment, (because we do, passionately), its the (often unproven or mis-proven) pseudo-scientific clap-trap used to try to scare us into taking certain courses of action that antagonises us.

JRB said...

Consider this evil reaction …

C6H12O6 + 6O2 ==> 6CO2 + 6H2O

As you can see, this produces twice as much CO2 as any propellant or explosive.

Surely we should be doing everything to eliminate the source of such a dangerous reaction?

And what is it that is producing twice as much CO2 as any propellant or explosive – it is you, me and every living person and animal on this planet.

Joe Public said...

JRB - So the war might actually be beneficial in helping save the planet (for whoever's left). I hadn't thought of that.

subrosa said...

Jeanne, thanks so much for your link. I hadn't read Mr Swire's article but I have read some of his previous comments.

If anyone knows about this situation it's Jim Swire. He certainly should be respected for his views.

subrosa said...

Joe, I'm with you on this - although don't think I always will be on environmental issues, even though you're an expert. :)

People shout about food air miles - I do but mainly because of freshness - but war has a massive impact upon pollution.

War is hellish. We should only be sending our troops to war when our country has been threatened and not to impose our western values on a foreign land. We tried the same in Iraq and it's a mess.

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