Update: Readers are emailing more gems...click on the extended entry at the bottom of the piece to read them.
The Huffington Post routinely allows its authors to write about subjects with which they are completely unfamiliar, largely uninformed, and generally ignorant--take Laurie David and global warming for example--but today's post by Barry Sanders (I wish it was that Barry Sanders) sets a new standard. Sanders's piece is about "the military's addiction to oil," and his point is to illustrate the military's contribution to global warming, but not content merely to opine on something he didn't understand...he had to make his own facts up, too.
But, we do know that President Bush ordered the USS Stennis and the USS Ronald Reagan to the Gulf in January 2007 as part of the surge. He also sent a "strike group," led by the nuclear aircraft carrier the USS Eisenhower, along with a cruiser, a destroyer, a frigate, a submarine escort, and a supply ship. Already sitting in the Gulf were ten other "Carrier Task Forces" built around the aircraft carriers Kitty Hawk, Constellation, Enterprise, John F. Kennedy, Chester W. Nimitz, Carl Vinson, Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Harry S. Truman, and the Abraham Lincoln. Ninety attack planes sit on each carrier's deck, ready at any moment to fly into combat.
The United States has never, ever, had twelve carrier task forces stationed in the Gulf, not this year, not any year.
The USS Abraham Lincoln, familiar to us as the ship on whose deck President Bush declared to the nation, on May 2, 2003,"Mission Accomplished," remains in service, but the military keeps classified all the numbers about its fuel consumption. The USS Lincoln helped deliver the opening salvos and air strikes in Operation Iraqi Freedom. From March 2003 until mid-April of that same year, during its deployment in the Gulf, the Navy launched 16,500 sorties from its deck, and fired 1.6 million pounds of ordnance from its guns.
The USS Abraham Lincoln has no "guns," other than those used in air defense. The 1.6 million pounds of ordnance should refer to bombs dropped in Iraq via aircraft.
Of all the branches, the Air Force uses the most fuel. In 2006, for instance, the Air Force consumed nearly half of the DoD supply, 2.6 billion gallons of jet fuel, the same amount of fuel consumed from December 1941 to August 1945, during World War II. Flying machines, like the Apache helicopter, blow through fuel at an astonishing rate. Powered by two General Electric gas-turbine engines, each rated at 1,890-horse power, the Apache gets about one-half mile to the gallon. Just one pair of Apaches in a single night's raid will consume about 60,000 gallons of jet fuel.
This is getting a little ridiculous...Apaches aren't part of the Air Force, they are Army.
To all that, we must add the 1,000 jets stationed on aircraft-carrier groups in the Gulf, along with 22 stealth bombers and another 700 planes in Saudi Arabia.
One thousand jets stationed on carriers in the Gulf? Wrong. 700 in Saudi Arabia? Wrong. And our whole fleet of B-2 Stealth Bombers stationed in Saudi Arabia? Way, way, way wrong.
Some environmentalists insist that aircraft carriers pollute more than any other piece of armament in the military arsenal. Besides spreading the ocean surface with its own CO2 and residual oil, sea-going vessels create something called "Ship Tracks" that tail off, like vapor trails, in the atmosphere and have the potential for changing the microstructure of marine stratiform clouds.
Only one aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy isn't nuclear powered. So there is no CO2, no "ship tracks," and no potential for changing the microstructure of marine stratiform clouds. And you know what, I don't know much about clouds, but given Sander's wide-ranging ignorance, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he has no idea what he's talking about here either.
One of those studies, completed in March 2000 and funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, says absolutely nothing about the contamination caused by that same jet exhaust when a squadron of F-22s, say, fly sortie after sortie, at fairly low elevations, over a crowded neighborhood in Baghdad.
Yea, an F-22 has never, ever, flown a sortie over Baghdad, let alone at low altitude and in squadron formation.