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(Now w/More Stupidity) Unprecedented Stupidity at HuffPo

1:13 PM, Oct 30, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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I suspect there are dozens more blatant errors in this piece, and if readers want to have at it, I'll post responses in updates here. Sanders makes a bunch of over the top claims about the amount of CO2 and other pollutants produced by the United States military, and I expect that someone with even the most cursory knowledge of such things will reveal that Sanders has no idea what he's talking about in that realm either. And keep in mind, this piece is the second in part of a week-long series on the amount of pollution produced by the military and its effect on global warming. If they allow Sanders to post another piece this misinformed, I'll be shocked--Arianna, this is embarrassing.

From Tim:

"The Navy uses an enormous amount of fuel for its nuclear and non-nuclear aircraft carriers. The recently decommissioned USS Independence, at its top speed of 25 knots per hour, consumed 134 barrels of fuel an hour, or close to 5,600 gallons an hour. (The ship boasts 4.1 acres of flight deck and a crew of 2,300.) On its way to the Persian Gulf in 2002, a trip that took fourteen days, the Independence went through two million gallons of fuel. Every four days, the ship took on an additional one million gallons of fuel, half of which went to supply the carrier's jets. "

Michael - thought I would take a crack at this one…..USS Independence (CV-62) decommissioned in September 1998 and was clearly nowhere near the Persian Gulf during 2002.

Further, at the time of its decommissioning, Independence was the oldest ship in the Navy at just shy of 40 years of age. As such, its fuel efficiency is hardly an accurate indicator of that of the overall Navy, or even aircraft carriers in particular.

From WWS pal James:

"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."

Apparently the Apaches cover 15,000 miles in a single raid. That's 7,500 miles out and 7,500 miles back.


From an active duty pilot:

I'm a Navy test pilot stationed out of [redacted by request]. I do developmental flight test and evaluation on the many variants of the F-18 (A-G) and the T-45. Prior to this tour I served in Strike Fighter Squadron [...] stationed out of [...] and did two deployments on USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and one on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). I have flown in country over both Iraq and Afghanistan. I happen to be an avid reader of both the weekly standard articles online and the WWS blog and if I've managed to pick up the hints from my wife correctly, I will be a subscriber as of Christmas this year.

Since you opened the floor to comments, I found I just couldn't resist. I'm certainly not a partisan Republican by any means. I happen to feel that as a member of the military I have no business belonging to a political party. I do vote though, since I think I should at least have a say as to who gets to put my life on the line for this country. In my opinion, a good debate over the serious issues confronting our country is healthy, but it needs to be a debate based in facts and the sum of inaccuracies in this article seem to me to amount to just a chance to bash the military. I've tried to restrict my comments to what I know about: The Navy and airplanes.

As you mentioned in the article, there is only one conventionally powered aircraft carrier left in the inventory, The USS Kitty Hawk home ported in Japan. That said, the Kitty Hawk is scheduled to be replaced by the USS George Washington in Japan in 2008. Although her fate is TBD, the smart money is that the Kitty will be decommissioned shortly thereafter. Mr. Sanders fails to mention that the emissions from a nuclear powered aircraft carrier are effectively zero. The power plant and steam systems are self contained. Yes, the aircraft and equipment to service those aircraft aboard do burn jet fuel, but the author seems to be trying to count those aircraft twice, first as airplanes, and then as part of the ship. Those aircraft are going to emit whatever they do whether they are turning on deck or airborne. Furthermore, a tremendous amount of oil based lubricants are used aboard an aircraft carrier, some of which leaks into the sea. This is a common phenomenon associated with shipping in all its forms and is not associated with just aircraft carriers. Navy ships at sea follow very strict EPA and international regulations regarding the discharge of substances and fluids into the sea.