27 June 2011

War is hell

"The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion."

Except of course when you're fighting it in the "comfort" of an air conditioned tent in the middle of nowhere. I can see a use for temperature control so computers will work reliably, but you could just as easily put them in bunkers, buildings or mobile vehicles (with their own AC) instead of goddamned tents right? Whatever. If we can rack up this much of a utilities bill fighting a war, imagine what we've racked up for actually fighting. Or for medical bills.

Update: I actually think it is entirely reasonable that the US military uses air conditioning in tents, despite the profligate waste of energy this demonstrates against overall energy use globally, it certainly has practical uses when a military is deployed into a hostile territory that involves desert climates. The truly unreasonable part is what they are doing fighting there and in such numbers that billions would need to be expended on air conditioning (some) quarters and equipment. All of this in a country that lacks for air conditioning itself. Ie, isn't developed enough to possess even the hint of local demand for it because more basic social needs like clean water, basic medical care, schools/education, and roads don't properly exist. Air conditioning and other first world comfort concerns are one of the last problems you encounter as a country modernizes and develops a sort of democratic free market system. Heating systems and refrigeration come well in advance of this even. So the fact that we're spending more on A/C than we do on NASA in a failed state with no market system and no suitable infrastructure for electricity does raise some basic questions about missions and priorities.
Post a Comment