Archive for the ‘defense establishment’ Category

Obama uses climate change concerns to mandate a slimming of government energy use and carbon footprint

October 8th, 2009 No comments

I`d like to see how conservatives can figure out how to bitch about Obama`s new executive order. From WaPo on Monday (Juliet Eilerin)

The federal government will require each agency to measure its
greenhouse-gas emissions for the first time and set targets to reduce
them by 2020, under an executive order signed by President Obama

The measure affects such things as the electricity federal buildings consume and the carbon output of federal workers’ commutes.

“As the largest consumer of energy in the U.S. economy, the federal
government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating
innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy
efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use
environmentally-responsible products and technologies,” Obama said in a
statement. “This executive order builds on the momentum of the Recovery
Act to help create a clean energy economy and demonstrates the Federal
government’s commitment, over and above what is already being done, to
reducing emissions and saving money.”

Each agency must report its 2020 emission targets to the Council on Environmental Quality within 90 days.

Administration officials said they could not estimate the federal
government’s carbon footprint, since it has never been measured before,
but the government ranks as the nation’s largest energy consumer. It
occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles
and employs more than 1.8 million civilian workers.

Under the executive order, all federal agencies will have to meet a
series of environmental targets over the next decade. They include 50
percent recycling and waste diversion by 2015; a 30 percent reduction
in vehicle-fleet petroleum use by 2020; and a 26 percent improvement in
water efficiency by 2020.

President George W. Bush signed an executive order in 2007 that
asked four agencies to draw up regulations to reduce greenhouse-gas
emissions from cars and trucks by the end of his administration, but
didn’t ask for specific targets. His move came after the Supreme Court
ruled that his administration did not follow Clean Air Act requirements
in not regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from motor vehicles.

Okay, I got one: if it applies to “defense” spending, how dare Obama cripple our ability to defend America!

New RAND report says we need more competent military interventions! How about fewer of them?

October 3rd, 2008 1 comment

Press release here.  Here is the full document.

Maybe the collapse of our financial deck of cards will introduce a small reordering of Americans’ priorities – enough to stiffen spines and to provide a reality check on the misuse by politicians and defense industry insiders of foreign “threats” for political and financial gain.

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The ironic success of the Neocon venture! As US influence wanes, progress in the Middle East?

May 27th, 2008 2 comments

The International Herald carries an Interesting analysis of recent developments in the Middle East by Rami G. Khouri, editor-at-large of The Daily Star and director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut

As the U.S. loses credibility and influence, even Israel is ignoring the U.S. and taking greater responsibility for its own foreign affairs by reaching out to Syria (via Turkish intermediation).  Rather than cheering on such developments, “hard-headed” neocons like John Bolton poo-poo Israel’s initiative – it seems that when Israel takes greater responsibility for its own foreign affairs there is less domestic political hay to be made by demagogues in the U.S.!

Can we keep our fingers crossed for a peace dividend?  Unlikely, as the US military and defense establishment continue to take over the U.S. government.  Even the New York Times “strongly supports a larger, sturdier military”, and expanded benefits for soldiers.