The Diplomat: Military Preparedness for Climate Disasters will Limit Scope for CO2 Savings

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Jacob Parakilas of The Diplomat makes a good case for why greening the military is a logistical absurdity. Sadly Jason does not follow through, and apply his own logic to considering everyone elses needs.

Prepping the US Military for Climate Change 

By Jacob Parakilas
February 04, 2021

A few weeks ago, I was asked to contribute to a new Diplomat Risk Intelligence report examining a range of risk scenarios for the Biden administration in the Asia-Pacific over the coming years. The scenario I wrote about was a typhoon, strengthened by warmer waters, clobbering the Philippines and Taiwan. The disaster in this scenario was not merely humanitarian but also geopolitical: The storm strikes during a major PLA military exercise and causes significant damage to the Taiwanese Navy, leading to an urgent call for American aid.

The scenario is fiction. But the vulnerability to extreme weather is very real. In 2018, the main training base for the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of F-22 Raptors took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage. The 2011 tsunami flooded out an entire squadron of what were at the time Japan’s newest and most expensive fighter jets. And in 2019, Offutt Air Force Base – the command center that President George W. Bush was evacuated to on 9/11 – was inundated with floods following an increasingly common inland cyclones.

… one of the crucial things the military needs to be prepared for in an age of climate crisis is a greater tempo of humanitarian relief operations. But such operations require a large, on-call force of strategic and tactical airlift, transport helicopters, and large transport and amphibious vessels – none of which can be easily converted to use carbon-neutral propulsion. It is, at an impossibly large scale, the air-conditioning paradox. The military can be prepared to assist the victims of growing numbers of climate disasters or it can scale back its own contributions to those disasters; absent a miraculous near-term technological breakthrough, it cannot effectively do both.

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The obvious contradiction between greening the military, and the military’s ability to conduct any kind of operation, is a mirror of the harm top down climate action will do and is doing to society as a whole.

People embrace new technology when it is ready, without any need for government incentives or coercion.

Milk delivery carts, those few still in operation, have mostly been battery electric powered for over 100 years, because electricity is a good choice for this application; a slow, short distance predictable journey with frequent stops and a need to keep the noise down.

But for longer journeys, with unpredictable distances, where cost is a concern, or where time is a factor, carbon friendly technology options are an inconvenience or worse. Just ask John Kerry.

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February 4, 2021 6:34 am

The most effective way to “green” the US Navy is nuclear power, a solution opposed by all those pushing for “greening” our military. As for “greening” USAF and US Army, well, as the author says, without a miraculous technological breakthrough it ain’t gonna happen. Military equipment is, by necessity, heavy and require powerful engines to operate. Lightweight, low energy consumption equipment just don’t cut it.

This “greening” of our military is simply another tactic of the left to damage America. Want to know what the left’s ultimate goal for us is? Look at Venezuela. Took less than a decade to destroy her.

Paul C
Reply to  2hotel9
February 4, 2021 9:18 am

And the most effective way to “green” a country’s economy is nuclear power.
Stable baseload electricity at affordable prices underpins most aspects of the economy from industry, to offices, and retail. Without a productive economy, a military cannot be supported.

Reply to  Paul C
February 4, 2021 9:45 am

Except that the price of new nuclear is NOT affordable: check out the current plans in the UK. Officially 17GW of new nuclear to be built: developers have pulled out of 2 projects, only Hinkley building, which requires a 30 year surcharge on every UK home of £30 a year and a guaranteed price around twice of what other sources incl natural gas provide

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 2:53 pm

Well, maybe we should be encouraging the use of natural gas, rather than shutting it down, in favor of intermittent, unreliable, expensive renewables. Or we could encourage nuclear, which is low CO2 and reliable, and not too expensive if the regulatory framework allows it.

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 5:31 pm

You have no idea how the military operates. Living in a world of fantasy and fiction influenced by magic puddings and unicorn farts.

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 7:59 pm

Price would be MUCH lower if the green agenda got out the way..

You know that, don’t you griff-liar.

Iain Reid
Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 11:35 pm


your costs are not accurate.
Last year, in the U.K., two offshore wind farms came on stream, one at £132 and another at £160 per Mwatt hour, Hinkley is £90 per Mwatt hour. Yes it’s expensive but when built will be reliable.
To match a Hinkley with off shore wind approximately 15 Gwatts of capacity would be needed to be built to match the 3.1 Gwatt of Hinkley. (40% capacity factor against near 100% when required and double, at least of the life of a wind farm)

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Paul C
February 4, 2021 10:58 am

The fact that nuclear power is dismissed outright in West is the clearest indication that the climate change scam has nothing to do with emissions or climate.

Reply to  Paul C
February 4, 2021 8:20 pm

How absurd, nuclear does not “green” anything! If you want to “green”, increase CO2 in atmosphere as much as possible. CO2 is plant food and is responsible for substantial greening of the earth the last 50 years.

Go coal for energy that greens the most.

Reply to  RelPerm
February 4, 2021 11:29 pm

So, that’s “green”?

Reply to  niceguy
February 5, 2021 3:31 am

The earth is greening and deserts are blooming due to higher CO2

Reply to  niceguy
February 5, 2021 7:50 am

It is a lovely strip mine, mined with a drag line excavator. I really like the drag lines, the are cool machines! One type of drag that I like!

Pillage Idiot
February 4, 2021 6:37 am

“The storm strikes during a major PLA military exercise and causes significant damage to the Taiwanese Navy, leading to an urgent call for American aid.”

Too bad there is no way for the military to get some kind of advance warning of the approach of a major typhoon.

If some nation was capable of putting a sensor up in space to view the weather, that nation would probably have a huge military advantage.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
February 4, 2021 11:34 am

The world needs a super typhoon with a 10 meter storm surge to run across the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Put an end to some artificial PLA bases there.

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 4, 2021 1:55 pm

Thus proving the existence of God!

The PRC has more bases in the Spratlys than Paracels. It has a more valid claim to some of the Paracels than to the Spratlys, for which it has no basis. The Paracels are about equidistant from Hainan and Vietnam, although there is a shallow trench between the Chinese island and the Paracels, making Vietnam’s claim stronger.

The Spratlys, by contrast should belong to the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia. Vietnam claims them as well, but its legal basis is weak.

Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
February 4, 2021 2:57 pm

In 1979 we were tied up at the pier in Yokosuka, Japan. We were part of the Kitty Hawk battle group. We had several days warning of the approach of Typhoon Tip so the rest of the battle group took out to sea to avoid the storm. Unfortunately the destroyer I was on was missing a few key components from the engine rooms so we stayed behind, along with another destroyer from a different unit (also down for repairs). To make matters worse, our galley was also out of commission so we were taking our meals on the other destroyer, which was alongside a different pier. Got really wet making our way to and from there.

Tip was a monster but we rode it out ok. The city was hit pretty hard though. I was involved in a number of work details assisting in getting things cleaned up in town after it passed.

February 4, 2021 7:08 am

I really like the tsunami line about damaging Japanese planes. It’s the kind of suspend belief trying to add something that happened due to an earthquake to atmospheric events that can be predicted.

You shift the truth, put all catastrophic events in one big group and blame the warming waters for everything.

Reply to  Pauleta
February 4, 2021 8:56 am

You’re exactly correct. The author was (fecklessly) attempting to come up with something, anything to support his false thesis about an impending climate crisis. We all know that the Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy and cyclone frequency has been dropping for about 30 years. This article only acknowledges that everybody knows that Biden’s executive order to “Green” the military is sheer stupidity while continuing to (dishonesty) support the false narrative of impending climate doom.

Reply to  Meab
February 4, 2021 9:46 am

You haven’t checked effects of recent typhoons in Philippines etc have you?

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 1:41 pm

I, for one, would like to thank Griff for it’s indefatigable effort which has allowed this site to continue to expose the incredible lack of awareness and critical thinking about climate change.

We really do not need a reference copy of Alice in Wonderland while Griff is available.

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 8:04 pm

Do you mean this one..

or any of the other top 10

Rank Storm Season Fatalities Ref.
1 “Haiphong” 1881 20,000 [22]
2 Yolanda (Haiyan) 2013 6,300 [23]
3 Uring (Thelma) 1991 5,101–8,000 [24]
4 Pablo (Bopha) 2012 1,901 [24]
5 “Angela1867 1,800 [25]
6 Winnie 2004 1,593 [25]
7 “October 1897” 1897 1,500 [25][26]
8 Nitang (Ike) 1984 1,363 [24]
9 Sendong (Washi) 2011 1,268 [24][27]
10 Trix 1952 995 [24]

NONE of which has been in the last 7 years.

Which do you mean?

Poor ignorant, unaware griff !

Last edited 1 year ago by fred250
Abolition Man
Reply to  fred250
February 5, 2021 3:57 am

Watching you pummel the griff is like watching an SEC or Big 10 football team playing Little Sisters of the Prairie! The only real question is will they score before the fourth stringers go in!
It’s nice to see such a vivid example of facts and data from you to counter the emotions and cherry picking from griffiepoo. Please don’t hold back on my account!

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 8:40 pm

Only reason for dollars damage in recent years is because the GDP per capita has increased significantly this century.

Massive human DEVELOPMENT.

comment image

And guess what , ignorant griff.

Basically NONE of their electricity comes from wind and solar.. so progress will not be held back too much by the green agenda

Geothermal.. because of geography,,, and COAL are the mainstays.

The Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and thus has a high geothermal potential. In terms of electricity generation, 41.4% of the electricity demand is met by geothermal energy, 28% by coal, 11.4% by hydro, 15% by natural gas and 0.1% by wind, solar and biofuel

Last edited 1 year ago by fred250
February 4, 2021 7:30 am

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

February 4, 2021 7:36 am

How many big lies are too many? All these alarmists say that there are growing numbers of climate disasters. Reality doesn’t show that.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Scissor
February 4, 2021 10:36 am

They, leftists, control the propaganda ministry, media and education

They fabricate the tales that the alarmists (just one of many branches of leftist Progressive Post Modern Theology) wish to broadcast.

Hell they make 2 to 3 Scfi movies per year that they present as Present day Thrillers. Hence the fools around the world i.e. “smart”phone toting post 1990 Public Schools graduates, perceive there are problems and, unfortunately for the truth, Scissor, perception is reality.

February 4, 2021 7:38 am

It is more than just the military’s ability to respond to natural disasters–it is the military’s ability to be a functional fighting force (which is its sole purpose). Green energy, writ large, is inadequate for that purpose all the way around. You can either have a functional military or you can have a green military, but you cannot have both.

Reply to  starzmom
February 4, 2021 1:36 pm

Yes, Green or functional. They do appear to be quite green; but, ironically, it doesn’t actually conserve any green[backs]. Also, man-made conflicts are not only progressive but liberalize (e.g. wars without borders, transnational terrorism) when the “anti-war” base is established, and social justice zones (e.g. elective coups, [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] immigration reform) are normalized.

Reply to  n.n
February 4, 2021 2:45 pm

I would also note that the reason the US military is deployed to respond to natural disasters is because they are the only entity in the world that can respond rapidly and with the appropriate equipment to help. That does not mean disaster response is their primary job, only that they are ready for anything at a moments notice.

I have never seen a rapid response out of FEMA for any disaster, well predicted or not. Maybe they can afford to be green.

February 4, 2021 7:39 am

I happened to be peripherally involved with military trucks of a couple of generations back. These would start and run in the blizzards of Alaska’s North Slope, as well as Sahara desert sandstorms and heat. They were lifted by helicopters, and dropped by airplanes, landing without a parachute to retard vertical speed. They forded rivers that covered their entire powertrain, and withstood chemical agents all over everything else. They carried “PPE” for chemical and nuclear agents, and also withstood .50 cal bullet penetration and IEDs. They ran on the same fuel as anything else around. And they had to do all this plus a lot more while still meeting US vehicle emission standards.

That’s a lot to ask of a vehicle that’s not even intended for the tip of the front line spear. The current ones probably must do even more. I’m sure, though, that the soldiers inside fully appreciate these capabilities, and wish for more. It’s difficult to believe they should do anything less. It takes no more than a single sheet of scrap paper to show that current EV technology won’t come even close to making it through these requirements.

Andrew Harrington
February 4, 2021 8:00 am

The US appears to be doing everything it can to reduce its domestic energy security (cutting fracking, cutting domestic oil exploration and cancelling a pipeline to Canada). This will mean that it is more dependant on external sources of oil- such as the Middle East.

The US will need to prevent possible hostile countries from controlling these resources. This may mean a large military presence and possibly wars to protect its interests. Both these things have huge impacts on CO2 (ignoring the other obvious impacts of another war in the Middle East). This will be a much more pressing issue than a “climate disaster” in the future.

I’m sure Mr Biden has thoroughly reviewed the cost-benefit analysis and has not blindly signed whatever executive orders he was presented with on his first day. Maybe?

Reply to  Andrew Harrington
February 4, 2021 8:08 am

more dependant on external sources of oil- such as the Middle East

Must be time for another conflict

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  fretslider
February 4, 2021 11:37 am

Dementia Joe’s gonna start sending the unmarked white jets to Switzerland loaded with sacks of Ben Franklins and pallets of gold bullion to relay to Iran and pay the Ayatollah to start more proxy wars. Cuz’ Barack Hussein tells him to.

Abolition Man
Reply to  fretslider
February 5, 2021 4:20 am

With Trump out of office the globalists on both sides of the aisle can go back to promoting endless wars in distant lands. It supports their corporate cronies who can then indulge in bribing them, er, I mean giving them campaign contributions while killing off and crippling potential domestic terrorists!
DC insiders are calling it a big win while demanding a permanent barrier and military force around the Capitol Complex! Meanwhile Border Patrol has been ordered to start tearing down sections of the newly constructed wall because it is ineffective and raaaaacist!

Reply to  Andrew Harrington
February 4, 2021 9:41 am

More and more, Joe is reminding me of the governor in “Blazing Saddles”

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Mr.
February 4, 2021 11:41 am

Harumph, harumph, harumph.

Reply to  Andrew Harrington
February 4, 2021 2:47 pm

You have more confidence in the new administration than I do. I don’t think Biden knows what he is signing, unless he reads about it on the teleprompter.

Andy Pattullo
February 4, 2021 8:01 am

Hard decision: try to magically control the climate through alms and penance, or help our fellow earthlings in their time of need. Fortunately we have Biden and Kerry who don’t even have to, let alone own the ability to think about the right answer. While we’re at it, why don’t we steal the food and opportunity from struggling Africans who might just run the risk of developing into modern nations with bright futures. We need only stop them from attaining cheap reliable energy systems – that should do the trick. But we will need to disguise the efforts as “helping” protect them from the horrible living conditions of modern wealthy western nations where people suffer every day from a modest 1-2 degree rise in urban nighttime temperatures.

They say politics is a blood sport. Too bad it is the blood of non-combatants in the least resourced nations that is shed while those who make the decisions do so at no risk to themselves.

February 4, 2021 8:06 am

Yes sir, we will advance as soon as the tank is re-charged – assuming we can find a way to charge it out here in the middle of nowhere…

Last edited 1 year ago by strativarius
Greg Toombs
Reply to  fretslider
February 4, 2021 8:59 am

Solar panels that can’t be seen by the enemy, dontchaknow.

Reply to  Greg Toombs
February 4, 2021 2:01 pm

At night, too

Brian Bellefeuille
Reply to  fretslider
February 4, 2021 9:31 am

They could use solar panels, but those would have to be under a camouflaged net so the enemy couldn’t see them. How about really, really long extension cords?

Rick C
February 4, 2021 8:22 am

I read about the idea of cutting carbon dioxide emission by the military and thought, great idea! How about an electric battery powered tank? So I started designing one.

I started with the current Abrams M1 and removed the massive turbine engine and fuel tank and replaced them with Lithium Ion batteries. It takes about 24 Tesla size battery packs so to make room, the cabin size had to be reduced and has room for 2 crew members instead of 4. It also added about 20 tons to the original 60 ton weight. I quickly realized that to be workable, the tank would need to be rechargeable in the field. So I decided that each tank would come with a truck with a 1000 kW generator. I occurred to me that the 1120 kW turbine I had removed from the tank would be ideal for driving the recharge generator. Then it occurred to me that I didn’t really need the truck, the generator could just be towed on a trailer behind the tank. This would also allow for nearly constant charging of the batteries which means we don’t need nearly as many. That allows for a big weight reduction and more cabin room and another crew member.

Now, at that point it occurred to me that the generator/engine on the trailer would be very vulnerable in battle. Then it dawned on me that I could put the whole power unit inside the tank. All I needed to do was eliminate the battery packs, electric drive components and replace the large generator with a much smaller one. I then looked at the current design specifications for the Abrams M1 tanks and decided that converting them to non-fossil fuel power was stupid.

February 4, 2021 8:29 am

Fortunately, Obama is off fighting the rising seas at his seaside compounds.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 4, 2021 9:47 am

I have no idea why he bought that: buying on the US coast is a fools game these days

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 1:17 pm

Because he knows there is nothing to fear for 😀
He had at least 8 years for fools games 😀

Reply to  griff
February 4, 2021 8:07 pm

He bought it because he could afford it after all the kick-backs from being an AGW scam leader.

He also KNOWS that the AGW scam is a load of totally BS…. so why would he let that influence him.

Greg Toombs
February 4, 2021 8:59 am

Typo alert? Jacob/Jason?

Chris Nisbet
February 4, 2021 9:38 am

“The scenario is fiction”. Right down to the typhoon strengthened by warmer waters (presumably warmed by humans CO2 emissions).
This sort of article just gives people another chance to add to the total sum of the big lie. There’s an implication in there that the hurricane, tsunami and flooding events he cited were somehow made worse by ‘climate change’. The onslaught is relentless.

Peta of Newark
February 4, 2021 9:39 am

It’s this bit that makes my brane hurt 🙁
“”The scenario I wrote about was a typhoon, strengthened by warmer waters, clobbering the Philippines and Taiwan. The disaster in this scenario was not merely humanitarian but also geopolitical: The storm strikes during a major PLA military exercise and causes significant damage to the Taiwanese Navy, leading to an urgent call for American aid.””

  • How did there come to be ‘warmer waters’
  • Was it necessary for them to be ‘clobbered‘, what happened to a more normal ‘strike’
  • the Philippines Is a very big place, which bit got clobbered?
  • It gets worse. From Taipei to Manilla is over 700 miles, just How Big was/was this clobberation?
  • Going on down to Davoa, still in the Philips, adds another 500 miles – that really is one mutha-fugga typhoon
  • Who are or what is this PLA? The Palestinians, or the Chinese People’s Liberation Army – what sort of exercising are they up to
  • If ‘A Navy‘ any ‘navy’ cannot get themselves outta the way of a bit of wind, what hope is there for ANYBODY?
  • What sort of ‘aid’ will the Taiwan Navy need or want – apart from, a crash (haha) course in watching/interpreting a Weather Forecast?
  • Frankly, if they’re such a crowd of muppets as to let the weather sank them, they’re not gonna be much use if anything even remotely interesting happens. Now are they? Good riddance I’d say. The fishes would make good use of the sunken wreckage tho, so maybe A Good Result after all 😀
  • If the storm really is as hideous, squigga giga kilonova (u kno the rest) big as you’re cracking it up to be, would it not (also) be a siucide mission for the Americans?
  • and Duracell. Batteries and seawater don’t ‘mix’ too good
Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 4, 2021 1:14 pm

When was the last time you heard of a Naval vessel being sunk by a Typhoon (or any cyclonic storm, for the pedants), let alone a fleet? The Armada?

Reply to  Davidf
February 4, 2021 2:38 pm

Well, that has been a while. Usually the US Navy sends its ships out to sea to ride out a storm, rather than have them battered to pieces against the piers.

Reply to  Davidf
February 4, 2021 8:31 pm

US Navy will have to build their ships a few cm taller to account for sea level rise 😉

February 4, 2021 10:00 am

If they know where to drive just built some catenary 😀

Joel O'Bryan
February 4, 2021 10:54 am

I suppose every regional war from here froward will be declared the result of Climate Change.

Bruce Cobb
February 4, 2021 12:25 pm

Heh. “Climate Disaster” is just Greenspeak for weather.

Tom Abbott
February 4, 2021 6:40 pm

From the article: “The scenario I wrote about was a typhoon, strengthened by warmer waters, clobbering the Philippines and Taiwan.”

Warmer waters? Warmer than what?

Assuming too much maybe? I think so.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 4, 2021 8:32 pm

Tropical waters can’t get more than about 30ºC

Natural feed-backs prevent that happening.

February 5, 2021 2:22 am

Just reading “The Admirals”, the almost miraculous story of the peerless leaders of the US Navy in WW11, Nimitz, Leahy,Halsey, Spruance etc.
In reading this,I had the bizarre thought, “Admiral Nimitz, hold the Battle of Midway while we green the US Navy.”
Extreme weather?
Extreme Stupidity.

February 5, 2021 7:48 am

AOC will ask next if the jets can be run with an electric cord to the ground!

February 5, 2021 9:38 pm

Amazon prepares to go into battle to change the climate-
Exclusive: Amazon orders more than 1,000 natgas-powered engines for U.S. fleet (
Happy now Joe and Co?

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