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Military Advisory Board: Oil Dependency Achilles Heel of U.S. National Security

“Overreliance on oil in the transportation sector is the Achilles heel of our national security.”

A report released last week by the Center for Naval Analysis’ Military Advisory Board (or MAB), made up of some of the United States’ highest-ranking retired military leaders, called for “immediate, swift and aggressive action” over the next decade to reduce U.S. oil consumption 30% in the next ten years.  This is the latest in a series of reports by the MAB, beginning with the 2007 release of “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change.” The report, titled “Ensuring America’s Freedom of Movement: A National Security Imperative to Reduce U.S. Oil Dependence,” states emphatically that “America’s dependence on oil constitutes a significant threat– economically, geopolitically, environmentally, and militarily” and that “even a small interruption of the daily oil supply impacts our nation’s economic engine, but a sustained disruption would alter every aspect of our lives — from food costs and distribution to what or if we eat, to manufacturing goods and services to freedom of movement. (more…)

Time Space Blot: Nuclear Waste and Neanderthals

photo by Tracy O. Nuclear power is often offered as a climate friendly energy source, albeit not without some security risks. One of those risks – the half-life of spent nuclear fuel, or the amount of time until the waste is no longer radioactive, is of particular concern.  Spent nuclear fuel includes lots of radioactive elements that take a long, long time to become safe. Here’s a quick look at how long is long:

The half-life of Iodine-129 is 15.7 million years. To put this in context, fifteen million years ago was a full ten million years before the predecessor to humans, Australopithecus afarensis, appears in the archaeological record (read 10 million years before the opening scene of “2001 A Space Odyssey”). (more…)

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