Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Expanding my Reading Horizons

I went to get a Mammogram yesterday. I am of an age now that I must do this yearly. I don't really mind. It's better than losing one. Many women find them uncomfortable and some even experience a measure of pain, but I just cut down on caffeine and chocolate for a few days prior to the test and I'm fine.
Anyhoo....there was a dearth of reading material in the waiting room, I had a choice of watching a soap opera, reading the Senior Resource Guide or a magazine I assumed was about mountain climbing. It had a woman climbing a mountain on the cover and was titled "Sierra". In case y'all haven't snapped, yet, it's the 'zine for the Sierra Club.
This is not a magazine I read on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever read it before. BUT, never let it be said I have a closed mind. I even had the receptionist Xerox a copy of a page so that I could share a blurb with y'all.

This is from the January/February 2007 issue and was written by Dashka Slater. It is titled "Mean but Green"

Weapons will still kill and maim, but at least they won't pollute, thanks to a new green-guns initiative from BAE Systems, one of the world's biggests arms manufacturers. Concerned that the poisons in its bullets "can harm the environment and pose a risk to people," the company has invested in lead-free bullets, hybrid tanks, quieter bombs, and low-volatile-organic-compound explosives, and is even composting explosive material. As for the irony in the ecofriendly move, BAE says there is none.

"No irony"? Sweet Shivering Shiva! I almost don't know where to start this little piece is so full of irony. "Poisons in bullets can harm ...and pose a risk to people" isn't that the freaking point?!?!?! Causing harm and posing a risk are why bullets are part of a weapons system.

"Lead-free bullets" somehow telling a bad guy "I'm gonna pump you full of environmentally friendly lead-free recycled metal-composite " just doesn't have the same zing to it as "I'm gonna pump you full of LEAD".

"Hybrid tanks" OMG, I can hear Patton, Rommel, and even Monty screaming curses from the other side, when they aren't laughing their collective arses off! I'm not even gonna say anything else. I grew up in Killeen, right there w/ Ft. Hood. Home of the 2nd Armored Division. I KNOW I have some military readers, Please give us the benefit of your knowledge and expertise and wit.

"Quieter bombs" oh yeah, we've needed those for a looong time. We certainly don't want to contribute to noise pollution while we're BLOWING THINGS UP!

"Low-volatile-organic-compound explosives" Excuse my stupidity, or lack of education, but isn't the point of an explosion to be VOLATILE? Would someone with more understanding of this, GBro maybe, you've got the credentials, explain that premise.

Well, this blog practically wrote itself, I just threw in a few comments. Please feel free to do the same.


Rabbit said...

Oh, this is so delicious I don't know where to begin.

If BAE is purporting anything to be 'eco-friendly' it's done so to gain favorable tax credits. I do see how lower volatility and less VOC's could be a good thing in explosives- less measurable signature on sniffers and chem tests- that's the lower volatility I presume they mean, although Fluffy the Authoress didn't snag that.

As far as 'green bullets', remember the EPA and OSHA are squeezing out green kittens in pink and purple cinderblocks over lead residue, especially on 'public lands', i.e., military firing ranges. That's a way for the manufacturer to avoid getting stuck with a bill for a Superfund-grade cleanup, vis-a-vis, the Longhorn Army Ammunition facility out by Jefferson or the Ft. Sill range.

I ain't even gonna say a thing about hybrid tanks...I'm sure someone's upset they paint them tan instead of green nowadays, though.

Quieter bombs? I don't get that, especially when pressure waves are what provide ancillary damage, be it soft squishy organic things or buildings. Physics didn't change as far as I know.

It's a shame when Fluffy doesn't want the .mil to concentrate on the primary objective of killing peole and breaking things in a loud, grotesque military manner. Think of the trees!

Enough for now...I need more coffee. Besides, I'm stuck on this new design for a hybrid assault wheelbarrow.


Rabbit said...

Oh, sorry you had to endure the squishy plate, too. eef!
I'm told it's uncomfortable, to say the least.


Diamond Mair said...

Pass the word:

Semper Fi'
Sic Semper Tyrannis

Kimberly said...

I'd send the darling hubby over to comment, but then I have to listen to him rant about headaches the enviro geeks cause the military.

G Bro said...

I have to admit, I miss the point of everyone's ire. What is hurt by what they are doing? Are your sensibilities offended that the weapons aren't doing enough harm? The tanks aren't macho enough if they get better gas mileage? Have we all been irreparably upset by the switch to steel shot in shotgun shells?

The purpose of an explosive is to cause an enormously fast reaction and convert that released chemical energy into mechanical energy, specifically a blast wave and high-velocity shrapnel. I see no obvious way to avoid noise but chemicals could be chosen to reduce other emissions.

My take on the article is (i) BAE is going for some PR, (ii) it may or may not be driven by tree-huggers, and (iii) I think changing weapons to improve efficiency and minimize collateral damage is reasonable, not laughable. But I am naive.


Richard Viguerie gives no specifics about these gloom-and-doom regulations he thinks the evil left is going to impose upon him - either what the regulations are, who they affect or what they will do. Given his history as the direct-mail king of right wing causes, I assume that this is a plea to get on a big bunch of mailing lists asking for money. And "sign a petition?!" Is he staffing the Mothers for Peace table at a Unitarian covered-dish supper? ;-)

phlegmfatale said...

This reminds me of that scene in the original Casino Royale where Woody Allen is being marched to a firing squad, all the while dithering in his neurotic fashion, and he says his doctor told him his body was allergic to bullets. I guess those are peanut-free bullets, too, since so many folk are allergic these days.

HollyB said...

Hybrid Assault Wheelbarrow? To attack weeds? or squirrels? Once you have the "bugs" worked out, may I petition for one?
Thanks for the physics reminder re: pressure waves = ancillary damage. How WOULD a "quiet" bomb accomplish that?

I don't think it's ire we're expressing. I know that wasn't my intention in writing the blog. My intention was sarcasm/irony, always one of my fortes. I thought. Maybe it didn't come across that way.
I think reducing the chemical emissions is a good idea, but how can one do that w/o reducing the efficacy of the weapons?
As for the hybrid tanks... saving gas is a marvelous idea, IF they don't have to give up any muscle or maneuverability in the interest of fuel efficiency. And if the batteries don't take up any ammo room...
But I truly am not Angry with the Sierra Club, just bemused by their...earnestness.

Diamond Mair said...

You DO realize the Sierra Club did an about-face on the issue of illegal immigrants and their effect on the environment?

Talk about ................... earnestness .................. ;)
Semper Fi'

G Bro said...

I'm learning that even irony requires a common point of view. I find the blogs of you and many others very earnest and filled with conviction.

Good points about the hybrid, etc. I don't know; your concerns could easily be right.

That VDARE rant as one of the toughest blogs that I have ever tried to parse. I take it that they dumped her for saying mean things about the Hmong. Shame on them.

Rabbit said...

You haven't heard the spoofs about assault wheelbarrows on THR? It's a Mall Ninja thing and the butt of a lot of ridicule. SNSS probably can enlighten you further on it :D