The Greener Side of Guantánamo

Via the Miami Herald:

Guantánamo — the place with the prison camps — is going green

Better known for its experiment in offshore detention, interrogation and military justice, Guantánamo is also a lab for environmental exploration.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Solar-powered lights serve as sentries where U.S. Marines once faced-off along the Cuban frontier. A team of Navy cops now rides bikes rather than gas-guzzling patrol cars in the searing Caribbean sunshine.

In this remote corner of Cuba that is better known as a lab for Pentagon justice and interrogation, the U.S. Navy has been quietly engaging in more low-profile offshore experimentation — seeking environmentally friendly alternatives to reduce its whopping $100,000-a-day fossil fuel dependence.

It’s a Navy-wide goal to halve dependence on fossil fuels by 2020. But the greening of Gitmo, as this base is known, comes with a particular challenge.

The base that today houses 6,000 people makes all its own electricity and desalinates its own water. It has done so ever since the 1960s when Rear Adm. John Bulkeley, then base commander, faced down Fidel Castro and cut off the naval station from Cuba’s water and power supply.

Everything from diesel fuel to spare parts arrives by ship or aircraft, more than tripling the price of power, according to base estimates.

“From my perspective certainly the greening of Gitmo is important,” says U.S. Navy Capt. Kirk Hibbert, the base commander. National security is paramount, he said, but the Navy mandate to curb consumption “has an effect on almost everything we do here.”

I hear they even use recycled water while waterboarding nowadays. The rest here.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More