|HMS Victory (Source: BritishBattles.com)|
At the beginning of the 20th century, the British Royal Navy was still the leading military force when it took the decision to convert its fuel source from coal to oil for its latest battleships. Turn Signal 2 came when Winston Churchill, the civilian head of the Navy, ensured the purchase of a controlling interest in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1913. The Age of Oil had begun.
By the middle of the century the mantle of the leading military force had passed to the USA whose Navy needed global capabilities. Turn Signal 3 came on August 3, 1958 when USS Nautilus, en route from Hawaii to Europe, passed over the North Pole while submerged under the ice. Powered by a single reactor this trip heralded the arrival of nuclear fission as a viable power source.
So what? Why care about these events? Because the military is in the risk business. Because failure costs them dearly so change is done very carefully and only when really necessary. Because they have the resources and the skills to change the game.
|Photo: U.S. Navy, Public domain.|
After a year in which doubt and despondency about the need for alternative sources of energy had appeared to creep into the climate change debate perhaps the signal to noise ratio is improving after all.
After studying Chemical Engineering, Neil enjoyed a variety of experiences, working in 4 countries on 3 continents including computing, marketing and environmental activities for both private and public organizations. A lover of history, Neil remains convinced of the truth of Winston Churchill's comment "the further back you look the further forward you can see". To learn more about Neil, you can visit his LinkedIn profile: http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/neil-fairhead/1/a36/9b2