UMass Boston Hosting First Global Conference on Oceans, Climate, and Security
Tuesday night, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick presented Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus with the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and Security’s Energy & Environmental Safety Award. The award was presented at the Global Conference on Oceans, Climate and Security (GC '12) at UMass Boston.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is the nation’s largest energy user, and the U.S. Navy is the largest energy user among the DoD units, ahead of the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. Under Secretary Mabus’ leadership, the navy is on track to sail the “Great Green Fleet” in 2016 and use alternative energy sources for half its energy needs by 2020.
“Secretary Mabus has set an ambitious agenda,” Governor Patrick said in introducing Mabus. “He knows we need to shape our future, and not leave it all to chance.”
“The navy has been at the forefront of energy innovation nearly all of its history. We went from sail to coal, coal to oil, and pioneered nuclear energy. We’re doing it to be better war fighters, but it has some great side effects. It makes us better stewards of the environment, makes us better stewards of the ocean. It makes us more secure as a nation,” Mabus said.
Because the navy consumes so much of the oil in the United States, Mabus said when the price of oil goes up a dollar it equates to $30 million in drill costs for the navy.
“We can never drill our way out of this problem, even if we could get all the fuel that we needed,” he said.
Mabus said when the navy launched its first hybrid warship (part gas-turbine-electric and part diesel-electric) in 2009, it saved $2 million in fuel costs just in its maiden voyage. Over the ship’s lifetime, it will save a quarter of a billion dollars in 2009 dollars, he said.
The navy’s other goals include building partnerships with environmental organizations and working on marine mammal protection.
“We are from the ocean. We operate on it. One thing we have to do is be better stewards of it. We will continue to do our part to protect the oceans that we are on, under, and over,” Mabus said.
Military and civilian policymakers, scientists, and thought leaders from many disciplines are taking part in the dialogue and outcomes-driven conference, which wraps up Wednesday. CIOCS, which is sponsoring the conference, is a public-private “think tank” located at UMass Boston that aims to work with key influencers and decision makers to strengthen the understanding of the human and national security implications of changing oceans and climates, and to inform policy decisions through the application of sound scientific research and technology demonstrated through place-based pilot projects.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.