Green Living: Old sailors never die, they just go green

Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:19am EDT
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By Nick Rosen

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Rear Admiral Brad Mooney once hunted for sunken submarines in the Atlantic Ocean. Now he has switched his attention to shallower waters.

Mooney recently helped oversee the installation of solar heating in the swimming pool at his retirement home in Texas, as part of a growing number of retired people taking action to tackle environmental concerns at home and get others involved.

It was the first of what is expected to be many initiatives from a Green Task Force set up by the 77-year-old admiral, who has co-opted nine other senior citizens at the retirement community near Austin where he lives with his wife, Jay.

Mooney, former Chief Oceanographer for the U.S. Navy, then its head of research, has a great deal of expertise he can turn to. His colleagues' backgrounds include chemical research for a major energy company, senior management roles in gas and oil exploration, and a ex-senior vice president of an oil company.

"They know much more about technical matters than I do," Mooney said.

The impetus behind the Green Task Force was a meeting Mooney attended at the Department of Energy in Washington, which spurred him to get cracking on immediate projects.

"I saw the manager of the home and asked if we could set up the task force," he said. "I look at the green programs for the most part as security," said Mooney. "Without these green programs the security of the Earth is going to be at risk and the security of the country (America) is going to be at risk"

There is also an element of personal survival.   Continued...