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Cutting edge technology of wind power

You gotta love how wind power is the poster child for alternative energy. wind-power-turbines News segments about energy self-reliance begin with a depiction of wind turbines. Election ads about the imperative to invest in other energies, more wind turbines. Is energy from the wind a new technology? I’m not sure it isn’t actually the oldest, next to kindling wood. Wind might tie with the water wheel, another energy they’re lauding as alternative.

We’ve had windmills since man needed energy to push water against the tendencies of gravity. Man reversed the scheme when he needed to moving water to put muscle into his mechanical devices. Both came many millennium before steam and oil.

So what is the technology we need to invest in wind power, beside optimization of process, storage and transmission? Hahaha. The hurdle to overcome with wind power is the will to surround ourselves with windmills. Even if it means the quaint windmills of the Dutch lowlands, I’m not sure the public is prepared to despoil its open space, its peripheral view-shed, with lumbering omniscient propeller blades, squeaking when they need oiling.

What kind of landscape maintains its serenity with the constant grinding of wingless, flightless single-prop stick-planes going forever nowhere?

The call for alternative sources of energy is less about inaccessible technology. It’s about making compromises which we’ve already declined. Off-shore platform oil spills, no thank you. Nuclear reactors courting unthinkable cataclysm? No. Ungainly wind machines generating unceasing turbulence? Nimby. Coal. Choke. Clean Coal. Gag me with oxymoronic insolence.

The least palatable of all the unfortunate last resorts is the energy alternative never mentioned because it means less investment and fewer jobs. It’s the only remedy that doesn’t resemble a hammer to our environmental coffin nail, and it counters our consumer culture. Energy conservation. It may cast a cold shadow like a windmill, but isn’t it the only sustainable solution of the bunch?

If you don’t want a nuclear meltdown, nor large bird-slashing knives spinning your thinking space, nor toxin spewing coal, nor combustibles cooking the earth, why not invest your efforts in being personally energy independent. The logo for alternative energy should be a smart smiling face.

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