Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wind Power

On my way through the small town of Arlington, Oregon, I stopped to take a peek at something some folks call clean energy and other folks call an eyesore.

I'm talking about power generating windmills. If you've ever been in Southern California and driven to Palm Springs, you're familiar with the hundreds of elegant white towers pacing the rolling hills of California's High Desert. Even if you've never been to Palm Springs, most of you are familiar with the image: essentially a giant fan on a stick. If you've ever wondered what they're for... well, in simplest terms, they take advantage of the desert's high winds and convert that wind into electricity.

Wind farms are a booming business as America looks for alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on petroleum. To a lot of people, they're clean, relatively quiet, and much easier to look at than smokestacks and oil rigs. But not everyone shares that opinion. Some folks see them as a blight on the once beautiful rolling landscape and as a danger to bird migrations and nesting habitats.

Either way, as an artist, I find them intriguing -- Beautiful white towers, each with three delicately turned blades, standing tall and proud over the landscape, as if they know their purpose.

I can't argue their merits or their faults. But, like most other forms of alternative energy, they have their pros and their cons. And, like many things in life, sometimes you have to give a little in order to get a lot.

1 comment: said...

Very good point. We are living in a time where the idea of resource management conjurs up extreme reactions on all sides of the spectrum. We are in a hard way in this country, and everyone has their little issues that they can't seem to let go of long enough to step back and say "sometimes we have to give a little to get alot," whatever that may be referring to. We have this discussion on a daily basis in many forms at the makes you think it through...

Hannah Walker
Park Guide