Wednesday, December 28, 2005


The state of Minnesota has long been known for two things, cold weather and progressive politics. Now weather and politics are coming together to provide electricity to some of the state's energy consumers. Southwest Minnesota is the land of flat terrain and high winds. This combination makes it ideal for wind farms, those rows and rows of modern wind powered generators which turn the bland landscape into something...well, European. This past summer I spent a month in Minnesota on my parents' farm and watched truck after truck hauling the various parts of the generators out into fields that electric cooperatives had leased from farmers. These farmers, a breed of American many of us took for extinct some years ago, are coming back. If they're not leasing their land to energy companies at high prices, they're banding together to put up their own wind power generators.

They're also selling their corn to ethanol plants which produce the newest alternative fuel which dilutes our dependence on foreign oil. Here too it's a case of weather and politics. In both cases, the technology is only slightly ahead of the dreams, which means it is only barely profitable, but it shows a desire to move toward alternative fuels - an admirable goal. And with demand for alternative fuel sources, there is the demand for new technologies to make them more profitable. And to think this is coming from America's heartland. Now if we could just get those liberals on Cape Cod to approve the off-shore wind farms.)


At 20:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very good news. It's high time to consider and prepare the futur of the earth. There are more and more generators of that sort in France. Unfortunatly people around are often reluctant about them, they think the generators are too noisy and look too ugly when the landscapes are so beautiful.

At 04:06, Blogger Joker & Thief said...

I don't know, I kind of like them. They seem so elegant on the horizon (perhaps not in your backyard). And they remind me that we're trying to move away from high-pollution energy sources. Of course, if we cut down on consumption we'd make far more progress at reducing pollution.


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