Friday, July 10, 2009

Magical thinking: Wind turbines without power transmission lines

One of the hardest things for a nation raised on a steady diet of television and politician's promises (nonsense, in other words) is to realize that there really are no free lunches, and that everything we do is connected to everything else: that the big-screen TVs are destabilizing the climate, that energy-hog appliances mean more mountaintop-removal coal mining and coal-sludge disposal nightmares, and that providing energy to lots of people living in the Willamette Valley means putting giant energy facilities elsewhere, which means that you need miles and miles of giant, ugly transmission lines across Oregon.

Notice anything NOT shown in the heroic illustration above? That's right --- in addition to showing a string of wind turbines smack in the middle of a gorgeous vista, there's a remarkable magical quality to this because it shows no transmission lines blocking the view either.

Apparently the power produced by these turbines just magically arrives at the outlets serving the heated towel bars in the gigantic McMansions (whose owners would fight tooth and nail against any power lines blocking their views or coming within miles of their homes).

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