I have generally been a backer of wind power, mostly because I live in a place where there’s a hell of a lot of wind. Not that the 300-mph stuff in an EF5 tornado is of much use, exactly, but average winds in this part of the world are comfortably, or sometimes, yes, uncomfortably, in excess of the minimum required to turn one, or several, of those massive turbines.
If there is a God, then He can surely be seen in Devon’s rolling patchwork of fields and flowering hedgerows. It’s a landscape that stirs a pride of country as great as that evoked by our cultural and scientific achievements. As my grandfather would have said, it’s the view that won us the war.
While I admired this magnificent scenery, at no point did I think that it would benefit from the addition of a few 300-foot wind turbines. Yet, there are people living among us who would disagree; people who would like to carpet our countryside with these monstrosities; people who even claim to find them beautiful — a sentiment I find as credible as a Soviet peasant admiring the Tiger tank that had just squashed his grandmother.
Even I am not so easily deluded.
But, as always, there’s subtext, and even sub-subtext:
Wind turbines serve an additional purpose for the Left, similar to that performed by the tower blocks Ceauşescu built in the middle of farmland, or the factories found on the horizon of Soviet rural scenes: they are statements of power. These steel sentinels remind country-dwellers that they are within the gravitational pull of the capital’s dark star, and that if they believe they are free to reject the beliefs of the metropolitan elite, they can think again.
The countryside has long been an object of suspicion for liberal townies, who consider it a viper’s nest of erroneous thought, inhabited by toffs, retired colonels, golf-playing Rotarians and other conservative bogeymen. The propensity of country folk to choose their own values, to observe age-old traditions and to rely on each other to get by puts them in conflict with everything the Left stands for. In the liberal worldview, you’re either one of them, one of their flock, or an enemy of the people whose way of life must be destroyed.
Then again, there aren’t enough dyed-in-the-scratchiest-possible-wool leftists around here to be much of a factor: wind power exists in this neck of the woods because it stands a chance of turning a buck even when the government subsidy, as it eventually must be, is killed off. And besides, I know all about the visual impact of those big nasty Cuisinarts in the sky.