Saturday, 5 April 2014

Tilting at windmills

I am no modern-day Don Quixote, I have no squire by the name of Sancho Panza, neither do I own a horse named Rocinante.  All the same, there are times when I am tempted to imitate that poor deluded fool and take a tilt at windmills.  I have a particular dislike of wind turbines, which are, to my mind, a 21st century curse.  I consider them to be ugly, the most gigantic pieces of man-made litter to be seen in the countryside.  And on top of that, I'm not at all sure that they actually produce enough electricity to make their manufacture and installation worth while.  In any case, there are many times when I pass a small collection of these monstrosities and see that only about 50% of them are moving.

My scepticism about their effectiveness could, perhaps, be proven wrong.  I have no figures with which to back up my assertion and am working entirely on instinct - and what I have read of others researches into the matter.  I know full-well that others think they are the saviours of our planet and will not just reduce our reliance on fossil fuels but eliminate it completely.  I won't be holding my breath.

I do, however, wonder if my dislike of these infernal machines and the desecration of our countryside caused by their installation is evidence of my reactionary viewpoint.  I sometimes wonder if people ever had similar thoughts about the old-fashioned windmills that we now consider to add to the beauty of a view.  In Holland, especially, they are considered a great addition to views of the canals and Kinderdijk is famed for the number of windmills that can be seen.  I think I counted 23 when we were there.

Although I may well be called an old curmudgeon who is unwilling to move with the times, I do at least have the satisfaction of knowing that there are people out there who share my point of view.

This picture shows just part of a wind farm over in France.  On the day this photo was taken, none of the turbines were working!

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