Windmill Power

Wind, it’s generally accepted, is an important part of our energy future.

Here in Oregon we have fields of 60-foot white wind turbines that provide clean green power for much of the state. But there are some downsides. They kill birds, they make a lot of noise, and quite frankly they’re ugly.

If there were a contest held for the machine that looks most likely to turn into a robot and wipe out humanity the modern day wind turbine would be shortlisted. Even the word turbine has a clinical utilitarian sound to it.

I was watching a cheesy sounding but incredibly enthralling Smithsonian show called Aerial Oregon and had a thought as I watched the epic HD helicopter footage tracking over one such field.

Aren’t these just windmills? Modern, slick windmills, but windmills. Like the Dutch used to make and still do for all I know.

Windmills are awesome. Everyone likes windmills.

So why not make some of those turbines more like windmills.

Make them colorful, put lights on them, adorn them but make them art.

That would solve the ugly problem. And while still noisy they might at least make different noise, or even music. Colorful musical windmills would probably even save some birds lives.

Yes, they would likely be less effective if they were weighed down with some decoration. If altering them at all would slow them down too much or decrease the wind harvested too substantially at the very least put a design on them.

Let Murakami and Philip Glass have at a field of 200 of them and see what happens.

Imagine a hillside covered in them. I’d want those in my backyard. And I bet local businesses would love the tourist that would flock to the see the world’s only sculpture garden that is also providing renewable energy.

So there you go turbine makers, energy gurus, environmentalists, and policy makers, politicians looking for reelection. Get in touch with some artists, or an organization who can and let’s make windmills out of turbines.

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