Friday, October 22, 2010

Turbine as Art or Imposition?

Wind turbines are springing up faster than spring daisies all across the United States, in response to the search for alternative energy sources, and also because it appears they can be profitable! According to an article in the St. Louis Dispatch one of my students posted:

"In the past six years, U.S. wind capacity has more than quadrupled. And by 2020, the report predicts, it could offset as much as 4.5 percent of the planet-warming carbon dioxide that U.S. utilities would otherwise spew into the atmosphere."

Unexpectedly, some of the very same folks who you might expect to applaud are instead upset because the proliferation of man-made structures is dangerous to birds in flight, requires miles and miles of transmission lines that can disturb delicate ecosystems, and are also aesthetically displeasing to many...

Most of my students thought these costs were reasonable in the face of our need to get off fossil fuels.  If I were a bird or a bat, I think my position would be clear, but today I won't take a stand one way or the other, because I haven't researched it adequately. 

What I did want to share, however, is one response to the aesthetic complaint.  A few artistic souls have decided to give turbine art a whirl (pun intended!).  Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I'm thinking the raptures and the bats won't find these anymore beautiful than the old versions, but I still wanted to share.  My daughters are both artists, and it doesn't surprise me to find that even the elusive wind is a canvas.
Here's a link with several more:

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