Is wind energy too airy-fairy?



Editor, Index-Tribune:

Wind energy may not be as free as we think. Nowhere, whether on the micro scale or the macro scale, is there a free lunch. There is a great deal of atmospheric energy, but how sensitive is the system? Windmills pull kinetic energy from the atmosphere, reducing the wind velocity and thermal conductivity. That wind was going somewhere and it had a job to do. So, let’s make some points and connect the dots: Fluid dynamics, Bernoulli’s principals, evaporation and condensation, and why is there too much cold air and too much rain in the wrong places at the wrong times?

Could it be that when it comes to atmospheric energy, even though the numbers are large, the tolerances are small? Could it be that the system is out of balance because we are using the energy for purposes other than nature’s intentions? Maybe we are short sighted, or blind.

I would love to hear what my fellow Sonoma High graduates have to say. Please reflect on the free lunch. Maybe it is over-priced and over-sold and not at all that nutritious. I was wondering if the EPA did their job. Perhaps wind technology is just too airy-fairy to think it will affect the environment.

Eric Heine

Glen Ellen

  • Chris Scott

    I believe te answer would be the same as that if you were to attempt to count the number of angles that will fit on the head of a pin. Relatively, the angles are infinitely small and the size of the head of the pin becomes infinitely large.

    I’m not sure if all of the computers in the world, the smallest to the largest most powerful, including all smart phones’ computing power, working together were set to task calculating the total number of wind mills and their collective resistance relative to the size of the earth and the wind energy within the atmosphere would be able to carry out the equation to enough decimal point to realize any amount above zero. Parenthetically I suppose we would also have to define which layers and how many layers of the atmosphere would be included in the calculation – although I think just any one layer is sufficient to frustrate all the computing power. Including more than one layer would just make the computers feel worse for not being able to resolve the equation.

    I think your question is one of those best thought about while visiting Colorado.

  • Phineas Worthington

    Another variant of the “inherent value” argument. Using this logic, we should not even fight disease because it may serve some purpose in nature we might not want to upset.