ColGlobe At The Spoof

Friday, June 12, 2009

Generating Wind Power

You hear it in the news again and again, how alternative power sources can't possibly compete with the efficiency and cost of fossil fuels.  Simply explained, as though we were all mildly disadvantaged. Endorsements that carry the fine print of companies allied with oil companies show us facts and figures that prove beyond a doubt that we have no choice but to keep burning crude oil to power our homes.  

My advice is to turn off the TV and save the power, since you're not getting anything useful from it anyway.  

Alternative electricity sources are no longer pipedreams, becoming, instead, profitable schemes.  What those ads don't tell you is that the irrefutable proof they offer was a result of times when crude oil prices were less than $100 a barrel.  They don't bring up that fact because the conclusion is obvious-- as the price of fuel has skyrocketed, the gap between alternative power and conventional fossil fuels has narrowed to the point of coming out nearly equal.  They don't mention that advances in solar and wind power production have increased the efficiency of those devices to the point where power could be abundant and cheap. 

Ten years ago, a wind turbine at maximum efficiency could capture about 30% of the power available from wind, but the winds had to be blowing fairly strongly, and at constant speeds.  Today, those turbines are capturing more than 60% of the potential, and require little more than a steady breeze to operate.  Gone are the  huge fans that require vast open spaces.  They have been replaced by sleek stylish devices that add futuristic appeal, and may be mounted on rooftops.  Vast fields of turbines power cities, but the new quiter and more efficient models can power individual homes, often with energy left over to sell back to the power grid.  

The only problem is that neither the oil companies nor the electric companies are in a hurry for you to cash in on the continuously rising cost of fuel and power.  You see, profits for those companies aren't falling as prices rise, they are rising in tandem, and rooftops generators will reduce those profits.  Being able to power your own home means that the power grid, which you have unconsciously worshipped all these years, will serve you instead, and your profits are the losses of energy companies the world around.  

Imagine, if you will, living in a geographic area where power failure is common, and may last for several consecutive days.  Now add to the image strategically placed turbines spinning nearly silently in the light after-storm breeze, lighting your home and powering your refrigerator.  Imagine FEMA workers rolling into a hurricane blasted area and setting up temporary shelters that provide adequate lighting, cooling, and cooking, all without ever looking to the power grid for assistance.  This is not a dream of the distant future, it is merely a page 10 newspaper article that few people will ever stumble across.  In order to accomplish such feats, a major war must be waged, not against invaders from foreign lands, but against the leeches of capitalistic society.

You see, if you are able to supply your own electrical energy, you have broken the ties which bind you to endlessly rising fuel prices.  You have removed yourself from the tally that puts energy executives in mansion sized homes, and sends them off to Cancun for summer vacations.  In short, you have cut a hole in the pockets of corporations that have grown fat and complacent knowing that you were forever in their grip, and under their economic control.  Instead of paying more than your share of the cost of fuel, you have begun to do your share in the future of mankind.

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