It’s War !

News of the redirection of impotent fury.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Wind Turbines Are So Beautiful

By Lester Pavlov, PhD, AIA, SEIQ, MJ

"Forms made to move in wind such as sailboats and Porsches are inherently beautiful." -- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Despite the supposed evidence, most people love the elegance of slow-moving giants that quietly turn wind into electricity.

Whose visual judgment matters on this issue? And how do we know that most people see modern windmills as visual assets?

As a professor of architecture, my sense of aesthetics is trained to see what most people see but better or if not what they should see. As a professional, my vision is blind and impartial. Architects are leading the way to demand more giant wind turbines in our own back yards. People pay us for this stuff. Those who disagree are losers who envy the Porsche.

"As sail boats provide visual delight while transforming air into propulsion, so will windmills that catch ambient breezes for essential power." -- Lucian Freud

Even non-experts in aesthetics express their delight at watching windmills -- like puppies absorbed in the pleasure of chewing a sock. An engineer with no artistic training sent me his unsolicited opinion that the Danish Horns Rev offshore wind park was "omigod, like, amazing." Imagine how that complex will move the masses when they get it to work!

To adapt an adage, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and also in his mind. It follows, therefore, that those who see windmills as ugly have ugly minds. Magnificent minds see their magnificence. They see freedom and democracy, a world without war, disease, environmental worries, or especially Luddites who only get off spoiling a man's fun.

Study after study shows that only executives of coal and oil companies don't like windmills. We can dismiss anyone else as their whores.

The benefits of the Cape Wind project are simply breath-giving! To adapt a line of song, we'll be over the rainbow, spinning the clouds away. They will revive extinct species and fish stock. We won't need to drive our cars or fly in planes. Our homes will be heated -- all by the power of aesthetics. Because when we see what we want to see, only then can we build it. And then we will see we were right no matter what.

People didn't like the statue of liberty at first, either, but now it is a beacon of hope to all the world. It is time for a new beacon. Lady Liberty watched the destruction of the weepingly beautiful World Trade Center towers. She couldn't prevent it. Cape Wind can. It must. It will. If it doesn't get that chance, or it is otherwise thwarted in its breath-giving mission, it will be your fault, not mine.

"For I have seen the promised land!" -- Tom Gray, American Wind Energy Ass.

The land and sea sit idle, ready to be claimed by the bold aesthete. Get on board this freedom train, or die unknowing in a pathetic asthmatic wheeze. That is the choice. The choice is yours. The responsible choice is mine.