The Japanese do a lot of silly things. Some of them we just don’t understand. We know a lot of our readers like anime and manga (and some not so stable ones like the bizarre fetish-porn that scares the shit out of us). Many of them like cosplay (OK, we actually think cosplay can be pretty cool – again, without the creepy stuff). The stereotype of crazy camera clicking tourists are true (prove us wrong). Almost everything in Japanese cinema and TV shows involves a lot of yelling and over-the-top antics. Their version of Mr. Rogers involves a train that turns into a massive robot when its horn toots, and Rogers-san screaming “Satsumaimo” indiscriminately and frequently throughout the show. He does wear sweaters but he also wears a schoolgirl skirt. But when it comes to innovation in technology, they’ve got some real stuff going on.
We have always been fascinated by wind power and wonder why it has struggled to find a substantial space at the energy production table. Sure, sure, oil and coal try to crowd everyone out, but they can’t do so indefinitely and there are plenty of places where the investment is sustainable energy is already practical today.
So, anyway, the Japanese are at it again. This idea has been in development for a few years, so we’re hoping it works as well as projected and that it comes to fruition soon. Aren’t they cool?! Imagine one of these off your coastline or in the fields behind your house.
There are those that are opposed to wind turbines. Some bitch about birth deaths (which is a legitimate but highly over-rated concern that can be addressed by some basic problem solving) and unsightly views (c’mon, really?). Here are our takes on these issues:
- Even if the numbers of wind turbines increased ten fold, they would still kill substantially fewer birds than your damn house cat and his buddy in the alley. Reign in your cats and support programs to take care of and reduce feral/homeless felines instead of shaking your fists at the skies. Bats and sea birds are other concerns but studies show that placements and types of wind turbines can significantly reduce the number of deaths. And don’t underestimate the power of species adaptation.
- Seriously? Get over yourselves. Smog and polluted land or water are supposedly more attractive? It’s subjective we suppose, but there is an incredible elegance and artistically sublime power that we see when we look at wind turbines. Regardless, they certainly aren’t ugly to anyone but the tasteless. There, we said it.
As for another not-so-whacky idea, we’d love to see a program that captures wind power in urban areas. Most cities are net energy consumers by far. Wouldn’t it be nice to initiate full blown (ha!) programs like roof-top gardens, buildings skinned with solar collection panels, and … wind turbines between buildings. Seriously, have you walked around the corner of a skyscraper and been virtually knocked to the ground? The buildings create incredible wind tunnels that could easily rotate turbine arms.
The only downsides to this plan that we can think of are (a) pigeons would die by truckload (which may not be a bad thing if one considers that there are so many of the birds that they could feed the homeless and office workers that like street vendor food, thereby also reducing reliance on resource consuming transport of foods from outside the cities), and (b) Spider-man would have to be much more careful.
What do you think? Wind power thumbs up? Wind power thumbs down?