Tilting at windmills

The GOP even gets its windmills wrong.

Via Ezra Klein, Robert Gibbs on the Republican budget counter-proposal:

There’s one more picture of a windmill than there is of a chart of numbers.

Here are the GOP windmills.

GOP wind farm.jpg

Notice something? This isn’t a photograph. Actual wind farms are far more widely spaced to reduce wake turbulence; a typical offshore spacing is 5 rotor diameters (say 400m) within rows and 14 rotor diameters (say 1100m) between them. Why invent an unrealistic image?

Normally this would be done as an attack. But the GOP’s rather obscure point here is that Senators Kennedy and Kerry are NIMBY hypocrites on renewable energy because they oppose the plan for a wind farm offshore from Nantucket, which Republicans presumably support. Gotcha! And so what?

You would think the GOP would look for a photo that made such farms look striking and futuristic rather than boring and ugly. In about 30 seconds (hint: type “offshore wind farm” into Google Images) I found a whole raft of them; if photos could generate power, the problem would be solved by now. A typical example:


Ezra Klein comments on the GOP proposal:

It reads like what would happen if The Onion put together a budget.

I disagree. The Onion is a professional operation.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web