Wind Power

A wind farm in Germany. Source: Bodoklecksel, Wikipedia

Wind power, as a form of so-called green energy, has been slowly gaining popularity. It has several disadvantages—as with other methods of energy production, the manufacture and maintenance of equipment may have indirect effects on pollution. There are also concerns about impacts on wildlife, especially birds, though this seems to be diminshed with newer designs. And wind power is intermittent and relatively low-density; it is uncertain how much of the world’s energy demand could be met through wind power alone.

And yet, wind power has some significant advantages. It is quite appealing because once wind turbines have been constructed, no fuel is required, and maintenance is generally low. Unlike hydroelectric power, the environmental impact is small, though wind farms do require a relatively large amount of land. As Wikipedia summarizes, “Wind energy is ample, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and mitigates the greenhouse effect if used to replace fossil-fuel-derived electricity.”

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Holiday Mammoth

Olduvai George just posted a nice little holiday card at his blog, commemorating the celebrations many cultures have near the winter solstice (in the Northern hemisphere—it’s the summer solstice in the Southern hemisphere).