Texas Town Embraces Wind Energy. Climate Change, Not So Much.

We might not be too keen on the idea to build artificial ski slopes and snow caves there, but it's not all bad in Texas. We've already noted that they are way ahead of California in developing wind power and now, courtesy of NPR, we've found a narrated slide show about just how deeply the wind revolution is taking hold in "the Big Country". According to 65-year-old cotton farmer and wind developer Cliff Etheredge, Texan communities are rethinking their entire attitude to wind:

"We used to cuss the wind. Killed our crops, carried our moisture away, dried out our land. But because of the advent of the wind farms, we've had a complete 180-degree attitude change. Now, we love the wind."

It seems a few years ago, Etheredge noticed turbines springing up around Texas and wondered whether his community of Roscoe, with a population of 1,300, could benefit from the industry. He did some reading, networked with other land owners, and now an Irish company is spending over $1billion installing 640 turbines — enough to power 265,000 homes. It seems that the opposition to wind farms experienced in other parts of the country isn't a problem here, with locals welcoming the economic boost to a town that was in deep financial decline, as farmer Daylon Althof notes:

"My wife and I talked about this the other day. We were coming in from church, and she said, 'You know, at first I really thought they were kind of trashy looking,'" says Daylon Althof, a farmer who has one turbine going up on his land. "But she said, 'The more I see these going up, they're kind of beautiful because we know what they're going to provide for the economy around here.'"

Interestingly, NPR also quotes wind energy advocates who are still skeptical about the existence of human-induced climate change. Perhaps this is the most encouraging sign of all — when people adopt renewable energy and other green technologies, not because they are saving the planet, but because they just make sense, then we know we are finally getting somewhere. ::NPR::via site visit::

Tags: Renewable Energy | Texas | Wind Power