Terraces, buffers, and conservation tillage at work on a farm in Iowa. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Fifteen Percent Factor: Who knew that Iowa led the nation in percent of electrical generation capacity from wind? The State's 15% reliance on wind is new, as reported in the Des Moines Register. This should not come as a surprise, however, given that Iowa has long been the political still for another alternative energy form: corn based ethanol. Every four years, presidential primary candidates, pandering to the corn-belt vote, have supported expansion of corn-to-ethanol subsidies. (The present goal is 15% ethanol: proof that Iowa primaries continue to have the power to shape the nation's energy future.) Don't need a wind farm to know which way the wind blows.
The San Francisco Gate and many other news outlets are reporting:
Republican presidential candidates take note: the clout of social and religious conservatives is growing in politically crucial Iowa. And these activists are driving the debate here toward cultural issues -- and away from the economy -- just as the GOP sets out to find an opponent for President Barack Obama.In the last election, the 2010 mid-term, self-identified evangelicals made up nearly 30% of the national vote. This is from from the Edmond Sun, which also points out that the "Faith and Freedom Coalition survey found that 52 percent of all self-identified members of the Tea Party movement are conservative evangelicals."
Note: if you are interested in how this came about and why they vote the way they do, especially the rapidly growing demographic of suburban evangelicals, I highly recommend the short and factually cited article: Religion and Politics in the United States: Nuances You Should Know, from Political Research Associates. It really defies stereotyping.
Catch the middle wind.
If suburban evangelicals dislike wind power for whatever reasons, additions to the Iowa wind fleet, and likely elsewhere, are going to come to a screeching halt, following the coming Iowa presidential primary vote.
Note: an ominous sign of growing suburban anti-wind sentiment in nearby Wisconsin, where the Republican Governor and Republican dominated legislature arbitrarily blocked several privately financed wind farms from development.
There's only one way to counter such a trend and that is to get out the vote. No excuses. Register now, not later, and nag your friends to register too. Voting needs to be priority one for anybody who cares about the future of life on earth.