A wind turbine is a modern day windmill, usually used to generate electricity. Typically modern wind turbines look a little like old fashioned windmills with three arms instead of four, and much slimmer due to the use of modern construction materials.

There are many reasons for modern interest in windmills. Unlike fossil fuel burning power plants, they do not pollute, contribute to global warming, or use up non renewable resources. They do not involve the traditional concerns about the safety of nuclear power or radioactive waste disposal problems. They have much less impact on the environment than hydroelectric power. Often land being used for wind turbines can be used for other purposes as well, since they don't have large footprints.

Clearly there must be disadvantages as well, or else you would see everyone using it. Wind power is intermittent and unpredictably so, since you don't know exactly when the wind will be blowing. It is still a little more expensive than other forms of power, although this is changing as fossil fuel prices rise and wind technology advances.

Some of these problems can be ameliorated by hybrid power systems, reverse metering, and other methods. Sometimes they are not as important, such as for certain uses of [wind power at remote locations.

Wind turbines: Renewable energy? Or monstrous death machines, waiting to stride forth across the landscape like alien invaders?

Well, in New Zealand... they're definitely Martian war machines.

A few years back there was a proposal to put a wind farm on a hill in Wellington, a city known for it's amazing wind. Wellington is one of the few places where it's possible to get steady generation for almost the entire year, and so this is a very sensible proposal.

Naturally, any sensible energy proposal is always met with skepticism and hostility. In this case they came on the form of a pamphlet. This pamphlet was glossy and well designed, despite being from "concerned residents". Apparently "concerned residents" can afford a graphic designer, decent print stock, and distribution to 300,000 people. The pamphlet was printed in the colours of one of the least popular electricity companies in the land, as this would no doubt add to the negative image the publishers wanted to project.

What an image! It was a picture showing silhouettes of tiny people (two adults, male and female, and a child), a house, a car, a cell phone tower, and a wind turbine. This was a size comparison. The wind turbine was huge - Vastly out of proportion, towering over this nice, conventional family like a Martian tripod poised to fire it's heat ray.

The heat ray in question is that spooky bogeyman called "microwave emissions". The cell phone tower was present to conjure up the spectre of invisible cancer-rays, and the text went further and actually explained why wind turbines are so much worse. According to this pamphlet, wind turbines emit even more of this evil radiation than the horrible cell phone towers. I think we are supposed to accept that this is because wind turbines are much larger. Of course, since there are many turbines grouped together in one place, the radiation travels further.

As you may guess, evil cancer-emitting towers are high on everyone's list of things to avoid. But it gets worse. They emit noise. Noise so loud you can hear it several kilometres away. Noise so loud it will shake the windows from their fittings! Now, I've stood one hill over from the lonely existing wind turbine, and it was eerily quiet. Maybe it was trying to hide it's wicked, destructive ways to lull people into a false sense of security.

So, what do we take from this? We take the fact that wind turbines are evil structures, poised to kill innocent, car-owning heterosexual families with electromagnetic radiation (why stop with one phrase that scares the ill-informed, when you can have two?), after shaking their houses to pieces with their catastrophic noise. What's worse is that before the alien invasion is put into full swing, the poor people who will eventually face annihilation will have their view spoiled by the wind turbines!

This travesty is being ushered in under the guise of renewable energy. Like so many evil plans, the nice, feel-good propaganda about renewable energy and climate change is just a ruse. A cunning ruse to convince people that they will be better off with these monstrous behemoths on every hilltop... Poised to charge down into the towns and cities and begin purging the human race. The fact that one third of New Zealand's electricity production comes from coal is, naturally, not really up for discussion.

Thus deceived humans will build more towers, everywhere. When enough are built, the signal will be sent forth and they will come to life, striding across the landscape blasting people with radiation and shaking their houses to pieces with the vibration of the rotating blades. Just like a bad science fiction story.

Unfortunately, the people who produced this tidy piece of propaganda didn't extrapolate. Lots of things give off electromagnetic radiation, and should be done away with. Like radio broadcast towers... computers... the Sun... and presumably, given the level of vocal acceptance of this rubbish, science books. Of course, science books clearly only give off electromagnetic radiation if you read them - burning them is probably perfectly fine.

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