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A View from the Altar / Green and homely
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Green and homely

solar-water-heaterOne of the odd side effects of green gadget energy solutions is a net increase in the total quantity of ugliness in the universe.  My neighborhood in Citrus County, Florida, features a number of the primitive, rooftop solar water heaters made of black plastic pipes overlaid with black plastic sheeting.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but these things are as ugly as homemade soap.  The newer models are a wee bit better, but it’s still like comparing Helen Thomas with Mick Jagger.  Here’s one of the slick, new ones adding that green panache to a red tile roof.  Stunning, especially with those attractive gobs of red silicone RTV they used for sealant.  It’s better than sealing the penetrations with tar, but only a little.

helen-thomasmick_jagger

One of the routine complaints about windmills is that they spoil the view.  For example, the famous resort area of Martha’s Vineyard has uniquely useful wind characteristics, so wind power companies striving to lose not so much money wish to locate there.  Massachusetts state senator Rob O’Leary says, “The problem is that they’re going to be visible.”  wave-power1The icon of America’s pseudotech left is Walter Cronkite who says certain “national treasures” (meaning his back yard at Nantucket) should be “off limits” to industrialization.  Attaboy, Walter!  Dump the sight pollution on the yokels in flyover country and leave your place alone.  Then you can preen about being green and still enjoy the view.  Is this a great country or what?

Or you can wait till they beautify Cape Cod with hundreds of miles of floating wave power doodads.

hydra-wind-mill

Me personally? I think windmills can look okay.  Name a white male engineer with a pocket nerd caddy who wouldn’t love one of these babies nestled between the hay bales on his dude ranch.  If only Oliver Douglas had thought of that!  Instead of hydro power, it’s more like hydra power, only with propeller heads.  You have to admit: This is cool.  There’s only one problem with this artist’s rendition, by the way — no transmission lines.  This uber-green ranch is producing nothing until somebody brings an extension cord to plug it into.  And the wires and towers would really trash this image, don’t you think?

douglas

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