For months, I’ve been seeing the strangest vessels heading out across the North Sea from a nearby port. Giant semi-immersible cranes, tugs towing impossible structures. I knew there was a wind farm going up somewhere out there. A few weeks ago I thought I glimpsed something through the mist on the horizon. But today I woke up to a line of low dark clouds to the East, and below them a strip of bright sunlight, framing perfectly a line of maybe 15 windmills, visible to the naked eye.

I love that they’re out there. And that I can only see them when atmospheric conditions are just right. I even love that people all over the world are dissing wind farms, saying they are not efficient, slaughter wildlife, and eventually smash themselves to pieces. Those people are just shoing their ignorance and lack of imagination. Because we’re just at the beginning of the renewable energy era. Of course out first efforts are not all going to be perfect. That’s the way things evolve. In Detroit in 1920 there were 1500 automobile firms; some of them made cars will a tiller instead of a steering wheel.

We’re living on a planet that has perpetual sunshine from the massive star we’re orbitting. We have daily tides that the moon will never stop driving. Winds generated from weather systems, from temperature differentials, and even from the spinning of the Earth at the Equator where it spins fastest. We’re on a planet with a molten core. We have clueless politicians yes, but we also have brilliant scientists who will think up unheard-of ways to bend this natural energy to serve us, without depleting our resources; and wonderful artists, musicians and poets, who will dream big, imagining a beautiful future for our children, despite all the evidence that says they’re doomed.

26 Responses to “Windfarm”

  1. I love what you say, that of course our first efforts won’t be perfect.

    It is exciting to be both on a greased rocket to hell, with all of the pollution, war, and with giant islands of plastic garbage in the Pacific, but also to be on the brink of an understanding among our people that help is not on the way, and we have what it takes to work with, instead of against, our beautiful planet to survive. Cleanly.

    Your wind farm is beautiful.

  2. BeechwoodAve says:

    It’s as though the North Sea is following your example… the Nutmeg as a beacon for a new era!

  3. cfigura says:

    So many people that I talk to treat everything as if it’s the final outcome. We can’t make alternate fuels work because we can’t get as much power as we need. We can’t use solar cells because they’re too inefficient. We can’t make *any* change because it’s not practical to switch everything over.

    Here we are, sitting on Carl Sagan’s glorious dawn, and of *course* we will take missteps, and of *course* the things we try won’t always work the way we want them to. But we can’t grow, we can’t improve without at least *trying*. If we wait until we know we will be flawless, we won’t go *anywhere*.

    We are carried into the future by poets and physicists. Thanks for your perspective, sir – your words carry the beauty of both.

  4. precinct says:

    great post

  5. KEMAXIU says:

    i suppose this is highly redundant, but here it is anyway:

    “WINDPOWER” by Thomas Dolby

    Switch off the mind and let the heart decide
    who you were meant to be
    Flick to remote and let the body glide
    There is no enemy !

    Etch out a future of your own design
    Well tailored to your needs
    Then fan the flame and keep the dream alive
    Of a continent
    A continent a continent a continent a -

    There is no enemy !
    Switch of the mind and let the heart decide
    We’re a continent
    A continent a continent a continent a -

    Shatter the lens and grind it into sand
    One measured exposure
    Scatter the seed and furrow in our land
    The future is roses! Roses!
    Switch off the mind and let the heart decide
    There is no enemy!
    Lift up the hearts of this your only tribe
    We’re a continent
    A continent a continent a continent a

  6. looseSpark says:

    A beautiful and inspiring message! Thanks, Thomas!

  7. dukuhead69 says:

    windfarms, solar cells, wave power and all the other renewable energy sources are our future. Our children will hopefully someday remember fossil fuel only as a mere footnote in history.

  8. And up above is a moon covered in Helium 3 just waiting for someone to grab it.

  9. Bawdsey Bouy says:

    I am able to see them too!
    Although being a little nearer, I can see them most days as little white needles.
    But when the weather is right and the sun catches them, I can see the blades too whirling around.
    They look wonderful and calming somehow, lots of people I know hate them.
    but I cant see why, they are just serene.
    The other night I was walking and it was really clear, looking towards Clacton I could see a row of red lights in the sky spaced out.
    They were the aircraft warning lights on the turbines.
    See if your able to spot them on these clear autumn nights.


  10. jeffrey says:

    Well said, Thomas! Despite the naysayers, it’s encouraging to hear a growing chorus of people voicing a hopeful, forward looking perspective in this global dialogue.

  11. MichaelThwaite says:

    It’s time like this that I wish we had a wind farm off of our coast; there really is nothing more majestic than the slow graceful turn of the blades on the horizon.

  12. michaellaguardia says:

    I want the full report when you sail out among the turbines. You know you want to! Be well.

  13. doctorjoe says:

    is that the actual picture of the turbines?

  14. tiredoldwhiteman says:

    Sadly, those who own most of the world are stuck in a perpetual state of denial, always condemning any and all “new” alternate energy ideas as being insufficient for our energy needs. As though there need be a single energy source.

    Because there is no single energy source at the present, how can there be a single “replacement?” Its as though the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

    I echo “jeffrey’s” comment, “…it’s encouraging to hear a growing chorus of people voicing a hopeful, forward looking perspective in this global dialogue.”

    Thanks for helping make my day a tad better…

  15. expatbore says:

    This is good – and renewable energy will take root, but to be boring for a minute, apparently (big debate on Today programme yesterday) to meet our (UK’s) 2020 CO2 targets it would cost £6bn if we achieved it with gas-fired power stations (replacing coal) and, wait for it, £100bn if we did it with wind power. And that’s just the CAPEX – every time one breaks you have to fly out a techie in a helicopter. I think I prefer the solar panels on the Nutmeg to the wind farms!

  16. bowiechick says:

    I don’t understand the “ugly” thing about wind farms either. In the Pincher Creek area of Southern Alberta, Canada, the wind howls through the foothills and driving through that is, in my opinion, cooler than all the iron donkeys that pump the oil. Then again, I really think oil spills are ugly. However, someone has come up with a new kind of way to harness wind power without the blades. While I don’t think it is any more aesthetically pleasing, these at least shouldn’t take out wildlife. I suppose another added bonus is that it could also make for a great skateboarding park at the base of these things. However, they do give the appearance of a burned out forest after a fire has raged through.

    I am adding you to my boat blog roll ( Love the Nutmeg and hats of to you for restoring it and utilizing it in such a wonderful way. Cheers, Tana

  17. bowiechick says:

    oops, here’s the link to this new wind technology article.

  18. sharelols says:

    Dear Mr. Dolby,

    Kudos for your passion of an Ecotopia (Callenbach, 1975).

    No, I didn’t make it through the book. But I do share your and your readers’ passions for a sustainable future sans wildlife kills and noise pollution. But as a dear biophysiks friend of mine once wrote, “research requires funding.”

    Kicking off the whole matter is my current endeavor, LOL’S Candies, This is how we launch.

    If you and your readers could be of assistance, I’d be greatly appreciative.

    Best regards,
    /s/ Brian R. Foust, Founder
    LOL’S Candies

  19. RoxyBananas says:

    I need to set up a wind farm to help me pay for my Dental Plans

  20. ahkenaton says:

    preach brother Thomas, preach …

  21. GMT-8 says:

    Finally. I can categorise you as a Steampunk.

  22. INCARA says:

    it is a view that makes the world more green, a view which is a mirror of our. Nice to see talking here, thanks.

  23. cyberyukon says:






  24. rocketman0739 says:


    It will be sometime in the Roses! roses!

  25. [...] in reading Thomas Dolby’s blog, it seems that his entire studio is powered by alternative energy. The studio in question is [...]

  26. [...] blogged about the massive wind farm that is being constructed in the North Sea within (occasional) view of my wheelhouse. There are [...]