Thursday, 4 April 2013
Any way the wind blows
First of all, sorry that there was no Blog yesterday... I got caught up writing an email... It was quite a big email, all things considered... It had themes, and targets, veiled threats and promises of non existant bonuses. And it went to everyone in the business - And I've had positive replies... So that was nice.
Right then... I was thinking about 'Energy' on my way to work today, After screaming at a little Asian girl in the car next to me that I wanted to do something unpleasently animalistic to her that is (I didn't want to really, Trent Reznor wanted to and he made me tell her. The big bully!)
Describe energy to me people... What is it? - Could you write an all encompassing definition of what energy is that would satisfy a precocious eight year old?
If you look it up, all the definitions tend to be something like 'Well, it's like force innit?' and then you look up force and it says 'Well, force's a bit like vigour, Brah' and then you look up vigour and it says 'Why do you want to know an' t'ing?'
It's kind of an abstract concept, it's not a thing you can hold, you can't say 'Quick, hand me a bucket of Energy - Stat!' Although, you can pour all your energy into something...
You can't create it, or destroy it, you can only change its form - Take a second to drink that in... You can change the form of something that doesn't exist into a different type of something else that doesn't exist. Brain melted yet?
You can change kinetic or movement energy into heat energy for instance, by rubbing your hands together. (You also get sound energy too - Bonus!)
Or electrical energy into vibration energy (Loudspeaker) and the other way around (Microphone)
Then there's that wonderful thing called potential energy which is a type of something that doesn't exist that doesn't exist currently, but has the potential to not exist in a different way at some unspecified time in the future usually by the application of slightly more non existant energy. (That stuff dripping down your neck is your cerebrum, do not be alarmed - That is quite normal.)
The reason this all came into my head in the first place was that I was thinking about wind turbines, you know, driving down the motorway, you occasionally see them don't you? Big white fellahs standing there giving it the old 'Pray to us bitches, we are the future.' attitude thing - I keep expecting to see a ring of rabbits and stoats around them offering gifts of acorns and dasies, gently waving backwards and forwards until they get hypnotized by a mixture of the slow rotation of the blades, the whomp-whomp-whomp noise and some slightly fermented potato juice that Steve the Badger forced them to drink down at the back of Farmer Jim's Hay Barn last Thursday week.
What I wondered was, all that wind energy that they're capturing and converting into electrical energy... What should it be doing? what was it going to do if the turbine hadn't stolen it away? Wind's been with us for, quite literally, ages. Probably since the very world began - So at least fifty thousand years... *cough*... And it does some pretty cool things, it used to blow sailing ships to far flung places, it lifts aeroplanes up into the air (possibly) - It's great stuff generally - windmills, both flour grinding and the pretty toy ones, wouldn't work without it. OK, I mean occasionally it can spin around a bit sharpish and wipe things off the face of the planet leaving just some tinder and a single dolls head for poigniancy, but still!
All wind must have a purpose, Gaia or Nature or the Gods or our rubbery overlords from Zeta Reticulii don't put things on the planet just for the crack, except Duck Billed Platypi and possibly Pangolins... So, the wind that we're capturing and converting should be doing something else - But what? Does it have a function that we're not aware of? Does it somehow trigger 'Spring' perhaps? - All evidence would point towards the fact that maybe it does.
Or could we be facing an altogether more armageddonal problem? Could the light winds that the turbines capture regulate the planet's temperature? Could Wind Turbines be causing climate change? Will the heat radiating from the molten core of our planet slowly build, without this breeze to cool it, until the mantle of the earth liquifies and the fragile crust tears to pieces like a soggy sheet of Plenty kitchen towel (Other brands are available) and we all have just enough time to yell 'Damn you Charles F. Brush!' and wave our skinny fists towards the heavens defiantly before turning into a greasy speck in the burgeoning magma?
It's a possibility.
So, the next time some hippy says 'Tear down this coal fired power station and put in a windfarm, Man!' You have my permission to nail him to something solid so he can't do any further harm.