Tuesday, May 13, 2014

[jules' pics] Industry

Well, now I have veered towards the topics of politix and planning, I may as well carry on...

One of the wonderful things about being back in the UK is the incredible opportunity to get ones knickers in a twist about other people building things. In Japan you .just. .let. .go. (and say "shouganai", nothing can be done), because... Nothing Can Be Done - the yakuza are in charge of all the building operations. However, astonishingly, British people are permitted to feel responsibility for their own environment, and thus they must spend quite a lot of their energy getting excited about it.

The thing I have noticed most on return to the UK, is that people have started to plant windmills instead of trees.
7stanes Ae
This is particularly popular in Scotland, which seems determined to desecrate its beautiful landscape with them. It is a shame they don't produce more power, but I suppose they are less polluting in terms of actual poison than coal fired stations, and perhaps one can chop them down at a later date without too much difficulty. Most people I have spoken to can't understand why they get planted in the nice parts of the country, out of the view of people in cities. Personally I think they should be mass planted along the banks of all the motorways, since they are already massive blights on the landscape. However, I have to admit I cheered quite loudly when I spotted the large array in the sea off the Dee estuary (near Liverpool). I'm not sure we can complain too loudly - the Industrial Revolution started right here - it's all our fault - so surely our duty to endure the windmills as reminders of the sins of our ancestors.

Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 5/13/2014 10:38:00 AM


Steve Crook said...

"Sins of our ancestors"

I can't imagine what life would be like today without the industrial revolution. If nothing else, our city centres aren't waist deep in horse shit and piss.

The wonderful thing about it is that although it created many problems that we have to deal with, it's also given us the tools to understand the planet, fix the problems, and do much much more with oh so much less.

So I can't consider it to be a sin or indeed anything we should feel guilty about or pay penance for. Merely a step along the way to providing a better life for everyone on the planet.

Mark said...

I quite like wind turbines.

James Annan said...

From a distance I agree they have a certain elegance. I don't think I'd want to live in the shadow of one though.

Anonymous said...

I think they look attractive. There's something beautiful and graceful about them.

C W Magee said...

The more gas-fired generation they supplant, the more LPG your country can ship back to Japan... starting soon, you can even ship it via the arctic, and save costs on transport and refrigeration!

guthrie said...

I'll support getting rid of wind farms when we can get rid of airports, motorways, power stations, oil refineries and some other things which have messed up my views in the last few years.

The thing about planning stuff is that it's one way of distracting people, and the developers almost always win anyway, no matter what they want to do. For evidence see Edinburgh city centre.

That most people don't know there's more wind in the countryside is pretty poor, you'd htink they had never been there. Mind you I recall going up the Cairngorms with some students from Nodnol, and some hadn't really seen snow and ice before.

David B. Benson said...

I shant, here, go on and on about the difficulties wind farms cause the power utilities. I'll just mention that Idaho Power, after a small wind farm just came on line, wrote to the Idaho Utility Commission pleading "don't make us take any more wind power".

Oh yes, those things kill birds and bats.

Davo said...

I have to admit that I like wind turbines as well. They give the landscape a space age feel and a certain European chic.

Given that Australia's current approach to climate change is: "it's not happening--oh, and by the way, would you like to buy some coal? (seriously we're prepared to trash the Reef if supply rates are a problem)", they do represent about the only thing being done here to address the problem.

They have other benefits as well; they provide a drought proof source of income for farmers and they cause Tories' heads to explode.

I'm guessing the reason that the turbines are in remote locations is because that's where the wind is. Which is pretty much the situation in Australia where all of our major population centres are in non-windy locations.

On a slight tangent; even if there were no wind turbines in your photo it would still be an industrial landscape as it is pine plantation as far as the eye can see. The timber industry is an industry, just a more attractive one than slate mining.

Hank Roberts said...

perhaps policy-relevant: a tidbit on statistics of "almost significant"at BMJ:


---excerpt follows---

Calculating extent to which “near significant” P value predicts subsequent significant one

As evidence accumulates, conclusions become more firmly based. A P value could easily be imagined as following a similar course, with “near significant” values seen as a failure to detect a real effect due to insufficient sample size (or, in technical language, as type II errors caused by insufficient power). Referring to a “trend towards significance” expresses the view that had the experiment recruited more people, the P value would have become more significant. This apparently orderly picture is contradicted in situations in which P values are monitored, say, for safety purposes in randomised trials. There we find that P values can fluctuate markedly between inspections, showing qualitatively both the large random component of a P value and that a new test conducted with additional data will not necessarily provide statistically stronger results.

In the model that follows, we use confidence intervals for the true size of a treatment effect together with our understanding of the nature of a P value to analyse the extent to which results might become more or less significant with the addition of extra data. Thereby, we can determine how justifiable it is to describe a near significant result in terms of a genuine trend....