Recently I watched a movie called “The Boy that Harnessed the Wind.” The movie was released this year and is a true story of a boy, named William Kamkwamba, from Malawi in Africa who had very little, according to our standard of living.
Only 2 percent of Malawians had electricity, with no irrigation system and only primitive means of farming; by hand.
William was 14 years old when a terrible drought hit his village. People had nothing to eat and drink. He had been fascinated with electricity, physics and learning and because he and his family members, as well as, everyone in the village were reduced to one meal a day if they were lucky, survival was his impetus (motivation).
He built a windmill to power a water pump to irrigate their crops. The windmill was built using blue gum trees, bicycle parts and materials collected from a local scrapyard.
William was chosen as a TEDGlobal 2007 fellow. Eventually he reached the U.S. and earns a bachelor’s degree in 2014, from Dartmouth College. He moved to San Francisco and started his tenure at Ideo.org as a Global Fellow, where he traveled the world working on projects to improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities, such as India and Kenya.
It should be noted that an important part of William’s story exposes governmental corruption, as the excess grain was sold for profit instead of providing assistance to the starving, as well as their President publicly denying the famine and the food crisis.
Occasionally, I hear controversy regarding wind turbines, and I guess it is one of those topics of which people have varied opinions. It seems to me people don’t complain about electrical substations, which are usually surrounded by electromagnetic fields. Such fields are considered harmful to human health. Researchers believe that these fields can cause health problems such as cancer, dementia, infertility, miscarriage and other health complications.
Some things are a matter of fact while others are a matter of opinion. For example, some people think wind turbines are ugly, while I consider them to be majestic looking. Some people believe wind turbines can affect the weather, it that is true than one must assume birds, kites and sailboats are mucking up the weather, not to mention what Ferris wheels must do at carnival time. And don’t get me started on airplanes and helicopters.
I’ve also read a weak argument on how wind turbines can cause cancer and heart attacks by means of the noises emitted leading to sleep deprivation that could cause cancer and heart disease and a number of other illnesses.
Well then, by such rationale a newborn baby can also contribute to cancer and heart disease.
What if Thomas Edison had discovered electricity generated by wind power after he was pushed out of Edison Electric? Every home might well have included a windmill, as prevalent as a sump pump or garage. As for the noise of a windmill – I hear the sump pump when it runs and I hear the air conditioner when it kicks on and off. We are only bothered by the things we choose to let bother us.
So how do wind turbines make electricity? Wind turbines work the opposite of a fan, instead of using electricity to make wind the wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which in turn spins a generator to create electricity.
In reality the wind is a form of solar energy caused by a combination of three concurrent events: 1) the sun unevenly heating the atmosphere, 2) irregularities of the earth’s surface, and 3) the rotation of the earth.
Wind energy is the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. A wind turbine turns energy in the wind into electricity using the aerodynamic force created by the rotor blades. This translation of aerodynamic force to rotation of a generator creates electricity.
Although windmills could afford nearly free electricity to every dwelling it will not occur because big business is monopolizing the market. Renewable energy is on the rise in the United States, and as of 2016, nearly 15 percent of all domestically produced electricity came from renewable sources, such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind.
Of these sources of renewable energy, wind turbines have the potential to become the largest contributor in the quest of reducing carbon emissions. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported that a new wind turbine was installed in the U.S. every two and a half hours, and as it stands now, the U.S. is already one of the world’s leading wind energy producers, second only to the European Union and China.
This rapid expansion of wind farming in the U.S. is creating many financial opportunities for property owners to convert their land into a high-value, money making asset since energy developers need all the land they can get for their wind farming projects.
As of today, U.S. wind farms are paying a total of $222 million dollars to property owners across the country, and this number is poised to grow exponentially over the coming years. Wind farm leasing is an agreement between a developer and a property owner that grants the developer the necessary rights to develop turbines at an agreed upon location.
In return, the property will receive monthly rental payments from the developer for a set period, typically 35 years. Wind turbines can be brought to full operation in as little as three months. Wind farms also offer one of the lowest environmental impacts on agricultural land.
Farmers have been considering lucrative land lease proposals which may be a lump-sum cash payout versus monthly rent from billboard companies, cellular phone companies, fiber optic cable companies, and now renewal energy companies.
Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to noon join the Oakley Place (1275 Northview Dr, Greenville) for an open house. There will be a dog agility show sponsored by the Darke County Dog Club and refreshments. Also Saturday is Music Man Jr. performed at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Versailles Performing Arts Center.
Sunday is Mother’s Day. Roses will be available after most church services by the Darke County Right 2 Life Organization. For more information, call Marlene at 658-0948.
Tuesday, May 14 is the Encore Spring Showcase at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.
Sunday, May 26 is VHS Graduation and Monday is Memorial Day.
Happy birthday Korra Elizabeth Schwieterman (2), Roberta Archey, Erick Grow, Kayle Griffin, Lexi Timmerman, Mike Lawrence, Julie Stover, Emma Peters, Lydia Bruns, Brynna Blakeley, Grant Jones, Karen Lawrence, Rev.
Bob Akins, Pastor David Wilson, Kevin Flory, Katie Crandall, Jill Rhoades, Luke Rhoades, Scott Ward, Stephanie Fullenkamp, Ruth Kremer, Christina Chalmers, Bonnie Barga, Patricia Simon, Julie Covault, Janet Monnin, Alan Henry, Stewart Baker, Tammy Collins, Ralph Gigandet, Karen Doseck, Julie Heuing, Ed Petty, Angie Lachat, Carolyn Waymire, Tina Cordonnier, Kevin Subler, Nate Cordonnier on their recent or approaching birthday, as well as, anniversary wishes to Jennifer and Josh Overholser (2), Emily and Ben Goubeaux (5), Sarah and Nick Rhoades (12), Fr. Jim Simons (14), Amy and Rob Carman (23), Sandy and Shawn Peters (28), Cindy and Conrad Hoelscher, Jenni and Bob Paulus (34), Marilyn and Patrick Bergman (41), Janet and Larry Monnin (57), Lurene and Jerry Monnin (65), Our Lady of Fatima (102).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially Ed Collins, Marvin Keller, Diane Barga, Mike Smith, Tom Scott, Ruth Pierron, Julia Billenstein, Don Henry, Cali Groff, Janice Berger, Violet Bensman, Fr. John White, Kellie Gehret, Donna Apple, Michelle Sherman, Aiden Myers and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, under medical care, and/or are in need of our prayers.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Todd Walls (56), Robert Shilt, Jr. (73), Janice Dress (80), and Linus Hoying (92). Also remembering and keeping in our hearts the memories of Ismael R. Anguiano Sr., Marilyn Schilling, Mary Christman, Dorothy Mumaw, Frances Kovalsky, Mark Niekamp, Timothy Byers, Sr., Ervin Baker, infant Rory Latimer, Deanna Jones, Carol Pipenger, Kenneth Clune, Carl Neargarder, Mary Louise Holzapfel, Virginia Pitsenbarger, Evelyn Bernholt, Curtis Varner, Norma Jean Poeppelman, Virginia Rindler, Stanley Wuebker, Bob Bigham, Harold Stuck, Dottie Monnier, Cecilia Barhorst, Lou Heffner, Hilda Larger, Helen Goodall, Dwight Puthoff, Katherine McClurg, Kyle Magoto, Nathan Saintignon, Cory Turner, Luther Wooten, Freda Cordonnier, Margaret Gephrey, Eileen Batty, Margaret Paulus, Bertha Beyke, Doug Condon, Donald Liest, Karen Gehret, Bruce Bensman, Ralph Mumaw, and all those not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears.
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her weekly Versailles community column. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.