One of my favorite bloggers, Amanda Marcotte, has a lovely post today about, among other things, the wind farms in West Texas--a place that holds a special place in my heart, though I've only been through there once. (And not only because of the wonderful Mountain Goats album.)
She makes one observation that particularly struck home for me: the people who think that wind farms are "eyesores" and don't want them in their backyard are crazy. The posted picture is the windfarm I've seen most often, in Somerset, PA, 40 miles east of my old stomping grounds in Pittsburgh. The picture doesn't do it justice by any means. When you drive by the white turbines at twilight, with their blades slowly, soundlessly twirling, it is a truly eerie and otherworldly experience. The row of them atop the line of the hills looks like the one suviving remnant of some ancient civilization, or some alien artifact.
I genuinely don't understand why anyone would find these distasteful, especially anyone who supports alternative energy on principle. I can think of many places that would actually look much better with an infusion of turbines: most of Washington County, Oregon, for instance. All of New Jersey. Most of the Upper Midwest.
Wind power can probably never be a true replacement for other, more damaging sources of power--since that would require blanketing the surface of the earth with windmills, which is hardly feasible--but it can do at least some good. And look good while it's doing it.