Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the United States in his famous letter to the respected teacher notes that ‘a dollar earned is far more valuable than five dollars found’, this suggests dignity in labour and that gifts or things not earned are usually under-appreciated. In the context of renewable energy sources, the Sun, and the Wind represent free gifts from nature. Hence, one begins to ponder whether these gifts are underappreciated /adequately eulogised or whether they are just dear to us from the economic and commercial perspective.
I choose to reflect on wind itself firstly, due to its unique attributes in relation to other renewable energy sources. Secondly, due to what I term the ‘wind-appreciation gap’ within academia, this is against the backdrop that one of the few known attempts to eulogize the wind was rendered from a poetic perspective by John Chizoba Vincent.
Wind is obviously infinite and universally available; however, it is sparsely distributed, and the coastal regions are more endowed with this nature’s gift. Apparently, the Ostrobothnia region is well situated to harness this gift. However, whether we often or seldom pause to appreciate how lucky we are to be strategically situated in a region enormously blessed by nature, remains a rhetorical question at the individual and collective levels, respectively.
On one hand, I find the wind to be very special as it is the only renewable energy source that is invisible yet can be felt and converted into an energy form. This invisibility attribute of wind remains mysterious and at the same time exciting. On the other hand, I find wind intriguing because of its formlessness. While the speed and the direction can be measured via anemometer, and wind vane respectively, yet wind cannot be held with the hands even though we constantly make use of it. Suffice to say therefore that ‘if the wind were to be a cake, one could allude that we are apparently eating our cake and still having it’.
While I remain fascinated by the progress made in the growth and development of wind technologies and the concomitant green energy therein, the younger and future generations should be taught how to better appreciate wind as an energy source beyond our current romance and focus on wind technologies, its commercial and economic gains. Society should be constantly reminded that wind comes in an odourless and clean form, therefore, while we harness and leverage on this gift, we must also make daily choices that do not contaminate and pollute the wind in other to maximize the benefits that accrue from it.
As the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy intensifies, there is no better time to eulogizing the wind than now, as this will invariably make our society more critical and appreciative of nature’s free gifts, while at the same time consciously devoting ourselves to sustaining these gifts. By taking cognizance of the ecology in every decision especially in the energy transition process, not only indicate a good step towards sustainability but also an expression of our gratitude to nature…so, let the wind-eulogy begin!!!
Doctoral student in Social Sciences
University of Vaasa
Ejike Okonkwo’s dissertation will examine societal adaptation to wind farms in the Ostrobothnia region.