Day 729: The Great Texas Wind Rush

Cover for The Great Texas Wind RushThe Great Texas Wind Rush is a history of the wind energy business written by Kate Galbraith and Asher Price, a couple of reporters. It begins with the building of wind turbines to pump water and then covers a few pioneers who tried to use turbines to produce electricity, with mixed results.

Finally, it follows the various attempts to do this as a business and the legislation that made it possible to make wind farming a serious business. These efforts finally culminated in the 2000’s with the establishment of many successful wind farms across Texas.

I have nothing against wind power. In fact, I am for green energy. But the book at times seems to be biased both for Texas and for wind power. I live in Texas, so I am used to the ridiculous pro-Texas bias that creeps into everything, but I felt that the cons of wind power were glossed over. The problems of migratory birds are mentioned, for example, several times, but there are no facts or figures even estimating the number of birds killed. This is disturbing, especially in discussions about wind farms off the coast, where there are many bird sanctuaries, including for the whooping crane, which already almost went extinct. And the admiring tone the book occasionally takes is not good journalism.

Books about business do not fall within my interests, and the only reason I read this one was because it was chosen for my book club. At first I found it more interesting than I expected, but eventually it seemed to become just one story after another about one company after another. I kept falling asleep. Unless you are really interested in wind power or business history, the book, although clearly written for a general audience, has limited appeal.

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