Tea Party Republican Joe Barton’s warning that squandering natural resources might slow winds down has created panic about a possible wind shortage in the future.
Ridding the world of tornadoes and hurricanes might be a blessing and save America billions of dollars a year, but breezes on hot days will be sorely missed. Imagine grandfathers in the sweltering heat reminiscing: When I was young, you had to hold onto your hat some days. Tell that to the windless generation and they don’t believe you. Flying kites made a man out of you.
The wholesale destruction of cultural artifacts and allusions is also of extreme concern. What meaning will be lost forever in movies like Gone With The Wind? Will the children of a windless world be impoverished by their inability to grasp the subtext of Wind in the Willows? Will future pacifists look in vain for the answer to “How many times must the cannon balls fly before they’re forever banned?” And what the hell will risk-takers throw caution to?
Because we can’t predict the impact of still air on our planet, the expert advice is to adopt the precautionary principle. Keep burning fossil fuels lest future generations never feel the cool wind in their hair. The only people that could possibly benefit from this are people with comb-overs.
There is also the danger that the ruling elite will start to monopolise the last remaining air currents, making air currency more valuable than gold, while the poor will be on rations of hot dry air causing widespread doldrums amongst the unemployed.
Wind is a moral issue. Whatever position you take on this, it is important to be guided by independent sources and your own conscience. Don’t just look which way the wind is blowing.