Political cartoons are a medium of communication that achieved widespread popularity in America during the Boss Tweed era in the 19th century. These illustrations still provide commentary on political, economic, and sociocultural issues- and the wind turbine controversy is no exception. Below are a few of many wind energy cartoons, each of which emphasizes a prevalent theme surrounding the issue.
Wind Energy Reliability
This cartoon comments on the questioned reliability of wind turbines. A major criticism is that they cannot be depended upon for a consistent supply of energy. As we discussed in the post on myths, wind turbines are as reliable as other sources of energy.
“Not In My Backyard” Mentality
This cartoon is brilliant in both message and execution. Anti-wind activists and residents have a total “Not In My Backyard” mentality that is completely unjustified considering the harm and danger posed energy sourced from nuclear, oil, and coal.
Wind turbines face opposition due to their ecological impact as well. As noted in the cartoon above, bird deaths are cited as a key reason against the use of wind turbines. The fallacy in this comparison between bird deaths is that it equates truly catastrophic events like the British Petroleum oil spill with wind turbines that cause no other environmental problems and actually offer many benefits to the communities in which they are constructed.
Financial Costs of Wind Energy
Wind energy is disparaged for being too costly. While the upfront capital costs for developing wind turbines and farms are high, the cost-savings they yield in the long-term render it less expensive than the current energy sources used in the United States.
Wind Energy is a Better Energy
This cartoon is modeled on the British Petroleum oil spill. By replicating the event using wind turbines instead of an oil tanker, the cartoonist conveys the message that wind turbines lack the negative effects associated with traditional energy sources.
What messages found in wind turbine cartoons do you agree or disagree with? What themes have you noticed that I didn’t mention?