D3: Poet’s Recession Road Trip: Don Quixote in West Texas


Highway 10 through Texas doesn’t have any of the large oil fields, but you do spot the occasional lone rusty well or sometimes a small cluster. What you do see though are the massive wind farms of Central/West Texas. Driving west the first batch are off in the distance behind hills, you can’t really judge how many. What’s striking is the sheer size of these monsters. There’s nothing to judge it against in this dry rocky landscape, but they tower over the landscape. At first you think there must be dozens and dozens, then you see another farm, and another, then some distant plateau that’s completely covered in them. You think there must be hundreds, then realize after a while, there’s literally thousands of these behemoths scattered all over this part of the Texas desert.

They are quite spectacular, and one is hit with the fact seeing this engineering marvel, that yes, this is the shape of things to come. This is what the energy industry is coming too, slowly but surely. Here it’s not quite so theoretical, here the green economy has becomes bricks and mortar, or in this case aluminum and steel.

It’s amazing too the juxtaposition, how in the midst of these fields you still have this sprinkling of rusty old dinosaurs of the industry, the oil wells churning and pumping away, sucking away at the bones of dinosaurs.


In the distance, the dinosaurs of the old energy economy, oil wells, sucking away at the bones of the dinosaurs that came before them dinosaurs.

What you also see here too is the occasionally old school wind mill. The kind you see in old cowboy movies, and you realize that in this windswept part of the country, they’ve known for centuries the power of the wind here, and it helped drive some of he original settlement of area. So the wind farms are in some ways returning to an old tradition.

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