As the InsideClimate News Finding Middle Ground series nears an end, I had a chance to speak with the lovely Heather Goldstone of WCAI’s Living Lab about some of the experiences I’ve had as I traveled across the country.
Here’s the latest in Finding Middle Ground series, from Sweetwater, Texas:
All along the straight-shot roads of Nolan County in West Texas, wind turbines soar over endless acres of farms, the landscape either heavy with cotton ready to harvest or flushed green with the start of winter wheat. The turbines rise from expanses of ranches, where black Angus beef cattle gaze placidly at the horizon. Here and there are abandoned farmhouses dating to the 1880s, when this land was first settled and water windmills were first erected. Occasionally a few pump jacks bob their metallic heads, vestiges of a once-booming oil industry still satiating an endless thirst.
Every industry creates an ecosystem around it. If the wind turbines that sprouted in West Texas were huge steel trees, spinning sleek carbon-fiber blades 100 feet in length, then the wind farms—including Roscoe Wind Project and Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, some of the largest in the world—were their forest. Spread out across the expansive vista, invisible air currents feed the structures, their imperceptible roots extending out to the community that contains them.
I had grand hopes of frequently blogging while on the Knight Science Journalism fellowship. Alas… With a nod to Harper’s Findings, I was able to manage this instead:
Telomeres, the mysterious ends of chromosomes whose lengths can reveal age, seemed to know that Dolly the cloned sheep, was older than she was. Massachusetts’ city kids thrive in charter schools more than suburban kids. Second Chance, the cloned replica of the beloved gentle Brahman bull Chance, was just like his original, except for that he had a tendency to maul his owners. If you wanted to drive your cattle from Texas to Fort Yuma, California, you would consult the map my great-great grandfather drafted in 1870. Jardin de Lorixa, a comprehensive 14-volume herbal detailing the plants of Bengal in the 18th Century, sat unstudied for over two centuries. After embracing Western models of big development, Jawaharlal Nehru had a belated change of heart, wondering if India was suffering from a “disease of gigantism.” Of the planet’s coastal poor, 27% are Indian. When a Boston clock maker wanted to make a model of the solar system in 1776, the Grand Orrery, he called on Paul Revere to cast the bronze elements. (But the orrery in this photo was prettier.) #KnightKnowHow @KSJatMIT @SophiaRoosth @JPAL_Global #clone #botany #India @sunilamrith #JamesDelbourgo