Clean Power

Published on October 10th, 2012 | by Chelsea

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Abraham Lincoln Was on to Wind Power Long Before the Rest

October 10th, 2012 by  

 

During an election season, it’s easy to find huge faults in every politician, so let’s take a look back on one former president that we can all be proud of, Mr. Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was forward thinking on many national policies, including (way ahead of his time) his prescient stance on wind energy.

In his own words:

“Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of motive power—that is, power to move things. Take any given space of the earth’s surface— for instance, Illinois; and all the power exerted by all the men, and beasts, and running-water, and steam, over and upon it, shall not equal the one hundredth part of what is exerted by the blowing of the wind over and upon the same space. And yet it has not, so far in the world’s history, become proportionably valuable as a motive power. It is applied extensively, and advantageously, to sail-vessels in navigation. Add to this a few windmills, and pumps, and you have about all. … As yet, the wind is an untamed, and unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of it.”

h/t Climate Crocks
Image: Abe Lincoln via Shutterstock


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About the Author

is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.



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