Heatmap, Climate & Energy Transition

Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

We are happy to see a new platform that Robinson Meyer has co-founded for climate-related news:

Are Wind Farm Tours the Hoover Dam Trip of the 21st Century?

Marvel at America’s green transition on your next vacation.

Scroll past San Jacinto Mountain, Brandini Toffee, a bicycle-powered bar crawl, and 13 other attractions on Tripadvisor’s list of “Things to Do in Palm Springs” and you’ll come to “Palm Springs Windmill Tours.” Its user-generated blurb tells would-be visitors to expect “a tour in the middle of wind turbine generators,” lest the name suggests something slightly more romantic and Dutch. In the accompanying photo, a black convertible noses toward the white gyrating towers that have become synonymous with the north entrance to the Coachella Valley.

If you leave your uncannily verdant gated community and drive up Highway 10 — away from the Mod Squad architectural tour and the horseback rides at Smoke Tree Stables, past signs advertising breast augmentations and the Air Force Reserve to homebound Angelenos — you’ll eventually reach a frontage road where a WINDMILL TOURS PARKING sign directs visitors toward an unassuming green trailer for check-in. All around the parking lot, and on both sides of the highway, you can already see the main attractions: wind turbines, many of them taller than the Statue of Liberty, though perspective is difficult here since there are hardly any normal-sized reference points, like palm trees, around for orientation.

One thing is immediately clear: This is “not Disneyland,” as Tom Spiglanin, Palm Springs Windmill Tours’ enthusiastic education director, will be the first to admit. “We’re not fun and games,” Spiglanin adds on a video call, about a week after I take a tour for myself. “Here, we are education.”…

Read the whole article here.

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