Wind, Lose or Draw
“I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right?”
“So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air,”
No, this wasn't said by someone on a street corner bellowing at the moon. (Or at the wind.) And no, this wasn't said by Don Quixote. And no, it isn't a parody article from The Onion about a deranged speech by Trump. This was from an actual speech given by Trump over the weekend, this past Saturday.
My favorite comment on it was a Tweet that wrote if you were sitting next to someone in a bar who said this, you'd likely move two stools over. And the person replying to it said that the bartender would likely ask for the guy's keys and call for cab.
This isn't the first time that Trump has made a lunatic speech, though it may be one of the more deranged, taking things to a higher level.
It's so hard to know where to begin. I guess the first line is the most obvious. What is so difficult about understand wind? It's air. Not much more than that, air that moves between high pressure areas and low pressure areas. Certainly there is much more about the wind to study, and people have have careers studying it. But to understand the basics, that's about it.
And then you have to jump all the way to the very next sentence, "I know windmills very much." While that's reasonably clear, it sounds like something a Hollywood screenwriter would write to create in shorthand that the person speaking is from perhaps Pakistan who knows English well, just not as fluently as a native. And the sentence continues with what is also fairly clear -- I have studied it better than anybody -- though not as clear as likely intended. Does he mean that he has studied windmills for more years than anybody, or that he has been more effective than anybody in what he's studied of windmills. Or is he referring to what he's learned about windmills or just that he's studied them the best but still doesn't understand them, since he just said that he doesn't understand the wind, and it follows that if you don't understand the wind you probably have a hard time understand windmills.
For that matter, it's not exactly clear whether "it" -- in "I have studied it better than anybody" -- refers to the wind, which is nuts, or to windmills, which is both nuts and bad grammar. Who knows?
By the way, to be clear, I am not attempting to be the grammar police here. But this is the president of the United States, and his giving a public speech that makes no sense, so I think it's proper to try and look at it closely and clear, because when the U.S. president speaks, it matters, word-by-word. Not only for the meaning he wants to present to the world, but also for the sensibility and leadership and foundation of being a role model to Americans, including in some ways most of all to children.
It's all important well for seeing his egotism and desperate need to be The Best in Everything. And the delusion, thinking that everybody will believe that he is the world expert on wind (which he says he doesn't understand) or on windmills or whatever he means, ignoring the realty that we know there are actual scientists who have PhD degrees for studying meteorology.
Hey, maybe this is why he felt comfortable re-drawing the U.S. Weather Service map with a Sharpie for Hurricane Dorian. And why he was so wrong, given that he says he doesn't understand wind.
As for the rest, all that about Germany, China, fumes, carbon footprints, gas, spewing, the world, the universe and all the rest of the gobbledy-gook, God in heavens knows what he means. I suspect even he doesn't. Because the odd thing here that hasn't gotten much attention -- since the headline is how nuts it is -- is that it appears that he's explaining and supporting Climate Change!!! Except that he denies Climate Change.
But it's all just so unhinged, “I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. On and on, rambling, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel. Like a never-ending...
Wait! That's when I realized what this reminded me of. A real-world interpretation of the Oscar-winning song from the original 1968 The Thomas Crown Affair -- "The Windmills of Your Mind." A moody number by Michel Legrand with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman that are utterly nonsensical, a jumble of word salad that rhymes, though in fairness perhaps effective in creating the film's sense of bewildering uncertainty and total confusion.
From the film's soundtrack, this is Noel Harrison (son of Rex). It has now be re-interpreted 51 years later in public by Trump.
12/23/2019 01:04:36 pm
I think imPOTUS means that the manufacture of windmills creates more of what hoaxers (his word) say creates climate change than is lessened by the use of those windmills for energy production (Therefore, he infers, windmills are stupid.). Can anybody find data to refute (or, unfortunately, support) this claim?
12/23/2019 01:58:25 pm
Max K, thanks for your note. I've looked at his quote from a bunch of different angles -- including that one. And try as I might to wedge that explanation in, it falls apart even if that IS what he means. (Which, you're right, it *may* be.) Forgetting the incomprehensible syntax to determine if that's actually what he means, though, if it *is* it would suggest he somehow believes that the one-time release of "gases" in the production of a windmill is greater than the decades of clean wind energy from that same windmill. Especially compared to fossil fuel energy. And especially considering he's never before been concerned with the "carbon footprint" before.
12/23/2019 01:13:42 pm
12/23/2019 02:01:26 pm
Jim, thanks. That's a very off-beat, moody, interesting, unique ad about investing in wind energy.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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