The left foot of a rainbow glows among wind turbines in a Spanish wheat field. This is the land of La Mancha, where Don Quixote mistook windmills for “hulking giants” and gave us an expression to use when we attack imaginary enemies.
Today the vast and flat Castilla–La Mancha region not only produces wheat, barley, rye and oats, but also wind energy. Wind turbines, some over 300 feet tall, dwarf the windmills of Cervantes’ time and are controversial. Generating electricity, yet marring the landscape, they are the essence of renewable resource while adapting to climate change: Tilting at windmills? Maybe.
Photograph by xelemendez.