Wil Sillen's post

What a wind yesterday! Summer storm Poly, in the Netherlands, swept over our country. Branches and leaves flew down the street. Wind speeds of 100-120 km/h and outliers even far above. An ultimate test for the approximately 3,000 wind turbines in our country; Would they stay put? The answer is reassuring. Yes, they all stayed upright. The News It is fascinating to see that the mills pass this test brilliantly. But perhaps it is even more fascinating to look at our news provision around this theme. Because if 1 old mill falls over (with much less wind) this excess becomes national news. Everyone is talking about it. With all the negative image about the safety of wind turbines as a result. But when 3,000 windmills weather an exceptionally severe storm, it remains silent. While this would be an excellent opportunity to reflect on this. Negativity Bias How nice it would be if our news service would use a situation like yesterday to show broad, social reassurance about the safety of wind turbines. After all, that ball is in front of the goal! Anyway, I know, positive news is not news. I also know that we are primarily guided by our negativity bias (see Rolf Dobelli, the News Diet). I also realize that a story about a toppled windmill, preferably graced with a shocking interview in which an unfortunate passer-by tells me that he only just managed to avoid the blades, is a lot more attractive to read than an in-depth analysis of how a wind turbine safely guides the immense forces via the mast to the deep foundation below. I can already hear the first people yawning at the physical concepts that come with it. And yet. Nevertheless, I hope that in the event of another unfortunate incident involving a single wind turbine, we will think back to 5 July 2023. The day on which 3,000 Dutch windmills remained upright in an exceptionally heavy summer storm!

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