In its desire to help the planet, I hope that Langdon School, and others, use physics lessons to teach children that kinetic energy varies as the square of the speed, so that halving of wind speed reduces the energy of air molecules to one quarter (“Switch off – and help the planet”, EDUCATION & CAREERS, 21 February). At the same time, it halves the number of such molecules impelling windmill blades, so the machine will deliver one-eighth of the power.
In geography, they could learn about weather systems, look at the charts in newspapers, learn that depressions are small and relatively fast, anticyclones are huge and slow. They can see all around them cloud types, and wind direction, learn their significance, and calculate what wind-power can do. Oh yes, and learn the difference between power and energy, though that might make them realise the ignorance of science journalists on such matters.
The UK public’s ignorance of such matters is exposing them, and others, to the biggest con in history.
Bill Hyde, Offham, Kent
28 February 2008
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