Harvest the Wind

America's Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Stability

Winds sweeping through the Great Plains once robbed the Farm Belt of its future, stripping away overworked topsoil and creating the dreaded Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Today, those winds are bringing new hope to declining rural communities across the American heartland. Nowhere is wind's promise more palpable than in Cloud County, Kansas, where the soaring turbines of the Meridian Way Wind Farm are boosting farm incomes and bringing green jobs to a community that has, for decades, watched its children drift away.

In Harvest the Wind, Philip Warburg brings readers face-to-face with the people behind the green economy-powered resurgence in Cloud County and communities like it across the United States. This corner of Kansas is the first stop on an odyssey that introduces readers to farmers, factory workers, biologists, and high-tech entrepreneurs—all players in a transformative industry that is taking hold across America and around the globe.

In this illuminating book, Warburg reveals both the remarkable growth of a breakthrough technology and the formidable challenges it faces. He visits epicenters of anti-wind activism as well as communities that have embraced wind farms as neighbors. He guides readers through an Iowa turbine assembly plant that is struggling to compete in a global marketplace dominated by European and Chinese manufacturers. And he looks at the thousands of miles that wind-generated power will need to travel to reach American consumers.

Harvest the Wind is an earthly antidote to loftier treatises on global warming and green energy. By showing us how practical solutions are being implemented at the local level, Warburg offers an inspirational look at how we can all pursue a more sustainable energy future—while at the same time investing in the nation's infrastructure and jumpstarting its economy.

People and Places from Harvest the Wind

  • Pete Ferrell, rancher and wind farm developer
    Pete Ferrell, Flint Hills (KS) rancher & wind farm developer
  • Meadow Lake Barn
    Meadow Lake Wind Farm, Indiana
  • Ahmad Hemami, wind technology instructor
    Ahmad Hemami, wind technology instructor
  • Michelle Ritzert, Bat Monitor
    Michelle Ritzert, Bat Monitor
  • Bill Stovall, long-haul blade trucker
    Bill Stovall, long-haul blade trucker
  • Kurt and Helen Kocher
    Kurt & Helen Kocher, Cloud County (KS) ranchers & wind farm hosts
  • Indiana Wind Farm
    Fowler Ridge Wind Farm, Indiana
  • Bob Loyd, turbine assembly plant manager
    Bob Loyd, turbine assembly plant manager
  • Steve Maples, wind farm construction supervisor
    Steve Maples, wind farm construction supervisor