I’ve never done near enough reading in the complete works of Abraham Lincoln. I recently read the screenplay to Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln (2012), and that was a rich feast. Especially Lincoln’s speech to the Cabinet about ending the pestilential war. Not many actors can enunciate a mega-syllabic word like pestilential and make it sound natural and presidential. But what better analogue for the Civil War than pestilence?
Anyhow, this week I was overjoyed to find this sage quote from Lincoln on the virtues of wind power. How prescient!
“Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of motive power—that is, power to move things. Take any given space of the earth’s surface—for instance, Illinois—- and all the power exerted by all the men, and beasts, and running-water, and steam, over and upon it, shall not equal the one hundredth part of what is exerted by the blowing of the wind over and upon the same space…the wind is an untamed and unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of the wind.” – Abraham Lincoln