Howe, Cymene; Boyer, Dominic
Our project in this article is to unwind ‘wind power’ as a consolidated conceptual object and to consider the ventifactual arrangements of its political materiality. In a time when carbon incineration has been exposed as among the greatest ecological threats to humanity and other life on the planet, renewable energy forms, like wind power, are commonly assumed to have a clear, logical, and obvious salvational purpose: a path away from fossilized resources and toward sustainable sources of energy. Mexico has established some of the most far-reaching and comprehensive climate legislation in the world, including mandates for renewable energy production. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in the Southern state of Oaxaca, now hosts the densest concentration of on-shore wind development anywhere on the planet. We find, however, that the ‘good’ of wind is differentially felt. The power of the wind is not singular, but rather as multiple as the world it inhabits. We thus develop an argument against a singular interpretation of ‘wind power’ and toward a surfacing of wind's manifold effects and ways of mattering. We call this domain: aeolian politics. In this article, we take several snapshots of aeolian politics to help articulate its multiplicity, showing how wind power becomes contoured by land and desire and by infrastructure and technological management. We also see aeolian political life entangled with cosmologies and subjectivities and implicated within the ethical domains of sustainable development.