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  1. In high school I went door to door in the fall selling thousands of dollars of citrus. The proceeds went towards travel with my school’s concert band. Every two years we prepared music for a ten-day trip to Europe. Over the course of each trip we would perform 3-4 times. Our repertoire included both music from America and from the European countries where we performed. On the road in Spain we stopped in the small town where the story of Don Quixote originated.

    While I have not read the book, I know the plot of Don Quixote and liked the irony from the book which the XKCD cartoonist ties in. We can infer that the man in the last image of the cartoon is Don Quixote from his specific lance and hat. Don Quixote marches in at the end to solidify the insanity of the story the author is telling. Contrary to popular belief, wind turbines cannot move by themselves (insert sitcom laughter here). The turbines walking around like aliens is a similar event to the crazy “adventures” Don Quixote thinks he embarks on. Don Quixote’s role as a knight is nothing but his imagination.

    Although there are many ways this cartoon could be interpreted of course, my interpretation revolves around the political commentary the author makes surrounding Al Gore. I think the cartoonist vilifies the turbines to describe the bad image sometimes assessed to green energy. Some would argue Al Gore is tied to the negative perception that some have of environmentalism. The cartoonist could also be stating that environmentalism is misunderstood or ignored by many.

    The last two years have brought great changes in the energy world. Oil prices have not recovered since they collapsed in 2014, leading to 25% decreases in spending on oil exploration, acquisition and refining infrastructure. According to OPEC, this has resulted in a $1 trillion deficit in oil capex, potentially leading to significant price increases per barrel in the future. On the demand side, world oil demand is increasing and currently stands at 99 million barrels per day. This adds to pricing pressure but is in constant juxtaposition to the gradual switch-over to greener forms of energy. I think this cartoon makes the argument that this switch is not happening quickly enough. Look, we all know wind is better than coal, but change is expensive and thus not incentivized.

  2. Being of hispanic descent, Don Quixote is an extremely important book in my culture. When learning about the book and its importance in history classes, I always felt proud of the book that is as of result of my ancestors. Don Quixote is among one of the first novels and I feel very proud of that as a hispanic-american. In one of my high school classes, we read excerpts of the book in Spanish. This class was tailored to students who are of hispanic descent who spoke Spanish at home. The class was really interesting because we all got to share our cultures as hispanics. Don Quixote has left a lasting mark on Western literature. Seeing allusions to Don Quixote like the XKCD comic in writing, television, and other media makes me proud of my identity.
    In the comic, the characters talk about the new version of the Quixotian windmills, now they are the wind power turbines that gives us green energy. The author of the comic is alluding the windmills and turbines being eerily similar. The turbines start to mobilize and attack the bystanders but luckily there stands Don Quixote valiantly ready to defend his people. Unlike what occurs in the excerpts of the book I read, Don Quixote is ready for a “real threat”. In the book, Don Quixote is seen as a bumbling idiot who sees things that are not there. Much like the boy who cried wolf, Don Quixote is often seen as telling people things about things that are not there. This time however he is ready for the threat. Even worse than Don Quixote is his sidekick Pancho who stands by him despite having rationality. Don Quixote has been known as a standard in not only humour writing but fiction novel writing in general.
    In the comic, the author is quick to make sure that their stance on green energy is clear. They completely support it but still jab at environmentalists like Al Gore. Al Gore in 2000 ran against Bush on a platform of environmentalism. Despite these turbines being good things for the authors, they are depicted almost dystopian-like. These massive structures intimidated both the author and the characters he puts within his comic.

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