Originally Posted by ppnl
Ok but can you defend the use of windmills and electric heaters to warm the planet?
I've read all three as well, and I remember being captivated by the main theme and journey - the colonisation & terrafoming of the planet. It was about 15 years ago since I've read them, so my memories a little hazy about them and I'm not sure they would be the same read for me today.
As for the defence of the above, one of the tensions KSR develops between the colonists is a 'tech' faction that wants to terraform at all costs and a 'red' faction that wants to keep Mars pristine. Both sides do some extreme things - and I remember the windmills being secretly dropped by observation balloons or something by the tech faction - so you could perhaps view it as a 'gesture of intent' by those that wanted the terraforming to race ahead and change the environment no matter what.
EDIT - oh just getting flashes back! Was the main purpose of the windmills not to change the atmosphere, but provide a safe haven for microbes to breed then hopefully spread into the soil and beyond. I would have to re-read it to see...