Back in November 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Tim Coone in the first of our interviews with wind power experts in Nicaragua. We came to see Tim because he’d developed the first wind map of the country, what I didn’t know was all the other incredible things he’d done throughout his life.
He did a PhD on the agricultural economy of the West Bank and played a leading role in setting up the London Friends of Palestine. He was drawn to Nicaragua in the early 80s by the optimism that followed the Sandinista revolution and ended up covering Central America for the BBC World Service and the Financial Times. He chartered a plane to take a group of journalists to Panama during the US invasion, with a fellow reporter saying: “Tim being Tim it never occurred to him to take off on his own, get the scoop.”
After working in Argentina and Dublin, he turned his attention to the interoceanic canal, an alternative to the American controlled Panama canal that would exploit existing waterways leading from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans via the giant Lake Nicaragua. Tim’s vision was for an ‘ecocanal’ that promoted economic development whilst respecting the people that lived there and the natural environment it went through.
Finally, Tim turned his energies to renewable energy, seeing the potential of the country’s abundant renewable energy resources and creating, among other things, the first wind map of Nicaragua, hence my encounter with him. Although the Nicaragua canal hasn’t yet happened (its one of those things that’s been talked about for so long, yet has never quite materialised), I’m sure Tim was pleased with the Nicaraguan government’s pledge to reach an almost 90% renewable energy economy by 2026.
Tim was a visionary, but he was also a very down to earth, friendly and very likeable guy -after we interviewed him, he sent us an email thanking us for valuing his opinion. The world needs more people like Tim.
Read more about Tim’s adventures here: