It’s time to turn the tables on hurricanes. Instead of allowing their ferocious winds to tear apart our cities and infrastructure, why not use those winds to produce clean electricity?

Stanford University researchers used computer simulations to calculate that a protective wall of 70,000 offshore wind turbines built 60 miles offshore from New Orleans would have reduced Hurricane Katrina’s wind speeds by 50 percent by the time it reached land. The storm surges that toppled levees would have been reduced by nearly three-quarters. And a lot of electricity would have been produced, to boot, with the spinning of the wind turbines absorbing much of the storm’s power.

A similar array off the coast of New York or New Jersey could have reduced Hurricane Sandy’s wind speeds by 65 miles per hours, the scientists found.