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Bird versus Wind Turbines

The realization that wind turbines are killing large numbers of raptors is being noticed in some interesting places:

http://news.yahoo.com/study-wind-farms-killed-67-eagles-5-years-160226373.html

For years, anti-wind groups have protested that turbines are killing raptors.  This was usually met with “cats kill birds” and other such trite statements.  As I have said before, cats do not take down golden eagles.  This new study shows the number is large–58 raptors in Wyoming and California alone (other estimates put the number at 70 for California’s Altamont Pass plant alone .   I expect the Wyoming number to go up–the turbines often are sited on ridgelines where golden eagles hunt.

Equally worrisome, from the article:

“Meanwhile, the wind energy industry has pushed for, and the White House is currently evaluating, giving companies permission to kill a set number of eagles for 30 years. The change extends by 25 years the permit length in place now, but it was not subjected to a full environmental review because the administration classified it as an administrative change.”

So the industry that “cares” wants 30 years worth of permission to kill raptors.   One has to ask how much the industry cares if it wants 30 years worth of eagle killing permitted in writing.  Seems like they care very little about the birds, more about their own incomes and interests.

If we allow wind to kill eagles with impunity, why are other energy industries penalized?  Should not coal mines, coal plants, NG plants, nuclear plants all get licenses to kill “X” number of birds per year?  Or do we just allow killing eagles and other raptors when it is to “save the planet”?  What other creatures are we willing to sacrifice in the name of planet saving?  Most important, why are those who “love the environment” suddenly killing whatever gets in their way?  We can’t drill for oil due to a lizard in Texas, but we can kill the bald eagle for part-time, virtually useless turbines.

Once again, we see that this is not about the environment, or saving anything.  Wind was willing to risk killing condors.  This is about money, just as every energy business is.  Wind is as callous and uncaring as the oil or nuclear  industries are claimed to be.  They care nothing about the environment, short of what is necessary to convince people they care.  It’s all about image–not the reality of dead birds.

See also:    http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/223310271.html

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Wolsten

Wandering Words

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.

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