October 30, 2013
One of the realities of life is that all actions have consequences and all actions have tradeoffs. Wind power is no exception, especially with regard to environmental issues. Wind power is seen as a clean source of energy, but what is frequently not seen is that wind turbines kill a lot of bats.
Unlike more charismatic creatures like polar bears, pandas, or wolves, bats are not sympathetically portrayed by popular culture or by most environmental groups. But bats are actually critical consumers of harmful pests that feed on crops. In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that bats provide about $23 billion in benefits to America’s agricultural industry each year.
Wind turbines, however, killed almost 900,000 bats last year alone, according to a recent paper published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. Meanwhile, some who work directly with the wind industry to reduce bat deaths at wind facilities have described the industry’s response as “mixed” and “unsustainable.”
“Put simply, wind farms are causing considerable damage to nature’s balance, for no benefit whatsoever to society. Indeed, no country in the world has reduced its carbon footprint thanks to them…. It is high time to call a moratorium on wind farms, and examine the situation after ditching our blinkers.”
Wind turbines kill birds and bats, we all know that, but the billion-dollar question is: how many? I say “billion” because subsidies to the wind industry run into billions of dollars per year in the United States alone, and chances are the public would not support such expenditures if they found out that these machines were driving iconic, useful or beautiful species into extinction. It is therefore important to find out the extent of the mortality caused by their rotor blades and high tension power lines.
In a paper presented in 2009 at the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Biologist Dr. Albert M. Manville wrote: “While the wind industry currently estimates that turbines kill 58 000 birds per year in the U.S. … the Service estimates annual mortality at 440 000 birds.” (1) This created quite a stir, and the wind industry tried hard to fight this estimate ever since.
August 28, 2013
So the Blanding’s Turtle must once again prove that it is in sufficient danger to warrant protection against industrial wind turbines from bestriding and destroying its unique, fragile habitat at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County. Not only that, the proponents of the proposed wind factory, (Gilead Power) claim in their appeal of the recent decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) protecting the turtle, that the reptile’s advocates, Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN), must “prove that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the turtle population province wide.” (Our emphasis.)
This is an interesting tack to take considering that the original decision of the ERT rejected such extrapolations, insisting on case-by-case assessment, when it came to previous Tribunal findings about the harmful effects of industrial wind turbine operations on human health!
August 26, 2013
By T.J. Pignataro
An environmental riddle is brewing off the shores of Lake Erie, and its answer is blowing in the wind.
The planned launch of a wind turbine demonstration project seven miles off of Cleveland’s lakeshore in Ohio – the first of its kind on the Great Lakes – has politicians, developers and labor there on board.
That’s a totally different vibe from what took place in Buffalo Niagara in 2009 and 2010, when the New York Power Authority gauged interest in a similar project in lakes Erie and Ontario. Local governments here quickly scuttled the idea after intense political pressure from a well-organized group of local lakeshore residents.
The environmentalist community, meanwhile, still searches for a Solomonic solution to the question of harnessing wind on the Great Lakes.
August 23, 2013by Ken McErlain
The proposed development at French Farm is one of a number of energy park bids currently under consideration in the Peterborough area, but a report by ecologist Dr Timothy Reed says that wildlife impact assessments for the area are insufficient.
Dr Reed says that data concerning the effect on bats, birds and water voles which has been collected for the development is “riven with errors” and throws serious doubts over the application.
by Craig Rucker, August 15 2013
So-called “renewable energy” is not clean, renewable, reliable, affordable or sustainable.
“Renewable energy” is a sexy term used to drive public policies and spending. The Obama Administration and like-minded Green zealots have said repeatedly that they are waging a “war on coal,” intend to bankrupt coal-based power plants, and delay or block oil, natural gas and nuclear projects – while fast-tracking and subsidizing ethanol, wind and solar programs
Another apostle of the renewable energy, anti-hydrocarbon movement is Senator Harry Reid. The chief organizer of and keynote speaker at this week’s falsely named National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Reid is a true believer in destroying conventional energy through subsidies, regulations and strong-arm tactics. He even wants to shut down every coal-fired power plant in Nevada.
August 13, 2013
by Curt Devlin
They were taken by one of the folks in Fairhaven soon after the turbines went up. There can be no doubt regarding its authenticity because the chain link fence and black bolts are somewhat distinctive due the special construction technique used to anchor the turbines into the granite shelf here.
One depicts one of the Chinese engineers from Sinovel (a Chinese manufacturer), kicking dirt over the broken body of a hawk killed by the turbine blade to hide it from view. Turbines of this size may look slow and graceful from a distance, but the actually rotate at a tip speeds approaching 200 mph.
August 13, 2013
by Larry Bell
Germany, Denmark pay 3 times current U.S. rates for energy — and our leaders want us to pay that much as well.
Although blades on the 150-foot wind turbines at the new German offshore Riffgat power plant 9 miles off the North Sea island of Bokum are finally turning, there is one big problem. They are doing so only because they are being powered by onshore fossil-fueled generators to prevent the rotors from corroding in salty air. And why might that be? Well although they otherwise function perfectly, the underfinanced grid operator hasn’t yet connected a power line because of problems attracting investor financing. Prospective investors attribute their reluctance to a lack of market confidence.
With wind and solar farms proposed for protected areas, some environmentalists are taking the awkward position of opposing green projects.
Cindy Sutch, who opposes a wind energy development planned for the Oak Ridges Moraine, holds a map of the moraine and the proposed development site.