I’m continuing my assault on the failures of progressive environmentalism by addressing another dark side of wind energy. Previously I explained how carbon taxes would hinder the adoption of wind energy but now I’m going to discuss the unintended consequences of adopting it. The problem with progressive environmentalism is the same problem that faces any central plan, you only have a handful of individuals mulling over the plan and therefore a great number of possible issues aren’t brought up.
Progressive environmentalists have been demanding more wind power. They have also been advocating the protection of wildlife. What didn’t occur to them was that these two goals are mutually exclusive. Let’s take a look at a report generated by the Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS):
Focus on Key Sectors: In fact, the rapid expansion of the wind industry will also be addressed in general as the second part of this Law Enforcement initiative to lessen the impact of energy production on wildlife resources. While wind power promises to be an important part of the Nation’s strategy to address climate change, wind farm operations already kill significant numbers of birds, bats, and other species. With more than 100,000 turbines expected to be in operation in the United States by 2030, annual bird mortality rates alone (now estimated by the Service at 440,000 per year) are expected to exceed one million.
Wildlife, it appears, doesn’t understand human central plans. Politicians and progressive environmentalists have been generating propaganda for the wind energy industry for some time now. What they didn’t stop to consider was the fact that humans are the only species that can read. When we build a giant wind farm the local airborne wildlife doesn’t comprehend that those wind turbines are giant rotating murder machines. Anything that flies into those spinning blades is almost certain to come out the other side in more pieces than it entered.
Now the progressive environmentalists have to make a decision, birds or wind energy. Like the decision between trees and water, the decision between birds and wind energy is mutually exclusive. You can’t simply build wind turbines away from birds because birds inhabit every part of the planet (even Antarctica). Today the FWS already estimates the bird mortality rate from wind turbines to be around 400,000. As the number of wind turbines increase the number of dead flying animals will also increase (until so many of them have been killed that their populations collapse due to lack of genetic diversity or breeding stock).
It’s actually amazing that the same central planners that enacted legislation to protect wild birds didn’t stop to consider giant spinning blades in the air as potential threats to birds. Oh well, at least there is always solar… son of a bitch [PDF]:
Solar One related animal mortality.–During approximately 40 wks of study, we documented 70 bird fatalities involving 26 species at Solar One (Table 1). The mean rate of mortality between visits was 1.7 birds _+ 1.8 SD (n = 40, range 0-7). Results of the scavenger bias experiments indicate that from 10-30% of carcasses were removed between searches, thus, the actual rate of mortality may have been from 1.9-2.2 birds. Two causes of avian mortality were identified at Solar One, colliding with structures and burning from standby points.
It’s almost as if there are no free lunches on this planet.