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Old 08-25-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
86,941 posts, read 80,215,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
As I've pointed out before, the bird death issue at alternative energy sites, whether wind or solar, is overblown. Every power plant known to mankind causes wildlife deaths, as do cars and buildings, and domestic cats. A recent study showed that domestic cats that are allowed outside kill between 1.3 billion and 4 billion birds a year in the US. The US Fish and Wildlife service reports that over a billion birds are killed in the country each year simply by collisions with buildings. And let's not forget the huge loss of animal life caused by oil spills, coal ash leaching, settling pond toxicity, etc. But you've never heard of animals dying in a giant wind spill, have you?

But people who are opposed to wind turbines or solar farms for other reasons, principally selfish personal reasons, have seized on this issue as a sure-fire heart-strings puller with the public.

Meanwhile a number of technologies have been deployed to reduce the problem, newer designs will help and better siting in the future to avoid migratory bird paths will reduce it still further.
I dunno, D. The loss of bald or golden eagles doesn't quite compare with songbird deaths. And in some parts of the arctic, where cranes nest in the summer, it could be crane deaths. Eagles and cranes are sacred birds in many cultures. Reducing the problem would be very important. It's hard for me to advocate wind farms in areas where Native peoples would be heartsick over sacred bird deaths.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I dunno, D. The loss of bald or golden eagles doesn't quite compare with songbird deaths. And in some parts of the arctic, where cranes nest in the summer, it could be crane deaths. Eagles and cranes are sacred birds in many cultures. Reducing the problem would be very important. It's hard for me to advocate wind farms in areas where Native peoples would be heartsick over sacred bird deaths.
I'm not disagreeing about the need to be sensitive to the kinds of issues you raise, and to be proactive about finding solutions. Better site selection is part of it, as is better technology design. Mediation systems of many types are being implemented, from radar systems that automatically feather the turbine blades when birds are detected approaching, to posting live observers with direct controls.

But my point is that our need to switch to renewable energy sources is acute, and that blind opposition to wind farms and solar farms on the basis of an exaggerated view of the danger to wildlife relative to more conventional power plants misses the point that even the birds are at risk from the very pollution we are trying to reduce, and from the effects of climate change.
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