Windmills Are Killing Our Birds

Wall St. Journal:

**Windmills Are Killing Our Birds **

On Aug. 13, ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in federal court to killing 85 birds that had come into contact with crude oil or other pollutants in uncovered tanks or waste-water facilities on its properties. The birds were protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which dates back to 1918. The company agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees.

. . .

A July 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, Calif., estimated that its turbines kill an average of 80 golden eagles per year. The study, funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, also estimated that about 10,000 birds—nearly all protected by the migratory bird act—are being whacked every year at Altamont.
Altamont’s turbines, located about 30 miles east of Oakland, Calif., kill more than 100 times as many birds as Exxon’s tanks, and they do so every year. But the Altamont Pass wind farm does not face the same threat of prosecution, even though the bird kills at Altamont have been repeatedly documented by biologists since the mid-1990s.

But that said, the carnage there likely represents only a fraction of the number of birds killed by windmills. Michael Fry of the American Bird Conservancy estimates that U.S. wind turbines kill between 75,000 and 275,000 birds per year. Yet the Justice Department is not bringing cases against wind companies. “Somebody has given the wind industry a get-out-of-jail-free card,” Mr. Fry told me. “If there were even one prosecution,” he added, the wind industry would be forced to take the issue seriously.

I don’t doubt that windmills are killing birds nor that they are getting lenient treatment (possibly because they are a new industry? not everything has to be a conspiracy).
But I must say I’m leery of statistics like “between 75,000 and 275,000”.

I guess it depends on where the wind turbines are located. Apparently birds like the same wind corridors that windmill developers do. If cheap oil wasn’t hated so much, wind turbines would likely get a lot of opposition from environmentalists.

Ah, but there is a lot of NIMBY opposition to wind farms, most famously to the planned wind farm off Cape Cod which the rich & powerful, incl. the Kennedys opposed b/c it would ruin the view from their vacation homes. There have been protests against windmills in the Green Mountains and Adirondacks often on “aesthetic” grounds.

People don’t seem to realise that power has to come from somewhere.

The windmills are killing bats, also.

But it’s ok, because they are liberal windmills, not conservative windmills.

And bats aren’t as cute as birds. :frowning:

Not a problem. They’ll primarily kill the slowest, weakest, stupidest birds, leaving the fittest to survive and reproduce. Evolution in action.

Somebody on the radio the other day was saying that there’s enough oil in Prudhoe Bay alone to provide for all the electrial use in the entire United States.

But of course, we can’t pump it, because “Omuhgawd, we’re destroying the planet!”

I guess it’s better to decimate the wildlife that’s on the planet than to kill the planet itself, if you believe all that liberal hogwash.

I, too, am very sceptical of those numbers. Birds may be dumb, but not THAT dumb!

Birds are not the brainiest of creatures. If I recall the news story correctly, a plan for a wind farm near the Texas coast was abandoned partly for the reason that the best wind was found right in a migratory bird route. Not only that, it was frequently overcast and foggy, and birds were not accustomed to having obstacles at the height of the turbines. Mass slaughter during the migration season was feared.

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