A trail of dead eagles

The Associated Press says “clean energy” is doing a number on eagles:

The AP story suggests lobbyists for green energy have taken a page out of traditional energy lobbying and succeeded in getting public officials to look the other way.

  • jon

    Sometimes I feel like the media struggles with math.

    Birds die from windmills.

    estimates I see say something to the tune of 10-40 thousand a year.

    Of course clean windows and other manmade structures also kill a larger number of birds. As do cats.

    Now no one has suggested outlawing windex (except for those crows in the windex commercials) because clean windows lead to bird deaths.

    it strikes me as similar to the mass shooting outrage that we had recently… with the banning of guns etc. the odds of being involved in a mass shooting are astronomically low. You are much more likely to die falling down the staircase in your house… but there is no outrage around staircases…

    Facts and numbers seem to not always live up to the sensationalism needed to push a story, so they are ignored. Or emphasized in a way to push an agenda…

    p.s. I’m at work and unable to watch the video, apologies if this is all discussed there.

  • Tyler

    I’m also at work and unable to view Youtube. Can someone tell me what the username is of the person that posted the video? And who the lobbying group is behind them?

    Aw shucks, that was cynical.

  • KTN

    What a load of propaganda.

    Is the question zero bird deaths, and if a bird is killed, who gets prosecuted.

    When Altamont was developed, they used the best information at the time, and now with 20/20 hindsight, it appears they might have chosen a different site, with different turbines.

    The trouble is, where the wind blows also blow bird migration routes. How to mitigate that dilemma. More accurate site planning, smaller farms, slower spinning blades all contribute to a much more bird (and bat) friendly technology.

  • Bob Collins

    The math is irrelevant because the number is irrelevant.

    Wind farms, apparently, have a five year permit to kill eagles accidentally. The industry is pushing to increase that to 30.

    But it really doesn’t matter since no wind farm has ever been prosecuted for killing eagles accidentally, while the oil industry has been prosecuted for accidentally killing eagles.

    So I guess the question becomes what’s the point of having a law at all? Just get rid of it.

  • KTN

    Altamont has a five eagle accidental death policy, but not every wind farm in the country has the same thing. you have to have eagles in the vicinity I guess.

    BP was egregious and culpable with their Gulf oil spill, and they should have been prosecuted. Remember when they claimed the oil coming from the broken well was just a trickle, or when they fought efforts to clean the aftermath.

    Zero bird deaths is not a viable option, unless of course you eliminate all turbines. Better they acknowledge the reality that the Altamont turbines are lethal to birds, than cover it up and have the DOJ come to your door.

  • Robert Moffitt

    There is not a single source of electrical power or transportation fuel that does not come with negatives. Wind-generated electricity is no exception.

    The American Bird Conservancy is here to protect birds, and that’s great. On their website, they offer some ideas on how to make wind turbines more bird-friendly. But there are critics of renewable power who will use this report like a blunt weapon to make sure nothing moves forward…except the status quo.

    The ABC website also said as many as 1 billion birds die from building strikes. That gives it a little more context. My wife used to work as a volunteer at the U of M wildlife rehab center. Most of their raptors were injured by cars — something that happens to birds that like to eat road kill and/or hunt near roads and highways.

    Why does the wind energy get a pass on dead eagles? Perhaps its because unlike the oil, coal and gas industry, they are upstart companies trying to break into the power business.

    We need to do all we can to protect our air and the birds that fly in them. But in the meanwhile, some feathers may fly.

  • Tyler

    We need to do all we can to protect our air and the birds that fly in them. But in the meanwhile, some feathers may fly.

    Bah ha ha! Robert, you win!

  • Bob Collins

    Again the issue raised wasn’t who kills the most birds. It was whether existing statutes should be applied to clean energy as to dirty energy.

  • Xopher

    How will global climate change affect bird populations? Maybe we kill a few over the next 100 years to save many over the following 200 years.