Criticism of the wind industry as written by James Delingpole on Breitbart.com:
“What I’ve noticed, whenever this issue arises, is that one of Big Green’s useful idiots will always crop up in the comments section, smugly pointing out that however many birds and bats are killed by wind turbines it’s not nearly as many as the gazillions wiped out by domestic cats or killed by flying into cars or plate glass windows or by other industries.
It’s a criticism which deserves an answer. Three answers, in fact.
1. This is weaselish whataboutery. You might as well say the police should give up devoting such vast resources to solving murders. “After all, it’s not like way, way more people aren’t killed each year in automobile accidents.”
2. The birds killed by wind turbines tend to be rarer and therefore less expendable. This is because wind turbines are often located in uplands where (protected) raptors congregate or on birds’ migratory paths. With bats, the situation is even more precarious. This article by Oxford University ecologist Clive Hambler has the details on birds:
In Australia, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is threatened with global extinction by wind farms. In north America, wind farms are killing tens of thousands of raptors including golden eagles and America’s national bird, the bald eagle. In Spain, the Egyptian vulture is threatened, as too is the Griffon vulture — 400 of which were killed in one year at Navarra alone. Norwegian wind farms kill over ten white-tailed eagles per year and the population of Smøla has been severely impacted by turbines built against the opposition of ornithologists.
Nor are many other avian species safe. In North America, for example, proposed wind farms on the Great Lakes would kill large numbers of migratory songbirds. In the Atlantic, seabirds such as the Manx Shearwater are threatened. Offshore wind farms are just as bad as onshore ones, posing a growing threat to seabirds and migratory birds, and reducing habitat availability for marine birds (such as common scoter and eider ducks).
And on bats:
Bats are what is known as K-selected species: they reproduce very slowly, live a long time and are easy to wipe out. Having evolved with few predators — flying at night helps — bats did very well with this strategy until the modern world. This is why they are so heavily protected by so many conventions and regulations: the biggest threats to their survival are made by us.
And the worst threat of all right now is wind turbines. A recent study in Germany by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research showed that bats killed by German turbines may have come from places 1,000 or more miles away. This would suggest that German turbines — which an earlier study claims kill more than 200,000 bats a year — may be depressing populations across the entire northeastern portion of Europe.
3. It’s all so entirely unnecessary. You can make a case for:
Domestic cats: they make quite pleasant companions. Well, if you like cats they do.
Buildings: yes, I suppose were we all to live in yurts and caves as the greenies might prefer there would definitely be a reduction in the avian death toll. But I think most of us would agree we actually quite like living in solid houses and working in office buildings where the light gets in and you don’t freeze in winter and where you don’t have to go to the toilet in a ditch.
Cars: useful for getting around. Not as handy over hedges as a horse but generally more versatile and easier to maintain.
The fossil fuel and nuclear industries: without them the global economy would grind to a halt.
Trophy hunting of animals like Cecil the Lion: it is an important part of the broader conservation programme that protects Africa’s game populations for the enjoyment of – ahem – future generations.
Killing Finsly the Tiger shark: a price worth paying to protect humans who – face it – are more sentient and deserving than giant swimming dustbins-with-teeth.
But the wind industry is utterly indefensible. If every single one of the world’s 250,000-plus wind turbines were to vanish tomorrow, the only people affected would be the rent-seeking vulture capitalists who profit by them at the public’s expense. There would be no environmental drawbacks for, as has been widely reported, wind turbines’ contribution to CO2-reduction is negligible. Nor would it make any significant difference to the global economy economy (other than to make it a hell of a lot more cheap and efficient).
Here’s why: the charts from the latest BP Energy Review showing more clearly than any words could exactly why the deaths of Stefan the Stork and his millions of feathered friends at the hands of the vile, rapacious, mendacious, bullying and entirely principle-free wind industry are so entirely unnecessary.”
Read the whole article here: https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/17/why-stefan-the-stork-died-in-vain-wind-turbines/
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