Tony Aardvark. Debunking commonly held myths

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    [ A white-tailed golden eagle killed by a wind turbine in Norway. ]

    How Long Before the Golden Eagle Goes Extinct Because of Wind Turbines?

    The wind turbine symbol of all that is good, renewable, green and politically correct is in reality an environmental holocaust for countries, such as China, that manufacture wind turbine parts, a subsidised failure at reliable electricity generation globally, they blight the lives of people forced to live within their shadow and they kill birds in huge numbers.

    The wind turbine symbol of all that is good, renewable, green and politically correct is in reality an environmental holocaust for countries, such as China, that manufacture wind turbine parts, a subsidised failure at reliable electricity generation globally, they blight the lives of people forced to live within their shadow and they kill birds in huge numbers.

    Yesterday Aardvark blogged about the desecration of the D Day beaches by bird choppers and finished the post with, “Now if the area around the Normandy beaches were home to a threatened species of aquatic fruit bat then every NGO from Greenpeace to the WWF would be up in arms.” Unfortunately, it seems that Aardvark was wrong because wind turbines are, in fact, one of the most sacred icons in the political church of climatology: “As California attempts to divorce itself from fossil-fueled electricity, it may be trading one environmental sin for another — although you don’t hear state officials admitting it.”

    Wind power is the fastest growing component in the United States’ green energy portfolio, but wildlife advocates say that many proponents for the wind turbines are overlooking a detrimental consequence–dead birds, including many protected species of eagles, hawks and owls.

    “The cumulative impacts are huge,” said Shawn Smallwood, one of only a handful of recognized experts who study the impact wind farms have on migratory birds. “It is not inconceivable to me that we could reduce golden eagle populations by a great deal, if not wipe them out.”

    California is home to roughly 2,500 golden eagles. The state’s largest wind farms kill, on average, more than 80 eagles each year. California is set to triple the number of wind farms in the coming years as it continues in its attempt to become the first state in the nation to generate one-third of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2020.

    “We would like to have no bird deaths and no bird injuries. But, once again, we have to balance all the needs of society,” said Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County planning commissioner. “All the people who want to flip their switch and have electricity in their homes.”

    Kern County officials have identified nearly 225,000 acres north of Los Angeles as a prime wind resource area. Unfortunately, the area’s rolling hills and mountains are also prime hunting grounds for raptors and also a common pit stop for migratory birds traveling between Canada and Mexico. The updrafts enjoyed by birds of prey are ideal for generating wind power.

    Balancing the needs of society against something eco, green and fluffy, but only when Climate Religion is being blindly followed. Imagine the uproar and fuss environmentalists would make if it were “Big Oil” or fracking responsible for changes to that much landscape.

     

    “Politics plays a huge role here,” Smallwood said. “Our leaders want this power source so they’re giving, for the time being, a pass to the wind industry. If you or I killed an eagle, we’re looking at major consequences.”

    Smallwood and other experts say it is almost inconceivable the United States Fish and Wildlife Service hasn’t stepped in, since it is the entity that enforces the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

     

    “There’s a big, big hypocrisy here,” Sue Hammer of Tehachapi Wildlife Rehab in Kern County said. “If I shoot an eagle, it’s a $10,000 fine and/or a vacation of one to five years in a federal pen of my choice.”

     

    Her point is not far off from the truth.

    In 2009, Exxon pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of about 85 migratory birds in five states that came into contact with uncovered waste tanks filled with crude oil. Exxon was penalized with a fine for $600,000.

    Similarly, PacifiCorp, an Oregon utility, was ordered to pay $10.5 million in fines, restitution and improvements to their equipment after 232 eagles were killed by colliding with power lines in Wyoming.

    In 2005, the owner of a fish hatchery was ordered to serve six months in a federal halfway house and to pay a $65,000 fine for shooting an eagle that was feeding at his uncovered fish hatchery.

    Wind power in the United States generates 41,400 megawatts of electricity. California represents just a fraction of that total, which suggests that the number of raptor kills is considerably higher nationwide. Shockingly, according to records, USFWS has not prosecuted a single company for violating one of the many statutes protecting threatened and endangered birds.

    As a prophet for the church of climatology, Al Gore forbid that there should ever be anything negative published about the planet-saving bird chopper. Prosecuting a company that distributes electricity and has birds fly in to its power lines is certainly frowned upon, and instead should be swept under the rug to avoid the acknowledgment of any violations made by a church of climatology-approved energy generation facility. Hypocrisy has always been the cornerstone of Al Gore’s religion where the rest of us lesser-beings are told how to live our lives by the self-appointed guardians of the planet. The mantra we are supposed to follow is “Do as I say, not as I do.”

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