Developing alternate sources of energy was supposed to help the environment. Now that wind energy is a viable business it’s a threat to the environment? The LA Times reports:
Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.
So far, no wind-energy company has been prosecuted by federal wildlife authorities in connection with the death of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. A prosecution in the Pine Tree case could cause some rethinking and redesigning of this booming alternative energy source. Facilities elsewhere also have been under scrutiny, according to a federal official familiar with the investigations…
The eagles — and plenty of smaller birds — get killed flying through the windturbine blades.
Does anyone remember Norman Spinrad’s “Holy War on 34th Street” about a brawl between the competing sects’ street evangelists? Maybe this news article will inspire Spinrad to write a sequel that ends with a standoff between the Department of Energy SWAT Team and the Wildlife Service.
Another report on the subject, courtesy of the Daily Show:
I do not doubt the news reports that windmills kill birds, but it would have to be a very un-agile or slow-witted bird to get struck by one of the rotating blades. Windmills operate at about 10-15 RPM, which leaves somewhere around 3-5 seconds between times when windmill blades pass through the same space. And windmills are typically located no closer than about 1,000 feet from each other. Maybe there’s a vortex created by the rotating blades, but that would be a rather inefficient design to waste so much energy creating a swirling wind near the blades.
While we’re shutting down our wind generators, we had better tear up the nation’s highways as well. Precious porcupines, armadillos and all sorts of small animals are killed every day when crossing the black top. I’m afraid dams had better be demolished as well. Also railroads, airports, and cities in general. Farms are scarcelly any kinder to the environment. When you come right down to it, the human race is deleterious to the health of Planet Earth, and the sooner we rid ourselves of us, the better.
Seriously, aren’t there supposed to be noisemakers that can be built into rotor tips that warn birds of their presence? And what about small lights, run off the power being generated? I just don’t see this as a major problem.