Friday, August 19, 2011

If You or I Killed an Eagle...

we'd be doing hard time with bad men.  Unless you're a girl, in which case, well, you know.  But you and I aren't wind farm owners endorsed and loved by the Greenies who think wind power is The Answer.  In California, dead eagles are being swept under the rug (so to speak) in an effort to keep the windmills running.
"The cumulative impacts are huge," said Shawn Smallwood, one of the few recognized experts studying the impact of wind farms 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 supports roughly 2,500 golden eagles. The state's largest wind farms kill, on average, more than 80 eagles per year. But the state is set to triple wind capacity in the coming years as it tries to become the first state in the nation to generate 33 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2020.
I think that by now everyone has heard that the big wind turbines kill lots of birds.  There's even a small industry growing up to provide bird detection radars to wind farms, so that the power can be shut off if birds are approaching.  You have to admire a technology (the radar) whose sole purpose is to make a crappy original system even less efficient.  Wind farms are an expensive, ground-wasting method to produce energy to begin with; now we're going to shut them down if birds are approaching?  And just when are there no birds flying?  As one commenter said here to a posting on green energy, in December of 2010,
BTW, you might like to know that, over the Christmas period, our myriad wind turbines (UK) have produced as much as 1.6% of our electrical energy ... and as little as O%. Sometimes, they actually consume energy as they require internal heating in cold, still, weather. They also are driven, in still weather, to prevent damage to the bearings. Or something.”
And as the picture implies, "One of these days, a turbine's going to fall on someone".  


  1. Wind power for commercial generation is obviously not cost effective at this point, perhaps never will be unless coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium all run out.

    Nonetheless, I have to play devil's advocate here and say that I believe the statistics quoted by the greenies screaming about all the birds killed are as inflated as all the Global Warming statistics were. The greenies just love to make up numbers and throw them around as if they were real, take the two birds killed at a 100 wind machine farm and simply multiply that by the total number of wind machines in existence in this country. Besides, all of those rotors turning _must_ warm the air by several degrees too, don't ya know?
    I think this is a case of Eco-Nazi against Eco-Nazi here.

    Wind remains quite useful for small applications, such as remote installations requiring small amounts of power, remote/off-grid homes, etc. For a small home where it would take more than 100 yards of powerline to reach it, a solar/wind combination (wind often blows when the sun don't shine. Or is that _where_ the sun don't shine? ;-) can be very cost-effective. SMALL SCALE only, though, not the giant machines and large numbers of the wind farms.

  2. To be honest, I just enjoy watching the bird-loving greens fight with the alternate-energy greens. I have no idea if the numbers are right, I just wanna pop some corn and watch the girlie fight.

    Hard to say when I realized the greens were over. They only care about some idyllic version of "nature" which doesn't exist, and would just as soon see 99% of humanity die off. Malaria is nature. Amoebic meningoencephalitis is nature (link is to a story about a girl in our county that dies of it). Guinea worms - you know, the three foot long worms they pull out of someone's veins by rolling them up on a stick? - are nature, too.

    But you're right about small scale use, Reg.

  3. I'm wondering if there's been any figures compiled on the number of birds killed by collision with automobiles and 18 wheelers. I would hazard a guess that a significantly higher number of feathered critters are killed by road vehicles than by wind turbines.

  4. W3, my guess would be the absolute number would be higher, but the population would be smaller birds, not the eagles and other big raptors.

    There's also a lot of problems with birds flying into the glass buildings at night, due to disorientation from lighting and reflections.