Proponents of wind energy deny that birds are killed by the blades of turbines. Worsley’s consultant Rulon Anderson made the following statement on July 16, 2009, when he was defending Worsley’s windmill project:
“"There will be low frequency noise of about 40 to 50 decibels which is about the decibel level in a bedroom," he said. "The low frequency noise will be eliminated when the towers are upwind (of a property). There will also be very few bird kills. In the past, a large number of raptors were killed, but that was with 20-year-old technology."
Fast forward to August 2012, just 3 years later.
"Old wind turbines are to be replaced by much bigger ones, which are reported to kill twice as many eagles per megawatt (5). There will be less of them, but the total area swept by their blades will be much larger. So the carnage of eagles is likely to increase, notwithstanding biased studies pretending fewer birds will die." Conservation Organizations denounce misrepresentations from wind industry
The fact is wind energy is so universally accepted as being a "green, clean, renewable, sustainable" energy source, no one dares to criticize it, least of all politicians, fearful of being labelled green earth haters, and so millions of dollars in Production Tax Credits, guaranteed federal loans, etc, continue pouring into the hands of crony capitalists like Bob Worsley who wish to fulfill their Windfarm dreams.
Even the Fish & Wildlife Service is complicit in supporting BIG WIND, allowing windfarm operators “eagle taking permits” that allows them to destroy eagles that collide with one of these turbines, with no fine whatsoever. .
Here are some unpleasant facts to ponder, from an article written by Craig Rucker and Paul Driessen titled Wind Energy’s Bird and Bat Butchery: Industrial Wind turbine subsidies are driving eagles and other majestic birds to extinction:
"In 2009, the federal government fined ExxonMobil $600,000 for the unintentional deaths of 85 birds in five states during a five-year period.
"Meanwhile, well over 500,000 birds and countless bats are killed annually by wind turbines, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and other experts. The slaughter “could easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our western states, says Save the Eagles International biologist Jim Wiegand….Bald eagles are also being butchered. The two species body count could soon reach 1,000-per-year.
"Yet no fines were levied against wind turbine operators…….Because these are “acceptable deaths” in the name of “clean, renewable” energy, Wind turbine companies are rewarded with generous wind energy production tax credits (PTC), plus additional state and federal financial assistance, without which the industry would not survive.
"Industrial wind energy fails every test for judging sensible, responsible, sustainable energy policies. It requires perpetual subsidies to survive. By taking tax revenues from productive sectors of the economy, to generate expensive, unreliable electricity, it kills two to four jobs for every “green” job created. Turbines harm people’s health and well-being and lower property values of nearby homes.
"Big Wind requires vast land and raw materials for turbines, transmission lines and mostly natural gas-fired backup generators. Mining and processing rare earth metals for turbine magnets devastates agricultural and wildlife habitat areas and severely harms human health in China, where most of the “green” turbine manufacturing jobs are actually created.
"Wind is equally worthless for preventing “dangerous” climate change. Backup fossil fuel generators must run on standby constantly – and full-bore 70-80% of the time, when the wind isn’t blowing at required speeds – emitting carbon dioxide every minute. Manufacturing all the concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and other components of turbine blades, towers and power systems, transmission lines and towers, and backup generators also requires voluminous hydrocarbon fuels and emits gigatons of carbon dioxide.
"The wind industry keeps the publicly acknowledged death toll “acceptable” by having crews: search around turbines that are not operating; search only areas close to turbines, deliberately missing birds that were flung further by the impact or limped off to die elsewhere; search for carcasses only every 2-4 weeks, allowing coyotes, vultures and other scavengers to carry most evidence away; not count disabled or wounded birds and bats; and remove carcasses under “slice, shovel and shut up” guidelines.
"These “deliberately flawed” methodologies are compounded by turbine site security that makes independent investigations almost impossible, adds American Bird Conservancy analyst Kelly Fuller. Amazingly, Fish & Wildlife does not require that even the low-balled raw data be made public, and what little does get released is often further filtered, massaged and manipulated.
"The FWS turns a blind eye to all of this. Now it is going much further.
"It wants to grant “programmatic take” permits, allowing turbine operators to repeatedly, systematically and “inadvertently” injure, maim and kill bald and golden eagles, without fear of penalty – turning what has been outrageously selective (non)enforcement of bird protection laws into a 007 license to kill. While the new rule is “not specifically designed” for the wind industry, it will be by far the biggest beneficiary.
"The FWS says it can do this based on illusory “advanced conservation practices” that are “scientifically supportable” and “represent the best available techniques to reduce eagle disturbance and ongoing mortalities to a level where remaining take is unavoidable and incidental to otherwise lawful activity.” The Service also claims “mitigation” and other “additional” measures may be implemented where necessary to “ensure the preservation” of eagles as a species.
"When it wants to restrict development, the FWS defines species, subspecies or “distinct population segments” for sage grouse and other wildlife – or labels a species “imperiled” in a selected location, even when it is abundant in nearby locations. With eagles, the proposed “take” rules strongly suggest that the Service could easily claim the presence of eagles in some parts of the Lower 48 States or even just Alaska would ensure their “preservation,” even if they are exterminated or driven from numerous habitats.
"Attempts to “mitigate” impacts or establish new population segments will mean imposing extra burdens, restrictions and costs on land owners and users outside of turbine-impact areas. Nor are only eagles affected.
"Endangered whooping cranes are also being “sliced” back to the verge of extinction. Since 2006, installed turbine capacity within the six-state whooping crane flyway has skyrocketed from 3,600 megawatts to 16,000 MW (some 8,000 turbines) – and several hundred tagged and numbered whooping cranes “have turned up missing and are unaccounted for,” says Wiegand.
"Incredibly, another 136,700 MW of new bird Cuisinarts (some 55,000) are planned for these six states! “The whooping cranes will be gone within 5 years,” Wiegand is convinced. “By then there will be so many turbines with so much rotor sweep, it will be impossible for them to survive.”
"How can the American people allow this to happen? And do it for such an expensive, unreliable, harmful and worthless energy source? The crony corporatism and vote buying need to end.
"Voting to extend the PTC, or allow wind turbines in or near important bird habitats and flyways, brings the ultimate extinction of majestic and vital species closer to reality in locations all over the United States."
"According to the company’s specifications for the Aeronautica 47-750, this turbine has 23.5-meter long blades with a tip speed of “62 – 63 m/s at full load”. In plain language, this is an optimal speed of 223-226 km/h: 63 meters per second x 60 seconds = 3780 meters per minute x 60 minutes = 226,800 meters per hour, ie 226 km/h."
GILBERT WATCH NOTE: That’s a 2-ton blade coming at you at 140 miles per hour.
"Says Mark Duchamp, who speaks for both WCFN and STEI: “Brian Kuhn, spokesman for Associated Wind Developers, was spreading misinformation when he said “the turbine’s propellers move too slowly for birds to crash into them” (1). Kuhn also pretends that birds crash (stupidly) into wind turbines, whereas the truth is that they get whacked by blades coming from above their heads, or under their bellies, at 226 km/h. Clearly, the blades do the killing. “Birds crashing into wind turbines” is a wording frequently used by agents of the wind industry and, like the term “wind farm”, has been carefully crafted to project a misleading image of harmlessness for the industry.”
“The number of wind turbines throughout the world, if the industry has its way, will be multiplied by 10-20 times. Wind turbines will be omnipresent. Hundreds of thousands of kilometers of new high-tension lines will be built just for them. These are as deadly to birds as are the windfarms themselves, especially to large birds like eagles, geese, cranes etc. There won’t be any safe place for bird life. Many bird and bat species will become extinct as a result, with unfathomed consequences for the conservation of the natural world as we know it, and things that depend on it like our agriculture.”