Somehow I missed this when it came out a few days ago. From The Daily Caller:
Writing in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Robert Bryce described the toll that the nation’s burgeoning wind farms have taken on endangered birds. At one site alone — Altamont in Alameda County,California— 2,400 raptors, including 70 golden eagles, have been killed by the giant whirling blades. In 2009 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the national death toll from wind turbines at 440,000 birds that year alone.
That seems like a lot of birds, particularly for those of us in thePacific Northwest, where a once-vibrant timber economy has been devastated in a failing effort to save the spotted owl. Of course, we’re losing a lot of birds to wind farms as well. One 2010 estimate put the annual death toll in Oregon and Washington at 6,500 birds and 3,000 bats, but that seems low if the Fish and Wildlife estimate is correct.
But whatever the number, there is no controversy that birds, including birds listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, are being killed in significant numbers by the wind turbines. Though there is concern among environmentalists and government officials alike, thus far these bird kills have been accepted as a cost of advancing alternative energy.
I’ve got to imagine that, for an unemployed logger in rural Oregonor the owner of a shuttered lumber bill, there is something not quite right about this picture.
As I mentioned previously, shutting down millions of acres of forest land in the Pacific Northwest was the intent all along, “protecting” the spotted owl was simply the catalyst. It was all because of the progressive environmental religious belief that humans are a parasite on the planet, and any impact they have on nature is harmful.
The proof is in the pudding. The main reason the spotted owl is in decline is competition from another owl, not logging. So not only did a ban on logging in protected areas not stop the decline of the spotted owl, but –much to the chagrin of the environmental groups- loggers have since been called upon to log some areas to help the bird. Meanwhile, we do have a known killer of all species of endangered birds, and yet? Environmental groups are silent on the issue:
“So this is the picture: On the one hand we have an uneconomic wind energy industry being promoted and heavily subsidized by the government with the full knowledge that it is killing thousands of endangered birds and hundreds of thousands of other flying critters. On the other hand we have a moribund timber industry shut down by government in a failing effort to save a few hundred spotted owls. And because the spotted owl continues to decline in numbers despite the millions of acres of forest set aside as owl habitat, the government now plans to shoot hundreds of barred owls that compete with the spotted owl. (Barred owls also interbreed with spotted owls, but never mind what that might imply for the spotted owl’s status as an endangered species.)
Will we suddenly have dirty hippies camping out on top of windmills, shutting them down? Will environmentalists chain themselves to construction equipment, preventing the building of new windmills? Of course not.