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Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Right Claims Wind Power Will Cause the Extinction of Birds

Posted by on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 8:28 AM

From a Washington Times op-ed called "Wind-energy tax credits fund bird murder":

Every vote to extend the production tax credit — or to approve wind turbines in or near important bird habitats and flyways — is a vote for the ultimate extinction of majestic and vital avian species in habitats all over the United States. No member of Congress should want that on his conscience.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. Media Matters:

But according to the National Research Council, wind turbines account for less than 0.003% of bird deaths caused by human activities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service estimates that wind turbines kill 150,000 - 200,000 birds annually. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of birds are killed every year by collisions with buildings, cars, and power lines. And many more are killed by oilfield production pits and coal mining, which has destroyed numerous bird habitats.

What's really going on:

The production tax credit has spurred enormous growth in the wind industry and has enabled wind power to be competitive with natural gas. But despite its success, Congress has repeatedly allowed it to lapse, halting the wind industry's progress in the U.S.

Four of the five largest corporations in the world are in what industry? Another world is really possible.

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Comments (31) RSS

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seatackled 1
But don't they want the extinction of birds?
Posted by seatackled on August 9, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
rob! 2
And at least 5 large chains in the fatty-food industry (plus Papa John's, as mentioned this morning) with right-wing ties will cause the premature demise of millions of people, yet they're not drumming on pizza boxes and clamshell takeout containers to alert the citizenry. Huh.

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/24/right_wi…
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on August 9, 2012 at 9:01 AM · Report this
rob! 3
The URL @2 above is a print link and behaves badly. Use this instead:

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/24/right_wi…

Also:

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/0…
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on August 9, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
Such bogus corporate bullshit. They are finally getting around to admitting human caused climate change is real because people saw their real motives were money. Now they think we're stupid enough to fall for this nonsense, too?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 9, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Fnarf 5
Your fucking outdoor cats kill far more birds than wind turbines.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on August 9, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 6
Stop trying to oppose their knee-jerk, emotionally-charged blathering with the facts.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 7
@5: I will have you know that my fucking of outdoor cats has killed absolutely no birds to date.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on August 9, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
8
What the... who wrote this article again? No, it can't be! I refuse to believe it!
Posted by madcap on August 9, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 9
Are these the same people who deny climate change? Yeah, I reeeeeeaaalllly believe they care about birds.

I can imagine windmills being a threat to endangered species, and it's a concern worth addressing. But any rightie claiming concern when wonton destruction and disregard for the environment is always the rule is evidence that they fear wind power and want to stop it in its tracks. Typical.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 9, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
10
Maybe they'd be happy if we just put a deep fryer at the base of each windmill.
Posted by dirge on August 9, 2012 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Vancouverite 11
And CATS!!! Stupid cat owners who let their stupid cats outside to feast on songbirds (just put a bell on your cat if it has to be outside) are bird murderers.
Posted by Vancouverite on August 9, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
12
Damned bleeding hearts trying to make us care about lesser species when there are JOBS on the line! Nice try!
Posted by Pope Buck I on August 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
13
(That felt strangely empowering. Am I being seduced by the Dark Side?)
Posted by Pope Buck I on August 9, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Pick1 14
This has to be one of the most pointless and stupid arguments ever.

People on the left will look at that and say "I wonder what the actual statistics are." as was done here. The right will look at the statement and say "Fuck those hippy-ass conservationists! What are they thinking?!"

Where does the win from this statement come from?
Posted by Pick1 on August 9, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
onion 15
that recent study with the cameras attached to cats found that only 30% of the cats actually killed anything during the study.
granted, that 30% could do a lot of damage. however, some owners who are claiming that their cats don't generally kill things really just might be right.
Posted by onion on August 9, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 16
@ 5/11, you could, you know, make a case for this instead of being all "FUCKING CATS FUCK FUCK FUCK." You know, if you care at all about making a difference.

If you're just venting your spleen and don't really give a shit for the birds, then carry on.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
onion 17
and don't forget how many birds your precious cell phone towers kill so that you call can make your phone calls (those long invisible cables that hold them up? dead birds pile up underneath them). and then there's your skyscrapers. and your windows. and your cars. and your crappy lawn that provides 0 good bird habitat. and the habitat destruction that growing your food and fuel causes, or then there's your nice new home in your nice new subdivision.
but hey, pile up on the cat owners, that's an easier target.

i agree cats do damage, but the same people laughing off the effect of wind turbines but bitching about cats should take a look at the other elements in their lives that kill birds. step one: do you have a lawn? yes? that you have immediate control of. tear it up. now. plant other shit that birds like.
Posted by onion on August 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 18
You know what else? Windows. I say we outlaw windows.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on August 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
rob! 19
@9, wontons are fatty foods too, and I'm all in favor of helping destroy them.

@17 & 18, you'll like this, which came out yesterday. Parts I & II.

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/08/157657499/…

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/09/157792377/…
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on August 9, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
20
@15, here:
While only 30% of roaming house cats kill prey — two animals a week on average — they are still slaying more wildlife than previously believed, according to research from the University of Georgia.

Wildlife advocates say it is a frightening level of feline foul play. Based on a U.S. house-cat population of 74 million, "cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American birds species are in decline," says George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/stor…
Posted by gloomy gus on August 9, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Ziggity 21
First there were birthers . . . now they're birders?
Posted by Ziggity on August 9, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
22
I hate windmills! They have ruined the landscape all over eastern/southern Washington. My favorite places to travel are transformed by ugliness—I'm glad I took lots of photos before the landscape was transformed into miles of white crosses. Flying over fields of windmills is like looking down at an endless graveyard. So depressing, so ugly, so poorly planned. Now they kill birds, too? Get rid of them!
Posted by mitten on August 9, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
tunanator 23
"But despite its success, Congress has repeatedly allowed it to lapse, halting the wind industry's progress in the U.S."

The same thing has been done to solar energy repeatedly. A little help (eg tax credits) is soon followed by the rug getting pulled.

Which almost always results in a failure for alt-energy. It has happened so often there's no question its part of a strategy to prove that alt-energy isn't viable. Despite big successes, e.g., in California that have generated big power for a quarter-century.
Posted by tunanator on August 9, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Hernandez 24
@15 That makes sense. Mine are outside in the backyard on occasion and have yet to kill anything. They don't even kill insects when they're inside, which has been somewhat disappointing.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on August 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
tunanator 25
@22 All your flying and travelling is adding to your carbon footprint, which along with your consumption patterns (repeated by hundreds of millions) is destroying the health of the planet. Your behavior is depressing. Get rid of it!

As for dead birds, the birds killed by smog from coal plants and radiation from nuclear plants don't pile up around the plants. But their deaths for a century have been just as real, rest assured.
Posted by tunanator on August 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 26
More birds die from coal each and every day.

Coal is murder.

Literally.

(caveat - I have owned and have participated in coal and other energy IPOs, partnerships, options, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, and still do)
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 9, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 27
@10 for the win.

@25 is correct. Your major impacts are flying (use a 787 at half the fuel, or a turboprop at even less) and driving.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 9, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 28
@22: windmills and hydro dams or nuclear waste, destroyed ozone layer, undrinkable water tables, and rising sea levels.

that's the choice.
Posted by Max Solomon on August 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 29
You know what I love about cats? They're like little Dexters, roaming around killing things just because they can.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on August 9, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
30
@25 Please. "All my flying and traveling" is maybe two airplane rides a year and, yes, a shit-ton of weekends enjoying the Northwest. I live in a LEED certified green-built home. I never buy shit. I shop at Mad Market and Goodwill. I eat meat maybe once a month. I don't drive and I ride a bike. I'm as bleeding-heart liberal as they come and I still hate windmills.

And fyi, nothing is more tiresome than holier-than-though types judging other people for their carbon footprints. My "consumption pattern" is practically zero. All the good shit I do for the environment and now I can't even visit my family in an airplane or drive around my home state? Get real and get off your cross.
Posted by mitten on August 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
venomlash 31
@29: They only kill intentionally if they're hungry. The rest of the time, they kill stuff by accidentally playing with them a little too roughly.
Posted by venomlash on August 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this

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