Washington passes wind

Reader Richard Lyman submits this story from AP and the “What we all knew but Washington would never admit because it stinks to high heaven department“.

It is about how certain green interests get a pass on Endangered Species Act laws everyone else would get prosecuted on, but these greens get a pass based solely on their ideology. No, we aren’t talking about the recent IRS scandal where conservative groups are targeted, though it bears a striking resemblance to that story.

CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. (AP) — It happens about once a month here, on the barren foothills of one of America’s green-energy boomtowns: A soaring golden eagle slams into a wind farm’s spinning turbine and falls, mangled and lifeless, to the ground.

Killing these iconic birds is not just an irreplaceable loss for a vulnerable species. It’s also a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines.

But the administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind-energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly. Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret.

Source: http://entertainment.verizon.com/news/read.php?id=19636464&ps=1018&srce=news_class&action=1&lang=en&_LT=UNLC_NKNWU00L1_UNEWS

Richard opines:

It is fascinating how the fossil fuel based industries are held financially accountable for bird deaths (even from electrocutions!) but wind farms get a free pass. It would appear that if standards were applied evenly across the board, the fines to wind powered electricity generating facilities for bird slaughter would exceed the subsidies they receive for construction and operation.

It could really be a win/win for the government:  a mechanism for perpetual funding. As a small town elected official, I am amazed that none of our Washington bureaucrats have seized upon this golden opportunity. Of course, the Audubon Society may take a different view.

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53 thoughts on “Washington passes wind

  1. Broadly speaking, there are two types of environmental groups.

    1. Those who value nature, habitat, animals, views, mountains, etc. — call them conservationists.
    2. Big Money environmentalists, whose interests are mostly pollution, and especially climate change. The Sierra Club was already very well endowed with $, even before Aubrey McClendon (then CEO of Chesapeake Energy) gave then $25 million for their campaign to end coal use.

    Wind energy is backed by the second type of environmental group. The environmentalist groups with lots of money for politics has just bested the the environmental groups with far less money for politics and politicians.

    That is how we came to a place where in the name of saving the planet (from climate change) we kill off wildlife — eagles and raptors in this case, California Condors in an earlier post (these are the rarest birds in the US), and perhaps even the iconic Whooping Cranes, who after 70 years of attempts to bring them back, still number less than 300 in the wild.

    The Endangered Species Act? The environmental community really DOES care about the act, and the animals whose numbers are preserved, except when they don’t, when the monied environmentalists run roughshod over the conservation minded environmentalists. The Sierra Club has blood on its greedy hands.

  2. Mining companies with heap-leach cyanide ponds have been hit with huge fines for decades when a duck lands in a pond and dies. The expenses they’ve endured have been astounding, and I’ve seen here in northern Nevada what lengths they’ve had to go to avoid being fined.

    Why are wind farms any different?

  3. Here in Canada Syncrude in Alberta agreed to pay $3 million in penalties after 1,600 ducks died on one of its tailings ponds during a storm a few years ago.
    We lost a few ducks (thousands of which are shot by hunters every weekend) and by the press coverage this received, you’d think they were on the verge of extinction!

  4. For those who do not recognize Aubrey McClendon and Chesapeake: They are heavily invested in natural gas.

  5. As Gov. Christie was interviewed on the rebuilt Boardwalk the commentator remarked how he is now a GW believer. Yet the Boardwalk was rebuilt, as though Sandy were a hundred year storm. And the moderator, et al, see no irony in this. It is a confession of orthodoxy of a meaningless tenet–I’m OK, you’re OK. A confession of guilt, of original sin, which leads to absolution from all sin thereafter. A get out of jail free card. –AGF

  6. You would think that the National Audubon Society would be screaming bloody murder about this. But no, instead, they play the numbers game, pointing out that:

    Feral and domestic cats
    kill
    Hundreds of millions

    Power lines
    kill
    130 million — 174 million

    Windows (residential and commercial)
    kill
    100 million — 1 billion

    Pesticides
    kill
    70 million

    Automobiles
    kill
    60 million — 80 million

    Lighted communication towers
    kill
    40 million — 50 million

    While wind turbines
    only kill
    10,000 — 40,000

    Of course, they are fully onboard with the Climatist ideology, so think wind turbines are super.

  7. Audubon is REALLY out of touch if they think that only 10 to 40 K birds are killed by wind turbines.

    Their fellow environmentalists — this is a direct quote from the AP article we are commenting on here — say this:

    “More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.”

    Perhaps Audubon, even though one of the less monied conservation groups, is in the bag as well.

  8. Had to double-check,as I thought this was about the USSR surpressing info.Oh wait.It’s the USSA.
    Have all laws been thrown out by B.Hussein? And windmills and solar panels are non-polluting? WOW. I really what to know the processes to make them,and what materials they are using.

  9. I’d love to see the Feral or Domestic cat which can take on a bird of Prey such as Bald Eagle or better yet, a Golden Eagle!

  10. The inefficiency of windmills as reliable mass power source seems to be offset by their effectiveness as an environmental hazard.

  11. RE:Bruce Cobb says:
    May 14, 2013 at 8:38 am

    The National Audubon Society should be ashamed of itself for playing that numbers game.

    How many golden eagles do feral cats eat? Likely it is the other way around: The eagles eat the cats.

    The members of that society need to remove the leaders, and do it fast.

  12. The wind farm developers, construction companies, and operators, are all subject to the National Environmental Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Eagle Protection Acts, and Endangered Species Act. These laws require environmental assessments of projects, eagle protection plans that should both specify periods when construction is prohibited and require “take permits” that allow specified and limited killing or injuring of protected birds and mammals such as protected bat species. Moreover, violations are punishable both civilly and criminally.

    I believe that DOI, BLM, US Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, and DOJ, all of whom have enforcement responsibility, are deliberately failing to enforce these laws against parties who build and operate wind farms and individual turbines. This malfeasance is inexcusable. If “green energy” producers are exempted by administrative fiat, these laws should be repealed. Selective enforcement denies equal protection under the law to those against whom the laws are strictly enforced.

    This is another case in which Obama and his minions are above laws that can prevent his futile and useless energy programs from being implemented. Outrageous.

  13. The question is not whether wind or oil services kill birds – or even people. Sh*t happens when you do stuff. The question is whether we handle the situation appropriately – not really even equally.

    Avoidable collateral damange is what we want to penalize. Waste pits for oil projects like the tarsands are treated as avoidable hazards with good management; bird deaths in them result in fines. Deaths from nighttime flights into tankage lighted for safety purposes are not due to an avoidable hazard, and so do not result in fines.

    We may not like bird choppers, but we also don’t like other aspects of our human lifestyle without banishing the whole she-bang. Except for the Erhlichs of the world, that is.

    Once a non-bird-chopper wind turbine is in the field, the Audubon Society will be all over the wind industry. Until then their limited though annoying power is better focused on areas of avoidable hazards.

  14. I think once the influential environmentalists/MSM get a wind of this you can kiss goodbye to wind farms

  15. You would think that the National Audubon Society would be screaming bloody murder about this. But no, instead, they play the numbers game, pointing out that: …
    I would like to see a species breakdown for each cause. I seriously doubt that cats and windows are serious threats to raptors, especially eagle-sized raptors.

  16. I like to hope that there’s someone, somewhere, counting all the turbine kills the authorities don’t want to mention – a birdy forum somewhere, perhaps, with members who also write frequent, publishable letters to their local papers. Let honesty and openness prevail.

    Mind you, for the verminous city pigeons around here, I’d happily put up a turbine myself and try for the record.

  17. I submitted the same article, glad to see it up. I am guessing Richard beat me in submitting it. My question was:
    If during WWI an interruptor could be put on machine guns so that bullets could be fired through a propeller, why can’t a phase matching mechanism be placed on wind turbines to allow large birds to pass through? I know that putting a hard brake on a wind turbine is bad for all sorts of internals, but how about monitoring the bird flight, and matching the turbine so that the birds pass through the gaps between blades? This wouldn’t be the same as bring the entire system to a halt. In addition to phase matching the blade might need to slow down to reduce turbulence, but a soft brake once per month at a farm probably wouldn’t harm the overall farm.
    At the end of the (very long) article Duke outlines steps they are taking to reduce the number of kills. While those steps work for eagles, not all would matter for migratory birds (cranes mentioned a day or two ago).

  18. Duster said, “ I seriously doubt that cats and windows are serious threats to raptors, especially eagle-sized raptors.

    Here in Georgia, we have hawks all over the place. It is fascinating to see them flying high, circling while looking for food. It is impressive to see a hawk making his diving flight through thick pine trees to grab the unsuspecting mouse that will become the hawk’s lunch. My point is that hawks just don’t fly into power lines, windows, get eaten by cats, etc. I suspect that eagles are much the same.

    The problem is that windmill blades are constantly moving, and for some reason the eagle is not able to compensate for these hazards during their flight. Heck, power lines are resting platforms for smaller birds, and predators like hawks and eagles hang around those sites for potential meals.

  19. Leo Morgan,

    Yes, the US has a writ of mandamus.

    However, the courts have also declared prosecutorial discretion to be absolute. There is no mechanism by which a decision to or not to prosecute a particular potential crime can be reviewed.

  20. Chad,
    “If during WWI an interruptor could be put on machine guns so that bullets could be fired through a propeller, why can’t a phase matching mechanism be placed on wind turbines to allow large birds to pass through?”

    Even if this were possible, it might not be enough to prevent bird kills. There is evidence at least with bats that as many of 90% of bat kills at wind farms are the result of decompression injuries caused by passing through the low pressure zone in the wake of the blades rather than physical contact. I wouldn’t think birds, even large birds like raptors would fare much better than the bats against the sudden change in pressure.

    http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982208007513

  21. This kind of blatant hypocrisy, tells us we have no rule of law.
    Civilization teeters on the brink of chaos.
    If that sounds extreme, think further.
    Law and civil society functions on trust.
    We trust that the law applies equally to all.
    Modern politics, has slipped away from ethical behaviour toward the end justifies all means.
    So the rules become flexible depending upon your status.
    Trust in the process of government become a liability, when the caprice of our elected and appointed royalty becomes supreme.
    This regression of society is the actions of fools, if you abuse the authority vested in your public position, why would you expect to escape abuse as the wheel turns?
    Our governments are actively destroying society.
    The environmental agencies are running amuck,there is no defence for the private citizen under these laws and the abuses by our minions are legion.
    Environment Canada, hazardous spills act is a classic, no defined toxic substances, no defined toxic concentration(dilution factor), and punishment is at the whim of the agent.
    The dead ducks of Syncrude contrasted with the dead raptors of Pincer Creek, tells a taxpayer all they need to know about the impartiality of these agents.
    Selective enforcement equals no law.

  22. @ MattS

    Thank you for that.
    Your advice made me feel sick, since iit seems to be a denial of equal justice before the law.
    Researching more information, I see that Oyler v. Boles refers to ‘reasonable’ selectivity.
    Might it be possible to request a writ on the grounds of unreasnable selectivity?
    Still, such an action wold probably fail on the grounds that no one has any standing to sue on environmenal issues. Or am I wrong?

  23. FYI, here’s a part of a report on bird and bat kills at Ontario’s Wolfe Island wind farm.

    The 2010 Bird and Bat report commissioned by Transalta, a component of the Post Construction Follow-up Plan (PCFP), states that over the first six months of operation bird mortality due to blade strike was 602 birds of which 13 were raptors. That reflects 6.99 birds per turbine over six months (almost 14 strikes per turbine per year). The industry standard for comparable wind facilities is generally 2 bird strikes per turbine per year. Over 1270 bats were killed in the same six-month period. The development is in a globally and continentally significant Important Bird Area.

    Based on Wolfe Island experience the number of turbines required to match oil sands energy output is 191,199. This would lead to 2,676,781 projected bird kills and 5.6 million bats would meet their maker!

    Environmentalists should be rooting for oil sands development – if this really had anything at all to do with their love for birds and bats!

  24. Chad says:
    May 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I submitted the same article, glad to see it up. I am guessing Richard beat me in submitting it. My question was:
    If during WWI an interruptor could be put on machine guns so that bullets could be fired through a propeller, why can’t a phase matching mechanism be placed on wind turbines to allow large birds to pass through? I know that putting a hard brake on a wind turbine is bad for all sorts of internals, but how about monitoring the bird flight, and matching the turbine so that the birds pass through the gaps between blades? This wouldn’t be the same as bring the entire system to a halt. In addition to phase matching the blade might need to slow down to reduce turbulence, but a soft brake once per month at a farm probably wouldn’t harm the overall farm.
    At the end of the (very long) article Duke outlines steps they are taking to reduce the number of kills. While those steps work for eagles, not all would matter for migratory birds (cranes mentioned a day or two ago).
    ******************************************************************************************************
    Chad, the real problem is not just one of flying through the turbine. If you watch the videos of windmill meets raptor you will see that the raptors are very often attracted to the vortices created by the blades and will pass and swoop through and round the blades over and over again until the sickening moment of contact.
    Slowing or stopping the blades in most case will not work unless it is a permanent stoppage.
    The only good windmill is a broken windmill.

    Steve T

  25. Bruce Cobb–
    One big difference the Audubon people really ought to take into account: Cats, power lines, windows, pesticides, automobiles, and lighted communication towers all serve some useful function.

  26. Eliza says:
    May 14, 2013 at 9:25 am
    I think once the influential environmentalists/MSM get a wind of this you can kiss goodbye to wind farms
    You do not imagine that the LSM and influential environmentalists do not know what is happening…
    It is simply double standards, and it is not PC to go now after wind farms. You see how they try to minimize it – see the above post from Bruce?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/14/washington-passes-wind/#comment-1305070

    Of course this logic is not valid for Exxon where birds are valued in their weight in silver:

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2009/08/21/how-much-is-a-birds-life-worth-part-1/

    This is “normal” windmills operation and is accepted as such. And normal LSM and influential environmentalists hypocrisy. They do not even talk about finding a solution to it, or have you seen such?

  27. Leo Morgan,

    “Might it be possible to request a writ on the grounds of unreasnable selectivity?”

    I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that the answer is no. The courts may invalidate a law that is selectively prosecuted, but the decision to prosecute or not prosecute specific cases is non-justicable.

  28. May 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I submitted the same article, glad to see it up. I am guessing Richard beat me in submitting it. My question was:
    If during WWI an interruptor could be put on machine guns so that bullets could be fired through a propeller, why can’t a phase matching mechanism be placed on wind turbines to allow large birds to pass through?
    *****************************************
    because the flight and sizes of the bird is not constant nor controlled.
    gun fire, projectile size and prop rpm was.

  29. Eliza – 9.25
    Don’t hold your breath waiting for the MSM.
    An impressive number of links between the US administration and the so called progressive media, CNN, ABC etc., was published at the Suyt’s Space blog on 12 May 2013.
    No wonder Obama gets such an easy time of it even though he seems to have lots of tricky problems.

  30. The problem here is the design of wind turbines. The blades are too far apart and their tips move too fast. A tall relatively low-diameter multi-blade turbine rotating about a vertical axis would be very visible to birds (and bats) at all times. It would presumably be less efficient, but the whole wind energy business is so inefficient I can’t see why that would be an overriding issue. The way forward is to make the current design illegal, remove all existing turbines, and then put up the new design in a free competitive market. If they find a way of making it truly efficient, or if they find enough people who would freely prefer to pay that much more for their electricity, then they have a winner.

  31. Leo Morgan,

    One little ray of hope for you; in the U.S., county prosecutors are elected officials.

    ***************************************************************

    FYI (I did NO legal research on the case law, just giving you the bare text of ESA of 1973)
    RE: ESA – Private Civil Suit – v. a v. Windmills Killing Birds

    “(g) CITIZEN SUITS.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection any person may commence a civil suit on his own behalf—

    (A) to enjoin any person, including the United States and any other governmental instrumentality or agency (to the extent permitted by the eleventh amendment to the Constitution), who is alleged to be in violation of any provision of this Act or regulation issued under the authority thereof; or

    (B) to compel the Secretary to apply, pursuant to section 6(g)(2)(B)(ii) of this Act, the prohibitions set forth in or authorized pursuant to section 4(d) or section 9(a)(1)(B) of this Act with respect to the taking of any resident endangered species or threatened species within any State; or

    (C) against the Secretary where there is alleged a failure of the Secretary to perform any act or duty under section 4 which is not discretionary with the Secretary.

    The district courts shall have jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties, to enforce any such provision or regulation, or to order the Secretary to perform such act or duty, as the case may be.

    In any civil suit commenced under subparagraph (B) the district court shall compel the Secretary to apply the prohibition sought if the court finds that the allegation that an emergency exists is supported by substantial evidence.
    ***
    (4) The court, in issuing any final order in any suit brought pursuant to paragraph
    (1) of this subsection, may award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to any party, whenever the court determines such award is appropriate.”

    [Endangered Species Act, Sec. 11(g) Penalties and Enforcement, originally codified at 16 U.S.C. §1531 (1973)]

    Emphasis mine.

    GO FOR IT, LEO!!!

  32. “Clearly, there was a bias to wind energy in their favor because they are a renewable source of energy, and justifiably so,” said Rob Manes, who runs the Kansas office for The Nature Conservancy and who served on the committee. “We need renewable energy in this country.”

    There you have it, the official position from nature’s advocate NGO.

    “Experts working for the agency in California and Nevada wrote in government records in June 2011 that the new federal guidelines should be considered as though they were put together by corporations, since they “accommodate the renewable energy industry’s proposals, without due accountability.”

    The Obama administration, however, repeatedly overruled its experts at the Fish and Wildlife Service. In the end, the wind-energy industry, which was part of the committee that drafted and edited the guidelines, got almost everything it wanted.

    What sort of things did the Obama administration give to the wind-industry?

    Here’s a gimme. Hugs and kisses from Barack to BIg Wind.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power’s wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor.

    Federal wildlife officials took the unprecedented step Friday of telling private companies that they will not be prosecuted for inadvertently harassing or even killing endangered California condors.

    They serve up the most endangered species on the list. No word on what they do with the pelts. There has to be some sort of trophy case.

  33. The B.S. sensors gets all lit up with those Audobon bird death numbers. I’d think there is some serious number cooking. Could be wrong but if I had the time, I’d check into it.

  34. @ Bruce Cobb says:
    May 14, 2013 at 8:38 am

    My answer to the National Audubon Society is – the cat hasn’t been born that could take down a condor.

  35. In the interests of advancing research into a resolution of the ‘bird kill’
    problem, does anyone out there know if birds fly downwind into the face
    of the turbine or into the wind ie backside of the turbine? Or both – if so
    in what proportions? Thankyou.

  36. Come to think of it knowing B.O.’s M.O. ie; only trickling out statements after the crime has been uncovered, how many condors do you think have already been killed by the bird shredders lining the main flyway’s mountains and ridges between the interior desert and the southern coast hatchery for condors?

    Enter Jim Wiegand who has extensively studied and reported on the topic.

    The 28 Year Wind Industry Cover Up

    A recent study from Spain estimates bird mortality to be 6-18 million birds and bats annually from their 18,000 installed wind turbines with an installed capacity of 20,676 MW. This works out to a staggering total of 333-1000 birds and bats per turbine or 290-871 mortalities per MW for wind energy in Spain. In America, on the AWEA web site the reported bird death rate from wind turbines is 2.9 fatalities per MW.
    These numbers from Spain are several hundred times more than the reported mortality from the wind industry in America. There is a reason for this disparity. It is because of wind industry interference. It has been going on for the last 28 years and still to this day, there has not been a properly conducted bird mortality study done in America.

    The 28-year wind industry cover-up: Why it’s time to end subsidies for the wind industry pt 2

    In 1985, the same year the 10 -13 missing condors came to light, a bird mortality study at the San Gorgonio pass wind turbines was being conducted by a competent ornithologist named Michael D. McCrary. In 1986 he came forward with his results. From his research he estimated that 6,800 birds were being killed annually by the 2947 turbines in this wind resource area. He also discovered that virtually all of the fatalities were smaller birds and that the turbines were killing nocturnal migrants.

    Jim says their studies are crap and there have already been multiple killings of condors by wind turbines, more than enough to kill the wind industry in California altogether, just in fines.

  37. One of the deadliest places in the country for golden eagles is Wyoming, where federal officials said wind farms have killed more than 50 golden eagles since 2009, predominantly in the southeastern part of the state. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the figures.

    At a different facility, Duke Energy’s Top of the World wind farm, a 17,000-acre site with 110 turbines located about 35 miles east of Casper, 10 eagles have been killed in the first two years of operation. It is the deadliest of Duke’s 15 wind power plants for eagles.

    The company’s environmental director for renewable energy, Tim Hayes, said Duke is doing all it can, not only because it wants to fix the problem but because it could reduce the company’s liability. Two of the company’s wind farms in Wyoming — Top of the World and Campbell Hill — are under investigation by the federal government for the deaths of golden eagles and other birds, according to a report the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. The report was filed after the AP visited a Duke facility in Wyoming and asked senior executives about the deaths.

    Excerpt from the AP report submitted by ABCNews Wind Farms Get Pass on Eagle Deaths By DINA CAPPIELLO

  38. Duke Energy is doing all it can, because it wants to fix the problem,

    but for them the problem was “How do we get away with killing eagles and driving endangered birds extinct?”

    Easy fix. All you have to do is buy off the Obama administration.

  39. “…to this day, there has not been a properly conducted bird mortality study done in America.” [Papiere Tigre quoting Jim Wiegand on 5/14/13 at 4:44PM]

    Wow. The “Save the Planet” crowd doesn’t want to save the planet for… Asian tigers…. or orangutangs ….. or eagles … or…. bats … or …… humanity in general…. . I guess they just want to save it for themselves.

    1) Re: the trendsetters, the “climate is cool” (who knows why), or the cynical profiteers:

    As long as they have their Holy Car and their windmills and their … wait a minute… . How can they afford all that stuff (including their heating bill in the winter?)? Oh, yes, they have gotten themselves jobs as part of the Enviro-socialist machine (propagandist, pseudo-scientist, politician, and the like) or make “earth friendly” products.

    But what happens when all the taxpayers (or consumers of enviro- FRIENDLY products) die off?

    “… eventually, you run out of other people’s money.”

    But, “it will last out my time,” they murmur, smugly sipping their carrot juice.

    2) Re: the most pitiful, the true believers:

    They really believe the planet could implode under their feet any month, now. They are willing to make enormous sacrifices — animals that they really love, people they really care about. Because, as kindhearted (seriously) as they are, they were born with an instinct to care most about one thing: themselves. Their FEAR OF DEATH is what enslaves them. “… all their lives, [] held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:15. THAT is really sad.

    Moral: Truth = life. Lies = death.

    GO, WUWT TRUTHTELLERS!

    All those blog posts, the letters to local officials, those conversations with anyone who will really listen, maintaining a web site, researching and writing and writing and writing and researching and answering question after question, ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. Those seeds of truth are not all being snatched up by the crows. Some of them are taking root.

    I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

  40. Chad says: May 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

    “…If during WWI an interrupter could be put on machine guns so that bullets could be fired through a propeller…”

    Ain’t gonna work, sorry. The interrupter blocked the firing mechanism each time bullets and propeller were going to meet – ie – it stopped the bullets, not the propeller.

    In this case – the birds are the bullets.

    And can you imagine for a moment the forces involved in braking those huge blades every time a bird swooped in? It’d be enough to twist the thing off its base.

  41. It is fascinating how the fossil fuel based industries are held financially accountable for bird deaths (even from electrocutions!) but wind farms get a free pass.

    It wasn’t that long ago that in a similar situation some eco-Zealot would try to effect a citizen’s arrest.

    If people got photos of the crumpled bodies of dead soaring birds and posted them side by side with the Wind Company executives, you never know what might happen. Hmmm, one might consider using Google maps to identify the homes of those responsible. ~cough~

    ( everything described above is normal fare for the leftists socialists or Anti-Firearm loons, AGW kooks or eco-Nuts, just sayin’ )

  42. Several have mentioned that officials are not at liberty to disclose bird deaths. Why the heck not? Why do they have to whisper “off the record?”

    Some birds have modern tracking devices, which I imagine work as a GPS for each bird. This would allow people to see exactly where a big bird was when it “vanished.” Is this information also kept from the public?

    It seems fairly obvious that those who have invested large amounts of money into turbines would want to suppress information about bird kills. The truth would remove their halo. They wouldn’t be able to act holier-than-thou about how “green” they are, and that is just about the only advantage they have. They could kiss good-bye to funding.

  43. The suggestion I had was not to stop the turbines, but to alter their phase so that when a large bird is passing the turbine it passes through a “safe” zone between blades. The turbine would only need to slow enough to ensure with ~95% certainty that the bird would pass through unmolested. This would require
    1) radar determination of where the bird is (and whether it is a bird we care about, or a pigeon)
    2) Predicted flight path
    3) Knowledge of the minimum turbine speed that would cause sufficient turbulence to generate a shock wave capable of causing internal injury to the bird.
    The turbine would be slowed to the maximum safe speed and then slightly more in order to match the predicted flight path with an open space between blades.
    The most difficult part would likely be predicting the flight path. But, if there were a radar system with auditory, visual deterrents and a phase match back up then it should be possible to curtail large single bird deaths. It might even be a good use of the heat gun developed by the military for riot suppression. The phase match technique obviously would not work for flocks of birds and so a different approach would be needed for migratory birds. However, this could help curtail deaths of many of the raptors.

  44. Chad,

    “The turbine would only need to slow enough to ensure with ~95% certainty that the bird would pass through unmolested. This would require”

    The technology does not exist to predict the flight path of a living bird (or bat) with sufficient accuracy to achieve your stated confidence short of stopping the blades all together.

    “1) radar determination of where the bird is (and whether it is a bird we care about, or a pigeon)”
    Given the size of the targets and your desire to differentiate species, active sonar would probably be a better choice and may have the added advantage of repelling bats away from the turbines.

    “3) Knowledge of the minimum turbine speed that would cause sufficient turbulence to generate a shock wave capable of causing internal injury to the bird.”

    It’s not just the shock wave ahead of the leading edge of the blade that can cause internal injuries. The low pressure zone behind the trailing edge can cause decompression injuries. This latter is the primary cause of bat kills by modern wind turbines.

  45. As for the timing of these AP and ABC stories, look no further than Holder going after the AP leakers. This is retaliation, digging up old dirt, and it could get interesting. Might even PBS turn against Obama? (I doubt it.) –AGF

  46. Who in the world could be in favor of these policies? I mean besides crooks ,elected and otherwise, and windmill salesmen – but I’m being redundant.

    @ Matt S says: The technology does not exist to predict the flight path of a living bird (or bat) with sufficient accuracy to achieve your stated confidence short of stopping the blades all together.

    So you are saying the tech does exist. It involves a wrench. You toss it in the gears. Problem solved. As a bonus it cures the intermittent power spike problem also.

    I think we need to document a condor killed by the wind farmers. A body with it’s special monitor tags or video of a condor being chopped out of the sky. It’s a given that the wind mill operators will block access to the scene of their crimes. Perhaps unmanned drones could hover over the area, to get around that.

    And let’s say the murdering son’s of beaches complain about being spied on to their henchmen in office and focus attention on the clever use of spy drones. Pass special laws against their use and such.

    All the better.

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