Study shows wind turbines killed 600,000 bats last year

Bats-graphic[1]

I wonder how many bats coal and nuclear power plants killed last year?

From the University of Colorado Denver

Bats pollinate crops, control insects

DENVER (Nov. 15, 2013) – More than 600,000 bats were killed by wind energy turbines in 2012, a serious blow to creatures who pollinate crops and help control flying insects, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Denver.

“The development and expansion of wind energy facilities is a key threat to bat populations in North America,” said study author Mark Hayes, PhD, research associate in integrated biology at CU Denver. “Dead bats are being found underneath wind turbines across North America. The estimate of bat fatalities is probably conservative.”

The study, which analyzed data on the number of dead bats found at wind turbine sites, will be published next week in the journal BioScience.

Hayes said areas near the Appalachian Mountains like Buffalo, Tennessee and Mountaineer, West Virginia had the highest bat fatality rates. Little information is available on bat deaths at wind turbine facilities in the Rocky Mountain West or the Sierra Nevadas.

The bats are killed when they fly into the towering turbines which spin at up to 179 mph with blades that can stretch 130 feet. Earlier estimates of bat deaths ranged from 33,000 to 880,000.

Hayes said his estimates are likely conservative for two reasons. First, when a range of fatality estimates were reported at a wind facility, he chose the minimum estimate. Secondly, the number of deaths was estimated for just migratory periods, not the entire year, likely leaving out many other fatalities.

“The number could be as high as 900,000 dead,” he said.

There are 45 known bat species in the contiguous U.S., many of which have important economic impacts. Not only do they control flying insects like mosquitoes, they also pollinate commercial crops, flowers and various cacti.

Those suffering the most fatalities are the hoary bat, eastern bat and the silver-haired bat.

Hayes said there ways to mitigate the killings. One is to have the turbines activated to spin at higher wind speeds when bats don’t tend to fly.

“A lot of bats are killed because the turbines move at low wind speeds, which is when most bats fly around,” said Hayes, who has studied bats for 15 years. “In a recent study in Pennsylvania, researchers adjusted the operating speeds from 10 mph to 18 or 20 mph and decreased fatalities by 40 to 90 percent.”

Hayes said with the expansion of wind energy in the future, more bats will likely die.

“I am not against wind energy. It’s clean, it reduces pollution and it creates jobs. But there are negative impacts,” he said. “Still, I think this is a problem we can solve.”

###
About these ads

85 thoughts on “Study shows wind turbines killed 600,000 bats last year

  1. “A lot of bats are killed because the turbines move at low wind speeds, which is when most bats fly around,” said Hayes, who has studied bats for 15 years. “In a recent study in Pennsylvania, researchers adjusted the operating speeds from 10 mph to 18 or 20 mph and decreased fatalities by 40 to 90 percent.”

    The production ratios for these boondoggles are already incredibly dismal, doubling the kickin point would pretty much eliminate any possibility of them providing useful levels of output. Luckily “Green” projects are completely exempt from the type of restrictions that limits projects that don’t have “planet saving” credentials.

  2. Look for the Department of Energy to mandate screens for all wind turbines by the end of next year… That will most certainly improve the efficiency of said wind turbines, and the plus will be that people will have to be hired to clean the debris stuck to the screens.

  3. And how many other insects needed by agriculture will start dying off (like the bees) and how many unwanted insects will increase as a consequence of fewer bats?

    Oh, I forgot, they can blame it on “Global Warming!”

  4. Yeah, yeah, let’s not kill the bats, but lets also do science while we reporting on it.

    “turbines which spin at up to 179 mph”

    Gracious me, perhaps rpm? If you mean mph, note that the blade translation is from zero at the hub axis, increasing outwards to the tips of the blades. Sheesh. I think the chance of the bat contacting the tip of the blade is: let’s see, bat is 6″ long, blade is 130*12= 1560″, oh about 1:260. That’s the first approximation. I think the chances are an order of magnitude or more less than this. First, a bat getting clunked at 10mph would probably kill or maime (basically death anyway) and, the closer you get to the hub the more metal in your path. Probably at a distance along the blade where the bat has about a foot or so of open space that he thinks he can get through would kill a fair percentage; by the time the blade comes into his radar, he has little chance to manoeuver and if he does try, he could easily fly into another blade.

  5. Wind energy creates jobs? All it does is shift jobs from one sector to another. I am sick of this specious ‘green jobs’ canard.

  6. I read an article weeks ago that claimed a drastic reduction in the few Whooping Cranes still
    with us and wind turbines were the main suspects.
    I also find that wind turbines have an enormous geographical footprint. The approximately 2800 2MW wind turbines required to match the output of a single 1500MW nuclear reactor requires on the order of close to 300,000 acres of land, and costs almost three times as much as a reactor ($5 billion these days, fixed price contract) to build.Current Generation 3 reactors have a guaranteed 60 year lifespan, many years greater than a wind turbine. Wind turbines also must pay landowners royalties and turbines are not particularly robust machines – reportedly half of all turbines are far behind in schedued maintenance. Side effect costs of using an uncontrollable
    power source like wind turbines are very significant. Turbines have zero ability to replace existing conventional (fossil fueled) power plants, which must be funded to back up turbines. California is building pumped storage facilities in the mountains to store wind power but the storage loses 30% of the power and the facilities cost billions to build and have a capacity for a mere dozen hours of output. Wind turbines ruin the visual beauty of the environment and limit how the land they
    occupy can be used. Recently the court ordered several turbines torn down that had ruined
    the living environment of a nearby residential community.
    Wind turbines make zero sense, no matter how they are viewed.

  7. But windmills are such great monuments to political ego. Let’s just fix their blades permanently so they don’t do any practical harm. We might even sell advertising to Mercedes-Benz if we agree to have one blade (of three) pointing upwards. This would also reassure the WaBenzi of the developed world of our continuing loyalty.

  8. The greenies simply say that without wind power the AGW-driven changes in habitat will kill millions more. No proof of course, but I guess it salves their consciences.

  9. “I am not against wind energy. It’s clean, it reduces pollution and it creates jobs. But there are negative impacts,”

    Not necessarily. When you take into account pollution from the mining of rare earth elements (REEs) used in making the magnets for the turbines (and also electric cars), it’s not really clean and causes pollution. But that pollution occurs in China where most REEs are mined so I guess it doesn’t count. Wait until the REEs need disposal. Don’t toss that cellphone with its REEs!

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/aug/07/china-rare-earth-village-pollution

    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/r/rare_earths/

  10. Don’t knock it. It shows that wind turbines are good at something.

    Actually, if I wanted to kill large numbers of bats and birds, putting up a vast expanse of circling blades in areas away from people where there was a steady stream of wind carrying migrating animals and insects is almost the ideal way to do it. It might put shotgun manufacturers out of business.

    And you can sell the corpses to game restaurants…

  11. Robin – ‘Lets go Batman, Gotham city needs us’
    Batman – ‘Not tonight Robin. Its getting too dangerous out there. Greens’
    Robin – ‘You are afraid of the Green Hornet ???’
    Commisioner Gordon -‘No Robin. Drat those Drama Greens with their Whirly gigs’

    Robin – ‘Holy turbine! Where’s the hope of the world now?’

  12. Latitude: “and ethanol is killing the environment”

    I am now going to drink a lot more, and drink it faster!

    It’s for the ‘environment’ and ‘the children’, you see.

    Can I get an environmental subsidy and grant for doing it?

  13. And when I talked to Greenpeace recruiters on the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver, they all violently denied that ANY birds were killed by wind power plants. The faulty thinking of the environmental community is staggering.

  14. I think the correct question to ask is, “What would be the reaction if the study showed that coal fired power plants were killing 600,000 bats, a couple of thousand Eagles, and millions of other birds annually?” You think that Gore, Mann, et al and the press would be screaming to close all coal fired power plants NOW? My guess is this study will be ignored by the press and Green Peace, and the WWF.

    It’s the same thing as the flourescent bulbs currently being forced down peoples throats because of evil incandescents. Each bulb has 5-8 milligrams of elemental Mercury inside. Can you imagine what the administration, the EPA, and other groups would be screaming if incandescents contained that? Yet, they seem perfectly happy to introduce a major cancer causing agent into eveyone’s homes so we can ‘save the planet’.

  15. Not much good news out there for fans of bats!

    The dangers of wind turbines only add to the increasing vulnerability of U.S. bat populations. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, bat populations have declined worldwide over the past few decades. Bats have a very low reproductive rate – females give birth to only one pup per year — and the mortality rate for young bats is high. This makes bats especially vulnerable to small changes in the environment.

    , a certain fungus has killed around 6 million American bats since the fungus first debuted seven years ago in New York. Known as white-nose syndrome, the disease now infects bats in 22 U.S. states, according to The Huffington Post.

    I’m sure that white-nose fungus is due to a drastically warming climate….

  16. There is absolutely no need for wind turbines. They will not help stop a problem that does not exist. The greenhouse gas effect has been proven by experiment and study of the physics and thermodynamics to not exist. Therefore their only value is to cause higher energy prices and destroy large part of our natural flying population = this is what the environmental vampires really want . They are total hypocrites.
    It’s time to arrest the crocks at the UN and many others that support the Hoax of Mann-made global warming and send them to jail.

  17. In case anyone missed Mark Jacobson’s performance on David Letterman last month, extolling the virtues of “wind, water, solar,” it is here.

    Of special note: Jacobson explaining the plans that his team at Stanford have come up with to make New York state 100-percent renewable powered. This will, Jacobson explained, require 15,000 turbines, 12,700 of them off Long Island. Mark’s an old school chum, whom I correspond with from our different sides of the climate fence from time to time. I asked him if he’d consulted with anyone in the maritime trades, or any recreational fishermen, or any biologists about the impact that almost 13,000 turbines just off Long Island might have. His answer: No.

    Mark said that he and his team did, though, see a need to effectively rule the entire in-shore New York waters through what he called “exclusion zones.” The arrogance of some greens is unfathomable.

    I’ll go out on a limb and guess that no group of impacted animals will understand these zones up to the moment that they lose great numbers to the turbines (which Mark pronounces “turbans,” perhaps believing that they have genie-like powers).

    This is just a tiny piece of a “50-state plan” under development at Stanford.

    By the way, I asked Mark as well whether he could envision Stanford itself becoming an exemplar of sustainability to the 100-percent level with wind and solar, owning as it does thousands of acres of foothills running up to Skyline Boulevard in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Stanford campus. His answer was that Stanford was not well-situated to harvest wind.

  18. Gary Pearse says:
    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

    … Sheesh. I think the chance of the bat contacting the tip of the blade is: let’s see, bat is 6″ long, blade is 130*12= 1560″, oh about 1:260. That’s the first approximation. I think the chances are an order of magnitude or more less than this.

    It helps to read the text in the graphic pasted at the top of the article (“Why Wind Turbines Endanger Bats”). Most actually die from lung hemorrhaging due to the sudden encounter of much lower pressure air near the blades. The effect is the same as a SCUBA diver holding his breath on ascent — the pressure differential ruptures alveoli in the lungs.

    … only half of the dead bats had been hit by blades, and they may have been hit after they hemorrhaged.

  19. I hear a lot of crickets from the clowns at greenpeace. That’s because there aren’t any bats to eat them.

  20. “The estimate of bat fatalities is probably conservative.”

    Soooooo, your study is wrong? What am I supposed to take away from these two conflicting messages?

    I see this kind of language in many CAGW papers as well. The study methodology has an error associated with it. Either tell me what the actual associated error is or quit speculating. It undermines the quality of the work.

  21. Of course natural selection may lead to the evolution of entirely new species of barrel-chested bats…

  22. Someone should tell Greenpeace and the WWF, as they will mount an aggressive media campaign as soon as they hear of this terrible news.

    Oh, wait a minute………

    R

  23. I don’t see any bats, or wind energy generation….or anything else that looks like someone is doing something to the planet. :)

  24. “I am not against wind energy. It’s clean, it reduces pollution and it creates jobs.

    Yup, they sure do. Like all the mining for rare earths in Asia. Like all the manufacturing which is mostly done in…Asia. Then there’s the companies that shutter their plants in part due to higher power costs and move them to…Asia.

  25. “I am not against wind energy. It’s clean, it reduces pollution and it creates jobs. But there are negative impacts,” he said
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    One of the negative impacts is on your investment- you lose your ass. Boone Pickens: “I lost my ass on wind power”

  26. Level 7 Denialist says, “Most actually die from lung hemorrhaging due to the sudden encounter of much lower pressure air near the blades.”

    i.e., the bats get sucked into the evil vortex.

    It’s official. Windmills suck, but bats get no succor.

  27. Gary Pearse says:
    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

    The articles says bats can avoid the blades, but are killed by air pressure differential at the tips.

  28. The more I read articles like this (and the accompanying comments), the more I am drawn to the conclusion that far too many on the Green Left have become incapable of reasoning and thinking in a rational manner using facts, logic and science when it comes the issues of energy, climate and the environment. They are so brainwashed and driven by hate, mistrust, unsupportable propaganda and falsifiable beliefs that they become disconnected from the truth and from the reality of what is happening out there. And thinking about the degree of political clout they have in Washington and in the state capitals around the country really makes me cringe with disgust.

    It is simply not rational to push wind and solar energy on one hand and be both anti-fossil fuels and anti-nuclear on the other. Halting the extraction of fossil fuels from the earth and shutting down our nuclear power plants would collapse the economies of the world and cause societies to descend into total chaos. I fear for where we will end up some day if these idiots continue to push their agendas with any significant degree of success.

    I pray that the 2016 elections in the U.S. with put someone in the White House who puts the nation’s wildlife first and does away with these idiotic wind turbines, ethanol mandates and the burning of wood chips in power plants that puts pressure on our woodlands. Failure to do so only serves to continue the hypocrisy that stains the hands of those who claim to be green.

    The only rational and logical (with all due respect to Leonard Nimoy) way to go if we are to move away from fossil fuels for electricity generation is nuclear. And the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor is the best nuclear path to take.

    Our avian wildlife (especially the American Bald Eagle and its cousin, the Golden Eagle) deserve better that this from us humans. Kill wind turbines, not avian wildlife.

  29. Gary Pearse says:
    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am
    Yeah, yeah, let’s not kill the bats, but lets also do science while we reporting on it.
    “turbines which spin at up to 179 mph”
    _______________________________________________________________________
    If he was talking about tip speed, then a 130′ blade traveling just over 19 rpm would have a speed of 179 mph, if the back of my envelope is correct.

  30. Bob Tisdale says:
    November 15, 2013 at 8:13 am

    That helps to explain the drop in vampire sightings in recent years.

    =======================================================================
    Could be.
    If they built them lower to ground maybe they can help with all the zombies.

  31. Ya know, that pisses me off.

    I not far from Altamont and for a couple of years drove past it every few days. What those turbines did to hawks, eagles, and ospreys was brutal. This is just as bad.

  32. A secondary concern is that scavenging animals that feed off bat cadavers (skunks, foxes, dogs, cats, raccoons, etc.) can easily contract rabies.

  33. This is another reason I get angry every time I see a commercial for an oil company, such as BP or Exxon, that tries to portray them as being sensitive and caring about the environment. They ALWAYS show wind turbines.

  34. Bob Tisdale said @ November 15, 2013 at 8:13 am

    That helps to explain the drop in vampire sightings in recent years.

    But the consequent increase in mosquito numbers means blood-sucking is conserved, so it’s all good :-)

  35. AJ says November 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

    So how does this compare to the number that cats kill?

    At the height of a wind turbine? Not many.

  36. It is estimated that cats kill an up to 1 million birds a year in the UK. Approx. 2 thirds of Robins are killed by cats.

  37. WolvInOhio: “They ALWAYS show wind turbines.”

    On the upside, the beef industry can save a shedload of money on butchering if it loads cattle in a trebuchet and launches them at green energy sources. Waste not, want not; and all that rot.

  38. Jolan, the bats at the height of a wind turbine are not the same birds (or bats) at the height of a cat’s pounce. Except, perhaps, Macavity.
    Cats are a different threat to bat populations. But cats aren’t subsidised on environmental times.

  39. This reminds me of big tobacco and lung cancer. I can see lawsuits in future years as Big Wind gets hammered for billions of Dollars. Do not invest in windpower, you will lose your hard earned money.

    “Wind turbine dangers known since 87″

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/turbine-dangers-known-since-87/story-fn59nokw-1226676190761#

    Der Spiegel – 2007
    Wuthering Heights: The Dangers of Wind Power

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wuthering-heights-the-dangers-of-wind-power-a-500902.html

  40. TonG(ologist) says:

    November 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Wind energy creates jobs?

    Yes, there are plenty of job openings for bat carcass collectors around the country.

    :)

  41. As noted often by commenters, the hypocrisy and delusional groupthink is staggering, the same media presstitutes who screamed and wailed over some common ducks dying in Syndcrudes tailings ponds, can not be found as their prized and obsolete “solutions” are shown to be killing endangered species at an unprecedented rate.
    Windmills are an economic failure, the technology is not up to producing a product consumers desire, this is obvious even to the eco-nasties, who now insist that we consumers will have to modify our electricity usage.
    Translation, when the sun shines and wind blows, use power; but when it is dark cold and windless, so sorry.

  42. This is the money quote right here …

    “I am not against wind energy. It’s clean, it reduces pollution and it creates jobs. But there are negative impacts,” he said. “Still, I think this is a problem we can solve.”

    Clean and reduces pollution huh? Try this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

    How many coal mining jobs and coal fired power station jobs have been lost to this ineffective, costly and environmentally damaging menace?

    They lie to themselves and then pass those lies on. It does not matter how much they believe them, they are still lies coming out of their mouths.

  43. Pssst, want to buy a robot bat carcass collector? It was invented by this guy named Gore and he can sell you one.

  44. Bats are not cute, therefore Greenpiece , WWF ,etc do not care.
    When was the last time anyone saw them advertising to save an endangered lizard?

  45. So the EPA has lowered its ethanol required in gasoline for 2014. Maybe they can do something for the bats as well.

  46. Gary Pearse says:
    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am
    Yeah, yeah, let’s not kill the bats, but lets also do science while we reporting on it.

    “turbines which spin at up to 179 mph”

    Gracious me, perhaps rpm? If you mean mph, note that the blade translation is from zero at the hub axis, increasing outwards to the tips of the blades. Sheesh. I think the chance of the bat contacting the tip of the blade is: let’s see, bat is 6″ long, blade is 130*12= 1560″, oh about 1:260. That’s the first approximation. I think the chances are an order of magnitude or more less than this. First, a bat getting clunked at 10mph would probably kill or maime (basically death anyway) and, the closer you get to the hub the more metal in your path. Probably at a distance along the blade where the bat has about a foot or so of open space that he thinks he can get through would kill a fair percentage; by the time the blade comes into his radar, he has little chance to manoeuver and if he does try, he could easily fly into another blade.

    Yes, let’s do be scientific. A 130 foot blade sweeps a circle, at the tip, of 817 feet. With a tip speed of 179 mph, that’s 262 feet per second. So, at any given point the little feller has about 3 seconds to “shoot the gap” and avoid the blade. But wait! These Blendmasters usually have three blades. Now he’s down to just over 1 second. I suppose it’s doable, as long as we’re not worried about turbulence or the bat getting entrained in an eddy or vortex which flings him back into the blade path or a support structure. Not odds I’d care to face.

  47. Supervisiors OK deal to dim distracting turbine lights
    By JAMES BURGER The Bakersfield Californian

    Kern County supervisors on Tuesday, Oct. 15, cheered a deal that will shut off long strings of powerful red beacons mounted on top of wind turbines in the massive wind fields between Tehachapi and Mojave.

    “I’m pleased to announce that 227 lights will be turned off, which is over 64 percent,” said Kern County Planning director Lorelei Oviatt.
    And future wind energy developments will build lights onto wind turbines under the new plan.
    Supervisors thanked wind energy companies, planners and consultants for working to get the Federal Aviation Administration — which regulated the lights — to support the change.

    But they thanked Stuart Witt, CEO of the Mojave Air and Space Port, for pushing passionately for the change.

    Witt called the red beacons “light pollution” borne out of a reasonable regulation gone wrong.
    He said the lights were supposed to be a safety measure for pilots. But they turned into a very distracting pattern of glaring red that baffled pilots trying to make a final approach to one of the desert airport’s runways.

    Witt thanked the county for getting done what he could not.

    John Clancy, with ClancyJG International, the consultant who studied the problem and pulled together the solution, said the effort was uniquely successful.

    He said his group made two trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby the FAA on the issue. They managed to get the FAA to visit Mojave. “We chartered a plane,” Clancy said. “We flew them out to the area and they were totally amazed by what they saw.” The lights were strung out over miles, blinking from the top of turbines spaced just a few towers apart from each other.

    Ultimately, the FAA agreed only to keep the lights on the turbines at the perimeter of the sea of wind machines in the area.Tuesday’s action clears the way for the lights to be shut off by the wind energy companies who control the turbines.Randy Hoyle with Terra-Gen Power said the lights should be turned off within two weeks.

    Hazard to man, beast, and even the meaner creatures of the world.

    And did you get that this optical sea of red was impacting America’s only civilian spaceport?
    It’s another case of 13th century tech inhibiting the future progress of mankind, or delaying it long enough for the Chinese to catch up.

  48. BATTY, or
    FOR THE GOOD

    The problem can be solved by bat behavioral psychologists.
    Paid from the federal $2.7 billion/year for climate change studies, if not from a new fund altogether.

    All what one has to do is to transmit, through loudspeakers mounted on the turbines, to the bats, before impact, the message:

    “It’s for the good of your grandchildren!”

  49. Poor analogies hint at shoddy work. Decompression Illness (the bends) is not related to equalizing pressure in the lungs with surface pressure. DI is caused by dissolved gases in the blood and other tissues expanding to create embolisms. What they are attempting to describe are injuries associated with rapid ascent due to over expansion of the lungs. A VERY different issue. Shoddy research.

  50. Gary Pearse says:
    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

    I think the chance of the bat contacting the tip of the blade is: let’s see, bat is 6″ long, blade is 130*12= 1560″, oh about 1:260.

    News flash (very old news):
    Bats are not hit by the blades; their lungs are popped by the turbulence behind them as the bats hunt for insects swarming there. Duh.

  51. I do wonder if the wind turbines had ultrasonic sound generators within the frequency range of the bats is there some frequency that drives them away? For cats, dogs, and people the upper end of the frequency range hurts and drives them away.

  52. Hayes said areas near the Appalachian Mountains like Buffalo, Tennessee and Mountaineer, West Virginia . . .

    This caused a jolt in my reading insofar as Buffalo is “near” the Appalachian Mountains only if one asks Bill Clinton for a definition of near. However, a little sleuthing reveals the mentioned Buffalo is not the well-known second city of New York State and icon of Buffalo Wings but, rather, the site of a TVA wind farm in, appropriately enough, the Appalachians.
    I’m the only one on the planet that did not know this – thus, the jolt in my reading!
    (And yes, I see the comma.)

  53. While many are piling on (Gary Pearse says: November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am) regarding the manner of death of bats from blades, no one seems to have mentioned the “metal” in the blades.
    Modern blades are mostly glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) in layers over a structural filling. Not that this matters to the bats and the birds.

  54. CRS, DrPH says:
    November 15, 2013 at 9:10 am
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I’m sure that white-nose fungus is due to a drastically warming climate….

    And I thought it was the brown-nose fungus.

  55. Here in NE Oregon, the biggest threat to survival is Spring cold weather of the sort that delays insect emergence. Bats appear capable of detecting a disrupted insect cycle (how I don’t know) and they can delay birth because of it. Problem there is that babies aren’t old enough to survive fall migration to warmer winter climates. There is NO question that we have had such Springs. This is easily measured by the size and number of mature grasshoppers in the fall, as well as Spring wheat frost/freeze damage. No wind turbines necessary.

    That said, I would imagine such carnage in other warmer parts of the country. Wind turbines should be placed well away from water sources and located only near higher wind areas. This avoids/reduces the kill issue related to insects collecting near turbines and the avian/mammalian predators who eat these insects. Dry windy locations are not the favorite hangout for flying insects. Unless you consider biblical locusts. But even then locusts prefer vegetation, not desert conditions.

  56. So from the land of unintended consequences …

    How many extra tons of pesticide are produced to kill the insects not killed by the bats?

    Bats are awesome bug eaters…

  57. I have mixed feelings about seeing this story on WUWT. One the one hand, it can be useful to point out the drawbacks of wind power in order to provide some balance, and I appreciate the effort to raise awareness of neglected issues. On the other hand, this press release seems to me to be a good example of alarmist rhetoric of the kind many of us would like to see removed from the discussion of climate. We are told repeatedly how bad it is that a large number of animals are being killed, but, from an environmental science perspective, what would matter is the impact on the lifespan and population dynamics of bats. If there are 500 million bats in the US, and they only live an average of 3 years, or bat deaths are concentrated in only a few locations with no replacement from neighboring areas, or the deaths are primarily among old, sick or weaker bats that are unlikely to reproduce anyway, the impact is clearly very different than if there are 10 million bats in the US, with a 20-year lifespan, or the deaths are widespread and tend to be among the healthiest bats at the start of their breeding age, and so forth. The press release, of course, has very little in the way of such scientifically useful information.

    In my opinion, it would be nice if “scientific” press releases coincided with the publication of papers rather than being in advance (some papers do get pulled back at the last minute, and in this age of instant communication a wait of even a few days means very few will follow up to see the paper itself). Also, if the public affairs people want to put out a press release, they should pay the fee (if necessary) for open access publication (if the work is so valuable, it’s a small price to pay). One way to encourage better press releases would be to ignore ones like this that give us lots of attention grabbing statements but not much actual science. Just my own personal opinion.

  58. Gino says: “shoddy research” (November 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm)

    Completely correct. The bends occurs because gases, absorbed by the body at higher pressure, bubble out of the body when the pressure is reduced. This is avoided by careful ascent, giving time for the gases to leave gradually.

    Explosive events occur when divers fail to breathe out while ascending. Take a breath at the surface, dive down 10 feet, then rise to the surface: all is well, because the lungs are at normal size, get compressed on descent, then return to normal size as the diver surfaces. Take a breath from an air supply at 10 feet down, then rise to the surface without breathing out, and you are risking death.

    So, when does a bat hold its breath? Because without a closed airway, the risk is not there: the air simply leaves.

  59. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    We Oklahomans are acting the fool. We live in tornado alley, and we put up giant fans. It is windy here, but wind is still highly variable between dead calm and gale force. (And the tornadoes.) The windmills screw with our weather radar, weather radar that saves lives every storm.

    We are an energy state, yet we think we should put up windmills. We have significant bat preserves and cave areas. Not for long, it would seem.

    Over and over for over three thousand years, we have abandoned windmills. We will again, hopefully this time before the costs are horrific and long-enduring.

  60. RE: CD (@CD153) on November 15, 2013 at 10:09 am: “The only rational and logical (with all due respect to Leonard Nimoy) way to go if we are to move away from fossil fuels for electricity generation is nuclear. And the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor is the best nuclear path to take.”

    The problem here is that ‘Thorium’ is not a source of energy. It is only a source of artificial uranium (U233) that actually provides energy after a complicated three-step process. Most of the advantages quoted for ‘Thorium’ are actually the advantages of using liquid fueled, molten salt reactors. According to Canadian Dr. David Leblanc, molten salt reactors burn uranium so much more efficiently than solid fueled reactors that we may have enough natural uranium to last more than a thousand years before thorium would be required to manufacture artificial uranium. This is because the solid fuel rods bulge with accumulated nuclear waste products, and all too soon, these contaminated rods must be removed and archived after burning only a small fraction of their uranium content.

    Molten salt reactors can, in theory, consume almost all their nuclear fuel and transuranic (plutonium and beyond) long-lived by-products, which decay by nuclear fission. All that remains are the neutron-heavy, short-lived (300 yr) fission fragments that usually decay to stable states by nuclear electron emission (beta decay.) Dr. Leblanc expects to obtain at least six times as much energy from a given amount of natural uranium than that which is currently being obtained from today’s standard, high-pressure, light-water cooled reactors.

    For reference, here is a recent presentation given by Dr. Leblanc:
    David LeBlanc of Terrestrial Energy on Denatured Molten Salt Reactors @ TEAC5

  61. Wind energy is “…clean, it reduces pollution and it creates jobs”? Hardly. Up to 500 gallons of oil in the base of each of them? And there’s more oil in the nacelle. What about the tons of concrete they take for the base of those things? How about the fuel it takes to transport them? Have they addressed the issue of land reclamation?
    If ever there was a loser, it’s wind power. Adding another unnecessary step in energy production fails the common sense test. Does it make sense to burn fuel to produce a machine to create energy or is it more practical just to burn the fuel to produce energy directly?

Comments are closed.