Wind turbines may reduce breeding success of white-tailed eagles

From Wiley:

While renewable energy sources such as wind power will play an increasingly important role in climate change mitigation, new research reveals that the breeding success of species such as the white-tailed eagle can be significantly reduced by wind power generation on a large scale, possibly due to collision mortality.

“As wind farms are expected to expand in the future, we need to be aware of their potential negative effects on various species,” said Fabio Balotari-Chiebao, lead author of the Animal Conservation study. “The implementation of preventive measures aimed at the protection of species that are vulnerable to turbine-related incidents will allow the use of this energy source without compromising the local biodiversity.”

###

Advertisements

180 thoughts on “Wind turbines may reduce breeding success of white-tailed eagles

  1. The best preventative measure to protect various species is not to build the windmills in the first place.
    And a Monday Funny – two (the first of many?) of the windmills on Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth are being removed because the foundations have become unstable due to the shifting sands on the sea bed.

    • Absolutely right. The U.K. now has about 6,500 heavily subsidised.turbines operating. So far this month they have contributed a paltry 5%, or thereabouts, of our electricity consumption.
      The real damage that wind turbines are doing is to our economy, including the fact that they won’t even keep the lights on once our coal fired stations are closed in a couple of years time. Green lunacy.

      • They have not done very well since the first of June either: a little over 6% for the past three and a half months.

    • “… the windmills on Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth…”
      If you want to see windmills, go to Holland. What is in Solway Firth are wind TURBINES. If you want to join in discussions about energy it’s best to know the difference between flour and electricity.
      Anthony always slates press releases that report on studies but don’t report a proper reference. Perhaps others that have the privilege post articles here could adopt the same policy.
      I have always wonder why there are not effective means of scaring birds away from these things, if they can’t manage to see them in time. Hardly seems like a world beating problem.
      Just what preventive measures did the author have in mind. Maybe the study actually tells if we had a link to it.

      • I wonder if it is not a case of the birds’ being ATTRACTED to the turbines by the similarity of the swishing sound to the sound of birds’ wings. Any studies on this?

      • Gus: thanks for the info – it’s worse than I thought.
        In reality there is no feasible technology available to significantly reduce the CO2 output from electricity generation other than nuclear, which for the UK in particular is horrendously expensive because our nuclear industry exists no longer. Just as well that the CO2 bogeyman is just that.
        If the lunatics in Government insist that the remaining coal fired stations are decommissioned, as they probably will, we will need to install gas fired stations as rapidly as possible just to keep the lights on.
        The UK’s energy policy, driven as it has been by green idealism, is a train crash. It is reducing us to a third world economy.

      • Actually, it IS a world beating problem. I play golf on a course next to a major airport, and the place is swarming with Canada Geese in spite of a) fake (and sometimes real) raptors, the constant sound of canon fire (blanks), etc. The stupid birds don’t get the message. They’re a real menace to aircraft and their excrement is unpleasant to slog through.
        Oh wait! I forgot! Green solutions have zero downsides. Only fossil fuels are bad.

      • I think that the ones in Holland were mostly water pumps, not mills. They don’t use more flour than anyone else, but they live below sea level.

      • I heard they were considering shotguns as a means to keep them away from the wind vanes. Damage to the vanes is unthinkable

      • JimB You may have a point there, I once saw a radio controlled model glider being flown in an updraft off a ridge. This allows very high speeds and I must say as it circled near us it must have been doing about 100 mph judging from the air noise which was very loud.
        Anyway as it circled, a hawk would try and attack it, didn’t have a show of keeping up of course, but it kept at it. Seemed to resent the incursion of a competitor into its territory I guess.
        If all predatory birds act the same way near these windmills, no wonder they come off second best.
        Cheers
        Roger
        http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

      • As has been explained here before at WUWT, these are not turbines but windmills. Look up the definition of a turbine?

      • Zaphod
        October 19, 2015 at 1:59 pm
        I think that the ones in Holland were mostly water pumps, not mills. They don’t use more flour than anyone else, but they live below sea level.”
        Indeed. Pays-Bas or “low countries”. Primarily used to pump water and not mill grains. Of course now “electrickery” (Catweasle) and pumps are used.
        In any case the term “windmill” is interchangeable with “wind turbine” IMO in terms of a description of a device driven by wind that turns that power in to rotational power to do work, no matter what that work (Milling grains or generating power) is. We could also compare water powered mills to water powered turbines, they do the same thing. Convert one form of energy to another to do useful work for us.

      • “What is in Solway Firth are wind TURBINES. If you want to join in discussions about energy it’s best to know the difference between flour and electricity.”
        These objects are most properly called wind pumps: their only utility is to pump cash from the pockets of the people into the pockets of their promoters, in exchange for nothing (unless you count lower reliability of power supply as a thing).

      • So what is your solution to the paltry 6% contribution? Cover the planet with wind turbines and learn to love them? Birds are actually one of the least problems with turbines. The problem comes to the forefront because of the hypocrisy of environmentalists who say “you can’t kill a single eagle” then slaughter hundreds for their pet energy projects.
        Perhaps you could enlighten us as to how an intermittent, 19th century technology is useful in the 21st century. Or do you plan on returning to candles and wood burning stoves, even in Macy’s department stores?
        Your use of the term “windmills” is a clue that you really don’t understand any of this. Wind TURBINES are not the same as windmills. Windmills pump water and grind grain—mechanical actions, usually on a very small scale. Wind turbines are 400 ft industrial monstrosities that produce negligible amounts of electricity at exhorbitant cost. Windmills do not require millions of gallons of fossil fuel to produce with mining, manufacture, maintenance, etc. Turbines do and they cause immense damage to the environment whereever they and their parts are produced. Windmills do not get billions in government subsidies. Try seeing a TURBINE and not a windmill.

      • “””””…..
        Barbara
        October 19, 2015 at 7:16 pm
        As has been explained here before at WUWT, these are not turbines but windmills. Look up the definition of a turbine? ….. “””””
        Well Barbara, ALL of the ones that I have seen around are actually ” fans “.
        The one thing you can absolutely depend on, is that when those fan blades are turning, they are making a wind. I have never ever seen those blades turning, without making a wind.
        BUT !! “”..
        tur·bine.
        [ˈtərˌbīn, -bin]
        NOUN
        1.a machine for producing continuous power in which a wheel or rotor, typically fitted with vanes, is made to revolve by a fast-moving flow of water, steam, gas, air, or other fluid. …””””
        So what is your problem with this definition from the OED ??
        Actually I don’t see any difference between these bird mixmasters, and an ordinary gas turbine engine.
        You need a working fluid (air); a source of energy (sun) to “heat” (verb) the working fluid. You need a duct to direct the heated working fluid to where a turbine impeller can extract some of the kinetic energy of the moving fluid, and some of the thermal energy (heat ; noun), so the exhaust fluid expands and cools, and you need an exhaust duct t allow efficient egress for the cooler energy depleted working fluid.
        You can use the mechanical energy of the rotating impeller for whatever you want, including using it to run a compressor to compress the incoming working fluid, if you like.
        They sure look like turbines to me, and with a very low Carnot efficiency to boot.
        But they really are fans. Jus check the next time you see them turning, and I’ll bet you can feel the wind that they make.
        g

      • Aren’t generators and not turbines installed on top steel poles being used?
        And do like your description of “fans” for these machines.

    • Well, whoda’ thunk it, that getting conked on the head by a 30 metre long fan blade, would affect one’s breeding success.
      Do you suppose that the Kentucky Fried Chicken plants, at Tonopah, Ivanpah, and Redstone would affect the breeding success of the insects and birds that get evaporized by those things ??
      Renewable energy, has a side benefit of species extinction.
      The California High speed rail line from nowhere, to nowhere else, is mandated to run entirely on renewable energy. Don’t forget, that in California, “renewable” energy does not include hydro-electric; which may in fact be the ONLY dependable form of “renewable energy.”
      We now have a State mandate, that 50% of ALL California energy will be ” renewable ” by 2025 or thereabouts. By that time California, will also have a human population of 50 million persons.
      I’m predicting; excuse me, that’s projecting, that by the time we are 50% renewables, it will be obvious to one and all, that most renewable energy technologies, are actually energy wasting technologies, and there will be no dependable energy source that is able to subsidize all of California’s renewable energy systems.
      Mind you, I am not against certain types of energy wasting forms, that do have the end result of making useful energy available in remote enclaves, that otherwise would have no source of energy for things like clean water and lighting.
      At last Friday’s UC Solar symposium, held at the CA Public Utilities Commission Auditorium, in SFo, an “expert” declared in a post paper question, that California does not have a water problem. Just a money problem. With the money, he proposes to desalinate the Pacific Ocean, which abuts California.
      I suggested to him, that perhaps the problem with his scheme was a solar energy power density of 1,000 W/m^2 (maybe).
      He dismissed that as poppycock.
      For the record, UC Merced, Solar group (sponsors of the symposium) have designed and built, and installed, remote, relatively simple, efficient non-imaging optical thermal systems, capable of reaching 150 Deg. C, even in sub zero climates (mountainous), so they can be used to provide clean water in remote, potentially polluted water environments, through solar evaporation and condensation.
      Such systems can turn dirty snow and ice into clean liquid water even with several days of overcast or cloudy skies. They have operating systems in remote villages in Mongolia, where it seldom gets above freezing air Temperatures.
      I forgot to say those NI optical systems are completely stationary non tracking systems.
      The chap who wanted to vaporize or osmotize the Pacific ocean was not at all fazed by the low 1kW / m^2 density of renewable solar power. Just takes money.
      He berated me, as an idiot, because he is an expert. (he told me so).
      California is committed to Paris COP-21 or whatever they call that ersatz “burning man” substitute event. Jerry (moonbeam) Brown will see to that.
      g

      • I think what you’ve described (not your comments but the symposium fellow et.al.) is approaching the definition of insanity ( doing it over and over and expecting different results)

      • Yep. Ground-breaking discovery. Birds who have been chopped to pieces have difficulty breeding.
        Ain’t science wunnerful!

  2. ISTR that surveys of early wind turbines after WWII showed relatively little harm to flying creatures. Of course, those were very small units by modern standards. But maybe that’s an answer to the attrition of flying creatures — more but smaller turbines. Probably not as noisy as well and certainly less of a eyesore.

      • Bruce Cobb,/ Marcus
        Perhaps, perhaps not. Remember it takes much more wind energy to just start one of these over size beasts. Smaller may not be able to generate the same high end level of power, but smaller ones would have more spin time. It takes a much greater wind force to move 100ft plus blade then a ten-20 ft one.
        Also the foot print in so far as concrete & iron would be much smaller per unit.
        They screwed up, they should have planned for the lowest level of wind rather then the highest. Where were the engineers?
        If they were designed for each local set of conditions they might be of some utility but with the set of ignoramuses in charge of deploying them, its just flushing resources down the toilet. Not very green of them to not advocate wind turbines be configured to local conditions. It tells you a lot of their mind set, and the knowledge level of the people advocating such systems.
        michael

  3. Any other industry and green groups would have had it shut down before you finished reading those two paragraphs. I mean look what happened when a product potentially thinned a few bird eggs.

    • Exactly, that study was flawed; the controls also had thin shells. The diet of both subject and controls was deficient in calcium. DDT was never the issue, but it caught sails of environment movement following the publication of the “Silent Spring” fiction. It would be of interest to have this entire subject, the banning of DDT revisited. This time with actual verifiable proper scientific experiments and an impartial EPA.

      • JVC
        John is hoping. No more.
        Hope springs eternal from the human breast.
        You, and I, and John, do not – I suggest – expect to see ‘an impartial EPA’ in this Presidency.
        And if we don’t in the next one, I’m learning Mandarin . . . .
        Auto

  4. The bird chopper issue certainly has set one small group of enviros against the rest. So far the pro-windmill crowd is dominant, as windmill operators pay a token for environmental sins which would get anybody else shut down. I usually oppose funding of all enviro groups on principle. In this case I suggest funding whichever side is losing the debate, so that their attacks will be successful. With luck, the two sides would become preoccupied with battling each other to the exclusion of all else.
    Possibly, the required funding could be provided with the profits from popcorn futures trading.

  5. Although there are few studies that are accurate, cars, cats, communication towers, and window strikes each are many times higher than the estimates for wind turbines.

    • trafamadore,
      That’s an interesting assertion there. Baseless, but interesting. Contradicted by plenty of evidence, but interesting because it reveals your belief system.
      If you really believe that each of those (communication towers, cars, and cats) kill “many times” more birds than windmills, that fits right in with your eco-religious beliefs. Your factoids are wrong, but what does that matter to you?
      You say that few studies are accurate, but you post your beliefs anyway. Apparently nothing can alter your faith in the ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ narrative.
      And those aren’t “estimates” of birds killed. There is plenty of empirical evidence in the form of bird parts and carcasses. But I might as well be explaining this to a brick wall…

      • db,
        I strongly recommend taking “studies” such as the one referenced above with a grain of salt. Actually, with a large dump truck full of grains. It is most likely based on modeling an therefore about as valid as the rest of the “science” we see which is almost all model based.
        One can’t be sceptical of one area of science and then embrace another area because it supports your belief system. Based on our experience, number of bird kills is extremely small. Four raptors in 10 years and we are one of the largest utility operators of wind generation in the country (US).

      • timg56,
        Actually, he only claimed there were ‘studies’. Since traffy made the statement, it’s up to him to produce those studies. It might be he was just thinking about birds while he studied his navel…

    • Based on your logic, since anthropogenic sources of CO2 are dwarfed by natural sources, we shouldn’t worry about our little incremental contribution

      • Timg56. I personally trespassed on a very large wind farm near Fairfield Ca. (Well the gate WAS open). I walked under and around perhaps two dozen towers and found eight raptors of different types, along with dozens of smaller birds. Where is your facility?

    • …and your “studies” claimed how many eagles were killed by cats? I’d like to see that cat. How many eagles killed by cars? (Anecdotally,) I was raised in a part of the US which has eagles… I’ve never heard of a single incident involving an auto and an eagle collision. Of course, no one would likely report it, since the penalties for even possessing an eagle feather are quite severe. Maybe car owners could get a license to kill eagles, like Obama gave wind gen operators.

      • Eagles love to eat carrion, like road kills.
        Eagles are darn slow taking off and have body parts extending over large parts of the road. A car easily breaks a wing or more.
        I was riding a train one day when it clipped an eagle scarfing carrion by the train tracks. I don’t know who was driving.
        I’m surprised you haven’t experienced, seen or heard of this! Perhaps there are not as many eagles in your area of the country as you imply?

      • ATheo-
        The closest train tracks are 30 miles or so away. I’ve never seen Bald Eagles eat road kill, but I’ve seen them catch fish. They are also known to take smaller land animals, like fawns, as well. I have seen Red Tail hawks get hit by cars and buzzards are always around road carrion- them and Crows. How many eagles did I imply, Theo? Oh wait, I didn’t, did I- you’re just making something up. In fact, I specifically said that my experience was anecdotal.- which does imply that it is not data. I see no such disclaimer in your words, with which you tried to refute my point.

      • “…and your “studies” claimed how many eagles were killed by cats? I’d like to see that cat.”
        Alan, perhaps you had not heard…there have been irrefutable studies in which several people have provided speculative proof of the existence of a secret army of ninja kitties in the US.
        Yes, they are there, lurking behind every bush, in numbers that dwarf the carrying capacity of the land in which they dwell.
        No doubt they use their secret skills to bring down these large game birds and raptors in huge numbers, dragging them back to their underground cat lairs to stew up for their evening feasty.
        One might only imagine the nefarious tactics these hideously evil beasts have dreamed up to accomplish this task…and all the while pretending to be lazy lay-abouts, content to stuff their faces with kibble and sleep twenty two hours a day.

    • Prove it.
      cite hours of operator per type. / to ratio of strikes.
      I look forward to your statistics. Oh and cats, exclude them. chowing down on birds is their thing. You know nature, but that you included them shows me your mind set. Pets, gee most people try to keep them from eating our feathered friends.
      michael

    • Oh dear, not that hoary old strawman again.
      This is what the British RSPB has to say about cat predation on birds:
      No evidence
      Despite the large numbers of birds killed, there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide. This may be surprising, but many millions of birds die naturally every year, mainly through starvation, disease, or other forms of predation. There is evidence that cats tend to take weak or sickly birds.

      http://www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/birddeclines.aspx
      I can see no reason why there should be much difference in the USA.
      In any case, most of the birds killed by wind turbines are large raptors, which are not commonly caught by cats.
      And then there are the bats of course, which wind turbines kill by the tens of thousands. Cats rarely catch many of them, either.
      Further to that, it could equally be argued that serial killers kill a tiny percentage of the number killed by cars, so it is pointless wasting resources catching serial killers.

      • No defense, just throwing this into the ring – I’m not sure where Trafamador is from, but in Oz bird kills by cats is far from insignificant:
        http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/threats/cat.html ;
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_cat ;
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2014/06/04/feral-cats-australia-extinction-mammals_n_5445676.html
        and as to raptors, I’ve nearly run down a wedge tailed eagle and have seen 4 dead on the roadside – many councils clean up road kills frequently to avoid having dead animals attract more potential road kills.. so the number of dead animals seen (donkeys, camels, kangaroos, frogmouths etc) is rarely indicative of the number actually killed.

      • Cats mainly take small songbirds, rarely even managing to get a corvid. And most of these are fledglings and the old, stupid, slow, sick and weak.
        And songbirds reproduce rapidly, able to have several hatchings per year, and to have several to as many as a dozen chicks in a clutch.
        Larger birds breed more slowly, except perhaps ducks and geese…and I do not think cats are getting their fluffy jowls around many of their necks either.
        The fact is there is a dedicated band of cat haters, which may in fact exceed the number of wild cats in this country.
        They exaggerate, make outlandish claims, and pretend like any predation at all is an evil deed that must be stamped out.

    • Cats,cars, etc kill a lot of common birds.
      I have yet to see a white-tailed or bald eagle flying down a road at car height, or attacked by a household cat…

      • I saw one yesterday,( bald eagle) gliding along past our goat shed (no goats yet) It dropped down in the brush. Now I understand why my wife says once we get a kitty-cat it can’t be out doors.
        Truly beautiful to watch it was the first time I had seen one in the wild.
        I hope this one stays I’m hoping to get our kids to see it.
        michael

      • Exactly…a cat would be lucky to survive an encounter with a large hawk, owl or eagle. Take one down?
        Yeah, right!
        I hope the people spouting this nonsense keep it up…as it marks them for the nincompoops they seem to be.

      • Mike the Morlock October 19, 2015 at 4:50 pm
        … it was the first time I had seen one in the wild.
        Great thing, that. Always impressive. Even after seeing many.
        There are many to be seen near a herd of calving cows. A bit like frat boys and free beer and pizza in the park. We’ve seen eagles up close this way but usually the view is 6 or 8 sitting in a big tree (early spring, no leaves).
        I think seeing an Owl in flight is rarer, but commonly seen in trees with a bit of a walk.

      • That cat was only playing dead, Barbara.
        That was ninja kitty Fluffy McPurrsmore, and she had just laid waste to the eagle’s entire hatching of chicks.
        After you left, she crept back to her underground cat cave to regale the other ninja kitties with her tale of conquest and destruction.

    • Latecommer,
      Washington.
      I am not 100% certain, but I believe utilities have to report kills to state & federal agencies. So actual numbers should be available.

    • Just a WAG, but maybe the eagles do not think highly of a potential mate that chooses a nesting site near a death trap!

      • Eagles nest in death traps.
        When you’re next in eagle country check out the high wire tension towers. When you see sticks, that’s an eagle nest. Bald eagles love the ones crossing water or running along shorelines.

      • Reckon they ain’t death traps if they are breeding in them, eh?
        Lemme know when you see one of those nests on top of a windmill.

      • Here in FLA, they make it impossible for large birds to nest or even perch on power poles and transformers, by putting up nail strips and other barriers, and also by constructing towers that are higher than the poles.
        Eagles and other raptors will always choose the higher nesting site…especially when they are prevented from landing on the power poles and towers.

      • In case I was not clear…the nesting towers are constructed specifically for the birds to nest on, and are designed to be preferable to the birds. They work, and they build a lot of them here.

      • By the way Theo, I live and work in eagle country, and it is also, osprey, hawk, and owl country.
        I work outside, and spend a great deal of time observing and photographing nature scenes (some people, like my boss, call it loafing…but I ignore them.) while on the job and off.
        And when I am not outside, I am inside, reading and writing.
        And just this evening, I witnessed a large assemblage of Eagles stomping some New York butt!

  6. Massive industrial wind farms make no economic sense, no ecological sense, and no energetic sense. That is why we are the only raptor group (Raptor Education Foundation) in the United States that has come out publicly against the things since their inception. And we are suffering the consequences of the pro AGW swarms. See our http://www.StopConflictEnergy.org campaign.

    • God bless your efforts Peter Reshetniak! Sadly, ABC continues to focus their industrial wind stance on “proper siting.” There is NO “proper siting” for these environmentally-destructive, bird-slaughtering lemons.

  7. Wind turbines do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions (not that it is necessary – we should be increasing emissions) due to their large carbon footprint and their effect of reducing the efficiency of backup power stations.

  8. Old Style Dutch Windmills can kill and maim humans. Is it a surprise that wind turbines will kill birds? Calculate the speed of the tips of those things. If you don’t look out you get clobbered – same goes for birds.

    • When I pass a shadow of the blades on the highway, I have noticed that they move at 120 km/h (=75 mph) easily!

      • Some of the larger wind turbines have blade tip speeds in excess of 200mph. I measured the blade tip speeds on a few of the wind turbines on Lempster Ridge in New Hampshire (borrowed a lidar unit from a friend) and saw tip speeds between 145mph and 157mph. (I had to calculate the actual speed because I was not lined up with the axis of the blade ‘disc’, but off to one side. That required a small correction to compensate for apparent speed measured from that offset angle. It wasn’t a huge correction, only a few mph. The non-corrected speeds ran between 141 and 154mph.) Not too many birds I know of are capable of dodging something moving that fast.

      • @ Menicholas
        Well, I thought science was about observations too?
        When my car moves at the same speed as the shadow is making on the road, I do not see how this could not be a sound observation.
        But please, enlighten me.

      • @ DCE
        Exactly, and the longer the blades, the higher the speed of the tips, the more difficult it will be to escape and the more deadly the impact will be.
        These windmills tend to rotate at some favourable speed at the axes. The blades size will then determine the speed of the tips.
        @ Menicholas,
        Still there?
        *crickets*

      • Scarface,
        I had moved on to other threads. Sorry I have a regular job that does not involve commenting here 24/7>
        For one thing, I thought you were joking, and I was being facetious as well.
        The reason that matching your car to a moving shadow while you are driving may not be the most incredibly reliable way to estimate speed?
        Oh, I do not know…shadow distortion? Do you think the shadow of an object remains the same size as the sun rises then sets? That it is always the same size as the object casting the shadow?
        Or twenty other reasons too numerous to mention.
        But the main thing that occurred to me was…why not just time how long one revolution takes very accurately, then find out the diameter of the turbine blades, then use the well known (since the time of the ancient Greeks) formula to calculate the velocity to a very accurate number?

      • Example: If the blades take ten seconds for one revolution, and the hub is twenty feet across, and the blades are ninety feet long, then the diameter is 200′.
        Which makes the circumference 200′ times pi, or 628.32 feet.
        So the blade tip moves about 3770 feet per minute, or 42 miles per hour. (3770×60/5280)
        In the following video, chosen at random, the blades rotate at about 4-5 seconds per revolution, or about two to two and a half times 42mph…or nearly 100 mph, very roughly. IF they are 200 feet in diameter. Note too that this is the velocity at the blade tips.
        (While searching for this video, I saw many videos from the manufacturers of the turbines…and they all call them…wait for it… WIND TURBINES! For whoever that was upthread saying they are not turbines.)
        About a minute of searching provided the following info (it too me longer to type that sentence than to find the information):
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Storm_Wind_Farm
        And:
        http://www.thewindpower.net/wind-turbine-datasheet-44-gamesa-g80-2000.php
        In the second link, it lists the specs of these turbines. 200 meters in diameter, 19 RPM max rotation rate.
        Repeating the calculations for these specs gives 445 miles per hours max blade tip speed.
        Fast.
        Those things are over 600 feet wide, just for the rotor, and can spin at a rate of one revolution every three seconds, nearly.
        Anyway, I had never looked into this before, and it took me a few minutes from when I read you reply to me until I typed this out and did a little checking…and the number I got cannot be doubted, and I did not have to take my eyes off the road while driving.
        Peace, brutha!
        One thought in closing…that thing is making two million watts of power at that lazy looking rotation rate in the video!

    • Elmer, I admire what M4GW is doing. I also live in the liberal socialist state of confusion, otherwise known as Minnesota. Looking at your great videos, and the landscape, I have speculated that you might be near DL or Fungus Falls, but it just a guess,. Only a Minnesotan would know to what I am referring. Am I right?

  9. Wiley writes: “While renewable energy sources such as wind power will play an increasingly important role in climate change mitigation…” Not!
    It is true that the rational for funneling $Trillions of taxpayer & ratepayer dollars into ‘renewables’ (ie: wind) world-wide has been based on the wind industry’s claims that ‘industrial wind turbines will mitigate Climate Change.’ Yet, with over 250,000 industrial wind turbines strewn throughout the world today, CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced, nor have any conventional generation sources been shuttered anywhere thanks to unreliable wind energy. And since there’s been no warming for almost 19 years now, this also undermines the bogus justifications for this massive wealth transfer scheme. Wind proponents are destroying the very environment they claim they wish to save for a NON-solution to a debatable problem. It’s utter madness.
    Industrial Wind is A NET LOSER – Economically, Environmentally, Technically & Civilly:
    http://stopthesethings.com/2015/05/27/hammering-wind-industry-myths-the-in-a-nutshell-version/
    Industrial Wind vs. Rural America, Electricity Markets:
    https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-problems/industrial-wind-vs-rural-america-electricity-markets/
    Wind Turbines Are Climate Change Scarecrows:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/nro-energy/364885/wind-turbines-are-climate-change-scarecrows-robert-bryce

  10. “New research reveals that the breeding success of species such as the white-tailed eagle can be significantly reduced by wind power generation on a large scale, possibly due to collision mortality.”
    Now fancy that! What a surprise!
    Now all that needs to happen is for the Sierra club and other rich, but moronic, Climate alarmist pressure groups to actually read this paper and understand the “take-home” message.

    • “breeding success of species such as the white-tailed eagle can be significantly reduced by wind power generation on a large scale, possibly due to collision mortality…”
      What is the matter with you deniers? The study said there is a possible connection! This means that we really have to do another study, for which we need computers and funds, to project the ability of ‘collision mortalized eagles’ to reproduce in atmospheres with enhanced levels of C02 out to the year 2100. Should we find that said eagles are not as effective at reproduction, it will obviously be the be the fault of the C02!

  11. Ohhh the irony and hypocrisy.
    It is funny how a dam, a nuclear power plant, factory, or road can be stopped because of endangered spotted owl or snail darter.
    But chop up federally protected migratory birds (or even our national bird) in the name of green energy phantasy, that is just fine !

  12. So what? President Obama signed an executive order which gave the new “wind farm” near my native prairie home a license to kill eagles without consequence.

    • All these wind farms are going to crash if a Republican gets elected …All executives orders will be nullified !!!

      • Sorry, but my former trust in any US politician to do the right thing, has been folded, bent, spindled and mutilated.

      • I’m with you on that one, Alan Robertson! Industrial wind exists because of Republicans, not in spite of them. Republicans like Chuck Grassley and Steve King are the worst of the wind welfare leeches.

      • I suspect that a republican would just keep adding to the ex orders–just like the past republicans have–biggest problem we have is that most people don’t realize the two parties are of the same cloth–only exist to create an illusion of choice.

  13. As I mention above, be careful what you believe when hearing stories about bird kills. Utility companies have long been involved in monitoring raptor and migratory bird deaths, as we are required by law to report and take both corrective and mitagory actions. Most fatalities are from nesting or perching on power poles. We have experienced a few from our wind turbines – 4 in over 10 years of operation. When you see studies like the one above, check to see where or how they derived their number. I’ll bet that you will find it is from modeling.

    • Yeah, the usual bunk science. “May” reduce breeding success “possibly due to”….
      Doesn’t sound like they have any numbers to support either a change in breeding numbers or to quantify mortality rates…so they threw some stuff in the air in hopes of sparking some interest (= funding).

    • Sorry timg56, but you’ll have to excuse me that I will not take the word of a wind salesman who is profiting at the rest of our expense via the WIND SCAM. If you are anything like the wind factory operators in our neck of the woods (western New York State), the part-time guys Big Wind hires to go check for bird & bat kills here do so very sporadically, at best. These “green job” dead bird-and-bat picker-uppers look only directly below the turbines, while those 11-TON blades could smack a bird or bat thousands of feet away! And since they rarely scan the area anyway, the healthy populations of coyotes, fox, and other scavengers we have here have already done the clean-up work for them — as these part-timers have reported that they have seen the coyotes high-tailing out it out of there when they arrive on the scene.
      Since all 20 of New York State’s wind factories have been averaging a pathetic 24% Capacity Factor, they aren’t replacing any conventional sources – they are just a redundant cost to ratepayers (and the 308 wind turbines here in Wyoming County rarely spun at all over the past month or so, thus that average will probably get worse).
      As you rightly point out, the spiderweb of new transmission lines that must be run to connect these remote wind factories to where the power is needed substantially adds to the unnecessary bird and bat kills being created by these environmentally-destructive industrial wind factories – Not to mention the absolute civil devastation created in the targeted communities. As has been correctly stated time and time again – The only thing reliably-generated by industrial wind is complete and utter civil discord.
      So why don’t you get a real job timg56, and stop RIPPING US OFF for the scam of industrial wind. People like you are destroying rural America in order to enrich yourselves. For shame!
      Industrial Wind vs. Rural America, Electricity Markets:
      https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-problems/industrial-wind-vs-rural-america-electricity-markets/

      • marykay,
        1) I am not a wind salesman. In fact I have nothing to do with the wind generation facilities our utility operates. I do work with out avian specialist from time to time as my projects have attracted the attention of the many osprey and eagles in the area. They apparently think I’m building highrise condos for their use. So far we have left most in place, as they are so far above our lines they are not at risk and they do not impact our operations. We have relocated a few to built for the purpose nesting poles at the request of the wireless carriers. The presence of the nest can restrict their ability to access their equipment – i.e. during breeding season. We have also supported installation of nesting poles for the wireless carriers at locations which do not involve our facilities. Namely because we have a lot of experience at it.
        2) We are an electric utility and own our facilities. They were constructed to meet state mandated generation from renewables quotas. The revenue from the electricity generated is determined by a fixed rate of return establuished by the state regulators. Last time I asked, our average availability rate was 29%, which I believe is up towards the higher emd of the spectrum.
        3) I would have to confirm this, but I believe we patrol the facilites every day. Additionally it is a poor assumption to believe that the majority of raptors are eaten and therefore not accounted for. I don’t know how much you get out, but scavengers are not vacuum cleaners. They leave remains which can be identified. Note I refer to raptors. Kills of raptors and species listed under the Migratory Bird Act are required by law to be reported. It is these to which I refer to when providing numbers for our company. My primary point is for people not to simply believe reports and even scientific studies that “estimate” numbers of avian deaths from wind turbines. Check to see the basis of the numbers. It is also good practice to be sceptical of claims that are anecdotal (as you do above).
        4) I didn’t mention anything about a “spiderweb” of transmission lines. In case you are not aware of how the electricy you used to power your computer or smart device made it to you, it had to travel over transmission lines to get to the distribution system which provides you with your electric service. And while new generation facilities – whether wind, solar, NG, coal hydro or nuclear – may require construction of new transmission lines. The primary driver of new lines is growth in capacity – i.e. the need to get the electrons to the end users.
        5) So that you don’t worry, I can assure you I do have a real job. One with a company that works very hard to ensure the folks we serve have safe and reliable energy on demand. As I stated above, it has nothing to do with the generation side of the company, wind or otherwise. My job helps ensure that if you are in our portion of the Pacific NW, you have the ability to access sites like WUWT and vent from your mobile device. And when storms blow through I’m one of the dumb grunts out there running crews and assessing damage in order to get your lights back on as soon as possible.

    • timg56, you’re the first one I’ve heard with such low numbers. Please provide data. Without evidence I’ll take your comment with that truckload of salt you mentioned above.
      Questions:
      How good a job do you do to at counting fatalities? Do you count outside the footprint of the turbines?
      Were you fined for those fatalities?
      Do you count injured birds?
      What could you actually do to “take both corrective and mitagory[sic] actions”?
      More questions:
      Would wind power make sense without subsidies?
      Would wind power make sense if it wasn’t required to be part of the energy mix?
      What is the effective output? Does it match the claims made before the farms were built?
      How often do the turbines break down?
      Will the builders be around when it’s time to decommission the turbines?
      How much backup capacity is needed?
      How much has it increased the cost of electricity?
      The big one:
      Have you reduced CO2 output at all?
      Wind farms are a bad idea. Bird kills make them a really bad idea.

      • In most places — not all — wind “farms” are not really where the birds are. And because the winds are high the birds stay close to the ground.
        But the thing for the birds is their habitat, or it’s destruction. That is the real problem, not windows or cats or wind turbines. As long as cars and windows take out more birds than wind turbines, wind farms aren’t in the equation, and all of them, even together, are not the real problem.

      • walker,
        I provided you with data. 4 mortalities in 10 years of operation.
        As fo your oher quesions – why ask me? I am not involved with generation. Wind or therwise. (I did spend ten years in nuclear generation earlier in my career.) And I offered no opinions on wind generation, pro or con. I simply provided some advice based on knowledge of a single aspect – bird kills. And then only one aspect of that topic, those species of birds we monitor for.
        If you think wind farms are a bad idea, fine. I’m withholding my opinion for now, as it is not a simple black and white issue and most probably they have their place in the generation mix. The proponents of wind have said perhaps as much as 20% of capacity by 2050. I personally think that is optimist.

      • timg56, thanks for your reply. You’re right, you didn’t bring up some of those other issues. Your reply set me off. Sorry.
        However, you provided a statement, not data or references. “4 mortalities in 10 years of operation”? Not good enough. Nullius in verba.

      • trafamadore: “As long as cars and windows take out more birds than wind turbines, wind farms aren’t in the equation, and all of them, even together, are not the real problem.”
        Utter tripe.
        Cars take out more people than serial killers.
        According to your theory, we should allow serial killers to go about their murderous business unmolested, as they do not pose a problem.

    • Timmy, you show us exactly what is wrong with (a portion of) humanity. You sell your species out for the pittance you are paid to lie to people like us, the readers of this blog. I am impressed that your masters think that we are important enough to dispatch you to peddle your lies. They, at least, make a lot of money from the death and destruction they peddle. You carry their water and betray your species for peanuts. Luckily you and yours are in the minority.

      • Michael,
        It is not a good idea to stop taking your medication.
        It is rather interesting that a simple piece of advice coupled with some real world experience on avian mortality has brought out the retard in some people (leafwalker I am not including you).
        I haven’t sold anyone or thing out. I haven’t been paid to do anything here. I am not lying (and you are more than welcome Michael to say that to me in person). I have no master (though my wife someimes acts like she is). Fortunately I can take some comfort in knowing that whatever failings I may have, I am not a clown like you Michael.
        PS – in case you missed the irony Michael, claiming that people are being paid by big someone whnever they offer information or opinion that you don’t like is the standard tactic of many who believe we should be alarmed out climate change and should do what they tell us needs to be done.

    • “…we are required by law to report and take both corrective and mitagory actions. ”
      Spelling quoted as is, as noted above.
      So, Tim, you are obligated bylaw to report what you find. And the worse what you find turns out to be, the more stringent are the actions needed to be taken, one might assume…eh?
      So, it does not take much thought to quickly realize that it is directly contrary to the interests of your industry to diligently and accurately account for every bird killed.
      In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that your industry is very highly motivated to minimize any such findings.
      Question: Do you take to word of a someone, with a direct and substantial financial interest in a given subject, to give unbiased and complete information on that subject, even it such would necessarily prove highly detrimental to the income of said individuals?
      I do not.

      • Menicholas,
        You one of those people who believe in black helicopters? Ok, you got us. You are obviously too smart for us to fool. I guess everyone by now knows that the folks who work for the utility companies spend the majority of their time sitting around thinking of ways to cheat and steal.
        What a numbnut. Your attitude is not that of a skeptic. Thinking most people will default to lying and cheating in the normal course of their business is the sign of a suspicious putz.

      • Straw man arguments, changing the subject, and putting words in people’s mouths do not work here.

      • Do you learn which car is most reliable by listening to the car salesman who is most emphatc in praise for the brand he/she is selling?
        Good luck wit’ dat.

      • Since I was working my way up from the bottom, I did not se your comments above here at first.
        But I do note that your comments became more defensive and reasoned once challenged, and you seem to be backing away from some of the things you asserted.
        I agree with leafwalker…stating that 4 birds were killed in ten years seems ridiculously low. That is what I was focusing on.
        “We have experienced a few from our wind turbines – 4 in over 10 years of operation.”
        You do not state how many turbines this number of bird deaths is related to.
        If it is one or two, it seems like a low number of birds hitting them…too low to be believed. I think I am not the only one who thought that if this is the official count, then whoever is counting is likely not being very diligent. Kills must be reported, but how thoroughly must the sites be checked? And how often?
        Four deaths in ten years if you operate dozens or hundreds of such windmills is simply not credible…not to anyone who spends any time outdoors.
        And trust me (or don’t…I do not really care) I know a little bit about the power industry, government mandates for renewables, power generation and transmission, and facilities maintenance.
        As do many here, again.
        I am not critical of the power industry in general, just skeptical of these numbers you quote. And I understand how things work in business and in bureaucracies. There is no good news department, but there is a mountain of paperwork for every problem which is identified.
        Most people do not look as hard for things they do not want to find or know about.
        Reliable studies have shown that the wind farms at Altamont pass kill about 60 golden eagles every year.
        People on this site are well aware of such numbers, and the other numbers in the article linked below.
        We discuss it here regularly.
        4 in tens years?
        That is what you said that caused a reaction. Not my tin-foil hat collection.
        http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/11/22/wind-energy-company-pleads-guilty-to-eagle-deaths/3681687/

      • Menicholas
        October 21, 2015 at 7:39 pm
        Nice try.
        Lets see:
        “But I do note that your comments became more defensive and reasoned once challenged, and you seem to be backing away from some of the things you asserted.”
        You’re making it up bud. Haven’t become more defensive or backed away from anything. How about backing this up with examples?
        “stating that 4 birds were killed in ten years seems ridiculously low. That is what I was focusing on.
        I can understand why you might think that. Particularly if you willing accept information that supports your opinions. In this case high numbers of bird kills helps support what appears to be your objection to wind turbines.
        “You do not state how many turbines this number of bird deaths is related to”
        True. I don’t have an exact count. We have three generation facilities. The company notes we own the 2nd largest wind generation capacity among utilities in the country. I believe the key phrase is utility owned. I believe there are a large number of independantly owned facilities.
        “…too low to be believed. I think I am not the only one who thought that if this is the official count, then whoever is counting is likely not being very diligent. Kills must be reported, but how thoroughly must the sites be checked? And how often?”
        1) I don’t really care what you believe.
        2) Why is your first reaction to information you don’t believe to assume people are incompetent. Or worse.
        3) Who is being defensive now?
        “Four deaths in ten years if you operate dozens or hundreds of such windmills is simply not credible…not to anyone who spends any time outdoors.”
        Am I correct in thinking that your subject matter expertise is based primarily on the fact you spend a lot of time outdoors?
        ” I know a little bit about the power industry, government mandates for renewables, power generation and transmission, and facilities maintenance.”
        So do I. Doesn’t make either of us expert or even knowledgable about avian mortality due to wind turbines. Until I talked with our avian protection guy I had no idea of motality numbers. And I was also surprised when I heard the actual number. But unlike you I didn’t automatically assume the person I was talking to was lying or incompetent. I do have the advantage of having worked with him before. I have no reason for doubting him. And as I have not advocated any position in this thread other than to be sceptical of studies and claims about large numbers of bird fatalities, you really don’t have any reason to doubt the number I posted. Unless you are the type of putz who thinks he knows more than the next guy.
        “Most people do not look as hard for things they do not want to find or know about.”
        Maybe in your world. I am used to working with people who take their job responsibilities seriously. For our company safety and reliability are taken very seriously. And one cannot be sure of achieving the highest levels of either without trying to find out about the stuff you say people aren’t that interested in. (You know Menicholas, you probably should have stopped a long time ago. The hole keeps getting deeper.)
        “Reliable studies have shown that the wind farms at Altamont pass kill about 60 golden eagles every year.”
        I haven’t said otherwise. However that is California. I work in Washington. Altamont was built some time ago. For all I know they didn’t look at or lacked the knowledge about golden eagle behavior and flight patterns when they sited it. If I told you that San Diego gets less than an inch of snow in a decade, would you say that’s BS because you get several inches every year where you live?

  14. breeding success of species such as the white-tailed eagle can be significantly reduced by wind power generation on a large scale, possibly due to collision mortality.
    possibly due to collision mortality?
    I’m pretty sure the dead ones don’t breed. But I’ve seen no studies on the matter, I suppose I could be mistaken.

    • to davidmhoffer
      “I’m pretty sure the dead ones don’t breed. But I’ve seen no studies on the matter, I suppose I could be mistaken.”
      We have seen on data yet. But I think we could get a computer model to give us the answer.
      ;-}

    • I took this to refer to a diminution of possible breeding partners. Perhaps also it hinders mating rituals, both because of and aside from the outright deaths.

  15. ….and why the white-tailed eagle? Is there some specific reason to quantify effects on that specific bird? Or do they want to study it because it is a proxy for other birds? Or are they going to model other birds based on the proxy data?
    The more I read this snippet of a press release, the more it contains nothing but a plea for attention.

  16. It is surely one of the great successes of the wind industry that this problem will solve itself as the number of affected birds drops.

  17. FYI (for the United States) “White-tailed Eagle (Haliacetus albicilla) . . . nests in Greenland and the western Aleutians” (Golden guide: Birds of North America). The Bald Eagle (H. leucocephalus) is the “standard” eagle with the unmistakable white head and tail. The National Audubon Society’s, Sibley’s Guide to Birds doesn’t even mention the white-tailed.

  18. Unfortunately, migrating birds tend to follow paths with supporting winds, i.e.right where the wind turbines are.

    • Like those west to east migrating birds?
      NOT
      Birds migrate north south for the most part. winds blow east west, for the most part.
      Even butter flies haf to work against the wind, esp in the fall.

      • The birds to not have to be moving perpendicular to the turbines…and in fact do not even have to be on a course which intersect them directly.
        They can be killed by the sudden drop or increase in pressure of a blade moving hundreds of miles an hour at the tip, and can likewise be sucked into the blades while passing some distance away.
        Besides, while prevailing winds in the mid latitudes may tend to be West to East, there is often substantial variation from this, and the turbines rotate to be perpendicular to the oncoming winds.
        Additionally, birds which are hunting or foraging, or landing or taking off, or gaining altitude by using thermals, will wheel around, circle, and fly in otherwise un-straight lines.
        A false argument.
        Really stretching now, huh dude?

      • Menicholas October 19, 2015 at 9:58 pm
        A false argument.

        Actually gotta go with traf on this one. Rick’s claim was in regard to migrating birds following the wind corridors. Traf correctly pointed out that prevailing winds are an east west thing while bird migrations is a north south thing. Your point, while accurate, pertains to local flight patterns, not migratory flight patterns.
        In fact, not only do migrating birds not follow the east west wind corridors, they also migrate for the most part at altitudes well above the wind farms.

      • “In fact, not only do migrating birds not follow the east west wind corridors…”
        The turbines turn to face the wind.
        West to east straight zonal flow may be more of an exception than a rule, and the turbines turn to face the wind wherever it comes from. Shall we look at the wind patterns for random locations in the US?
        They usually look like this:
        http://www.variable4.org.uk/news/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/winddir-500×500.jpg
        or this:
        http://www.chilthorneweather.co.uk/6%20years%20of%20Wind%20Direction.jpg
        or this:
        http://www.rockclimbingcompany.co.uk/images/wind.JPG
        Or this:
        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vocyzeFo1hE/TZ4FhgYKV5I/AAAAAAAAAA4/GfhfyR3S9Sc/s1600/Map+11+Wind+Rose.jpg
        Northerly winds are common in fall. And Spring. As are southerly ones.
        Every cold front has a belt of southerly winds out ahead of it, and northerly winds behind it.
        ” …they also migrate for the most part at altitudes well above the wind farms.”
        Darn good thing, or we would likely already be looking at extinction level destruction, as whole populations flew to their death on the first migration occurring after construction of the choppers. The question is what will be the long term affects of a killing machine that takes the weak with the strong, the healthy with the sick, etc? And what about when we have two, or three, or ten times as many as we have today?
        What then?
        And hey, they gotta get up to that level, and then descend again, sometimes every day and night.
        https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/19/75/f8/1975f8e037622a6fcfabefea01b03a54.jpg

      • While one of the main migration routes for hawks is south-north there is a major route at the western end of Lake Erie near the mouth of the Detroit river which then goes southwest-northeast. This will take the hawks right through many hundreds of planned wind turbines in southwestern Ontario.
        Hawks don’t cross the Great Lakes and only cross narrow bodies of water like rivers or at the end of large bodies of water.
        There is hawk migration map that shows this.
        Ohio buzzards seldom cross Lake Erie to Ontario and they do eat road-kill like along the Ohio toll-road across northern Ohio.

  19. Hey mods, wake up, I have 2 or three comments in the tube that you are suppressing in your mod like weird behavior.
    [Reply: That is sure to make the moderators jump up and do what you say, stat. ~mod.]

    • Would this not turn out to be the ultimate irony…the final slap by Gaia at the California eco loons…if it is their precious windmills that are causing the awful droughts in their already desertish land?
      This makes me sit up straight.

      • Well, there’s no doubt that wind farms disrupt wind patterns in the immediate area, but then, a building, wheich there are more of, many of which have larger cross sections, and heights, have been around for a lot longer, haven’t generated similar claims.
        Funny people going out of their way to slag wind mills on these types of issues with rather flimsy evidence when the real killer is that they produce intermittent power which must be supplemented by conventional sources that cost more, and produce more CO2 than the wind mills save.
        Its sorta like CO2 being logarithmic and cooling response of the planet being exponential, which should have been the end of the CAGW meme all by itself, but somehow we get dragged into all these side issues, many of which don’t have merit.

      • Some time ago, before they had begun to build many of these new generation of large windmills, I wondered how much wind energy there was in a given wind belt, and how much energy could be extracted before affecting weather, by redirecting or actually slowing the wind.
        Wind blows in response to pressure gradients, and other forces affect the path taken. If wind energy is extracted, does the gradient remain and more wind just materialize to compensate…or is the pressure gradient diminished? Or is it somehow increased, but displaced geographically?
        Windmills do not just deflect the wind, they extract energy from it.
        And whatever affect one or two has, or that many of them widely spaced has, may not be the same as long lines of them, densely packed and in several tiers.
        Besides, we already know that cities affect the weather…we are just not sure how much.
        And few cities have long lines of tall building laid out specifically to capture as much wind as possible.
        What must be considered is not how many we have now, anyway…but how many are planned to be built.
        My understanding is that the people building these things have in mind that we are only just getting started.
        In order to meet the goals we hear about, there will need to be tens to hundreds of times as many as there are now…virtually a coast to coast and north to south packing, anywhere they can put ’em.
        Or am I wrong about this?

      • It’s not just California. Its a global phenomenon. Wherever wind farms are located drought soon follows.
        For example, Western India first got wind farms in 1996. Drought followed immediately. There were protests. Some even went so far as to attempt to tear down the turbines. Investigations were conducted and leading meteorological “experts” were brought it. They concluded that the farmers were mistaken, misguided, delusional. That was 2004. The drought has continued unabated. Since then over 800 farmers in that one region, Maharashtra, have committed suicide.
        Even Brazil–a RAINforest–is experiencing drought!
        And the issue has more to do with meteorology’s understanding of storm origins (convection theory) than it does environmental whackoism.
        If you want to get a sense of the stubborn stupidity that permeates ALL of meteorology I suggest reading all of the comments at the end of this story:
        El Nino: When will it start raining in California?
        http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_28941058/el-nino-when-will-it-start-raining-california
        I hope this link works. If not try Googling it. It’s on Mercury News of Silicon Valley. Be sure to scroll down to the comments.

      • The only language jet streams understand is boundary layers. (That is why they are found along the tropopause.) Destroy the boundary layers and jet streams have no pathway to deliver the energy of storms. (BTW, storms have nothing to do with convection–nothing whatsoever.) Unfortunately wind turbines destroy boundary layers.

      • davidmhoffer:
        “Well, there’s no doubt that wind farms disrupt wind patterns in the immediate area, but then, a building, which there are more of, many of which have larger cross sections, and heights, have been around for a lot longer, haven’t generated similar claims.”
        I think the difference is that trees, buildings, and mountains don’t mine energy from the air and, therefore, they don’t introduce turbulence that destroys the integrity of surface layer smoothness as a body of moist air is pulled up and stretched out by normal wind flow. Or, at least, they don’t do so as much.
        Boundary layer smoothness is critical to storm initiation. Storms depend on distinct boundary layers as the pathway to deliver the energy of storms. (Meteorology is genuinely (institutionally) ignorant about storms.)
        Also, people don’t generally site buildings at locations that have the highest wind flow.
        Whatever the case, the small amount of benefit that we get from wind turbines does not offset the risk to crop failure from drought. Drought is a big deal. Birds, noise, and money, are not, IMO.
        Ultimately, the real issue is that meteorologists are plainly misguided on what causes storms. So their advice is less than worthless. Meteorologists are all brain dead stuck on convection theory, even though not one of them can explain why.

      • Trying to get a meteorologists to discuss storm theory is like trying to get a climatologists to discuss CO2 Forcing. One can never get a straight answer out of them, assuming you can even get them to answer at all.
        Anthony Watts is a meteorologist. He refuses to discuss storm theory. (Trust me, I’ve tried.)
        With meteorology’s absurdly non-scientific storm theory the problem isn’t with liberal climatologists. The problem is with both liberal and conservative meteorologists.
        Can Anthony Watt answer these questions? Can any meteorologist:
        http://disq.us/8pk0a2
        Can You?

      • I think I remember you now…you are the “Moist air is heavier than dry air” and “There is no such thing as convection” guy, aren’t you?
        There are no jet streams where hurricanes form…strong wind aloft prevents them from forming.
        Almost all the rain we get here in the tropics is pure convective activity…there are no jet streams…the sun heating the ground causes air to rise rapidly.
        Case closed.

    • Are we sure it isn’t Nestlé causing California’s droughts? Last I heard their licence ran out a few decades back and they STILL pump out millions of gallons per annum so they can sell it back to the population who originally owned it.

      • California drought is caused by same thing as the droughts which occur in all desert and semiarid regions…sometimes they get no rain.

  20. How about the California Condor? Condors eat carrion. Carrion is at the feet of windmills due to other bird and bat strikes. The windmills will attract and then kill California condors, the rarest and largest bird in North America.
    I guess we will NEVER be able to release them back to the wild.

  21. I have yet to see a bird without lightning fast reflexes. How the hell they would get ‘hit’ by slow turning turbine vanes is beyond me. I ahve several times stopped along the road where the wind farms were close and looked and never seen a dead bird yet – somebody must be highly efficient in clearing them up.
    I would imagine living under one might be annoying and even contribute to psyhiological distress, but again, I haven’t seen any that close to housing. Cows and sheep seem blissfully unaware of the hazards posed by the noise of the vanes and hum of the turbines.
    And personally, I think they look pretty good across the green hills – if you’d spent any time around Morwell (Victoria, Australia) I’m sure you’d find them a vast improvement over an open cut coal mine. 😀

    • “How the hell they would get ‘hit’ by slow turning turbine vanes is beyond me.”
      Twaddle.
      The tip velocity of those “slow turning turbine blades” is likely to be in excess of 150 MPH.

      • Exactly.
        It is an optical illusion caused by the shear size of the blade and their height.
        Those planes way up in the sky sure look like they are creeping along too, don’t they?

  22. Finally a rational comment! Trafamadore at 1059 points out that birds kills as a result of power should be considered in the larger context of all bird kills.
    This is in fact a regulatory requirement. The US power industry is required to produce electricity safely and with insignificant environmental impact. We do this 24/7/365.
    Armchair quarterbacks love to point out insignificant or isolated failures. Of course the safety and and environmental implications having of power outages are huge.
    I consider seeing wild turkeys a special occasion. Yesterday driving through Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area (created by evil dams), we got to see more wild turkeys than we could count. Later we were driving through dryland wheat fields which is good habitat for wind farms. Our trip ended ten miles from the nuke plant I worked at before there were thousands of wind turbines in Washington State.
    My point is that those who ‘do’ on a daily basis are a lot smarter than the who explain what ‘could’ happen if we do not not do our job right. Please spare me any Califonia examples. Yes, there are lots of stupid people in there making it hard for the rest of us.
    When evaluating the environmental impact, the three most important factors are location, location, location, location. Wind turbines and raptors in Finland, may only be of interests to Finland.

      • Poppycock…if you want reliable power you want to get rid of the wind turbines.
        I want to hear from you when you are expected to produce a stable grid with more than a few wind turbines here and there and no more coal plants or gas fired backups at the ready.

      • Menicholas,
        Perhaps you should read more and comment less. The topic is not impact to grid reliability from wind generation. It is impact to bird populations. One has nothing to do with the other.
        Had you paid attention you would have noticed that nowhere did I state an opinion on the viability or desirability of continuing to add wind generation to the grid. I don’t intend to, as there is a lot of information I’d want to know before offering one. I can note that our utility, which owns the 2nd highest amount of wind generation (by rated mw hour) of any utility in the country, has no future builds in the current 20 year plan. We even sold our remaining leases from the last project after building out about a 1/4 of the footprint.

  23. There’s a multitude of life forms that reproduce by splitting in two.
    I seem to recall from my old biology text books that birds and bats are not among them.
    Obviously biology text books need to be adjusted.

    • Reproduce by splitting in two?
      Let me tell you about this girl Maryanne I used to know.
      She was about 4’9″ tall, and…well… maybe I better not talk about this here.

  24. Poppycock? Who said anything about getting rid of coal, nuke, hydro or gas power plants? In the PNW, BPA balances wind generation with hydro.
    http://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/baltwg.aspx
    For more than 20 years I have been listening to Washington State watermelon governors talk about closing the state’s only coal power plant. The action is always the same. An agreement to close the plant many years after leaving office. Centralia is now slated to close in 2025.
    I suspect by 2025 there will be more broken wind turbines in Washington state than operating ones. Coal, nukes, and hydro plants will have completed another major overhaul to run to 2045.

    • After getting their promise on closure of Centralia plant, they decided, with the encouragement of Sierra Club and other environmental groups, to go after plants outside of the state, namely Coalstrip in Montana.
      We have customers in well heeled places like Bainbridge Island who want carbon free electricity. I’m fine with that, so long as they are willing to pay the difference in cost. (Interesting to note I never hear anything about carbon free home and water heating. Were it me, I’d say secure electricity, secure gas and let them cope on their own.)
      Should note these are the same folks who don’t allow us to trim trees near our lines or resist plans to build a new transmission line to serve the Island and improve reliability. Who wants to take bets they are the same people who complain the loudest when service goes out in a storm.

      • There is no such thing as ‘carbon free’ power. Life cycle analysis show this. Green power is a marketing scam. It is not about reducing the environmental impact of making electricity. It is about marketing to the ‘well healed’.
        If you look at the last two major power outages (1996 west coast 2003 Ohio to New York, DC), failure to ‘trim trees’ was one of the root causes.
        This may sound harsh, but left coast utilities are poorly managed. I hate to hear excuses from the power industry. My family did not lose power in the above two blackouts because my power came from well managed part of grid. Good utilities educated customers and regulators what is needed to keep the lights on.
        Ice storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes will take out power lines but good utilities restore power fast. While eating lunch at a power plant in Michigan one coworker complained that his power had been out for 5 days. The rest of us had had power back in a few hours. Turns out not one person in his rural subdivision called to report the outage. I suspect the reason was that the local new from the big city ran the poorly managed excuses for taking a week to restore power.
        Lived in boondocks Pennsylvania. PP&L never failed us. In the mild climate California, PG@E routinely lost power to our house. Good management also applies to running coal and nuke plants.

      • Kit,
        I know that and you know that. It’s the well heeled morons and elected officials (like our President and the Governor here in WA), who appear to be clueless.

    • Failure of rotating equipment is not a disaster. It is foreseen and expected. 99.9% of the time safety devices prevent failure but hanging around turbines of any kind is a bad idea.

  25. Hi all.
    I need to give some credit here. Kip Hansen posted the following image on 9 October in WUWT ‘test’. I hadn’t seen it before. If you click on my link, you get taken to WordPress’s hosting of the image; not the original source. I presume the url on the picture is the compiler of the barchart. They cite their source:

    Bar chart based on independent assessments of direct human-caused mortality in the United States and Canada. This data is adapted from Loss SR, Will T, Marra PP. Direct human-caused mortality of birds. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics In prep

    Okay, credit aside, it’s surely relevant to this discussion. Others have raised the same point in discussion without the graphic.
    I must say the graphic has caused me to change my mind a bit. I used to be antagonistic against windfarms for their environmental damage. A trenchant phrase I used was “Windfarms are equal to ten Exxon Valdez disasters every single year.” That’s probably an understatement given that the graphic gives details only for the US and Canada. Still, the graphic indicates that they are not the significant ecological calamity i had thought.
    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/cats_vs_birds.jpg?w=720

    • OMG, another ninja cat army warning?
      Gimme a break.
      Anyone who can look at these numbers and not be able to dismiss them with some quick mental arithmetic is seriously enumerate.
      If you do believe this, let me know, and I will attempt to talk you off the ledge of this particular insanity.
      There is no secret hidden army of 60 million wild cats in the US.
      The non-existent secret army is not killing 2.4 billion birds per year.
      Persisting in delusional beliefs is very unhealthy to the psyche.

      • Hi Menicholas.
        I agree with you “There is no secret hidden army of 60 million wild cats in the US.”. But that’s not what the claim is.
        It’s alleged by National Geographic and the University of Georgia that DOMESTICATED house cats are perpetrating mass avian slaughter. Here’s a great comic on the topic. The site has been popular for a while, but I just learnt about it; ‘the oatmeal’. Check it out. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/cats_actually_kill
        The site has great material, and has caused me to do much rethinking, always a good thing.
        I neither endorse nor deny the numbers, I merely affirm I’ve done my best to accurately transcribe and credit them. But without being innumerate, the numbers I posted above are conservative compared to the calculations shown.

    • Once again – for those who missed/ignored it the first time, are the conclusions of the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, who actually know something about such matters.
      No evidence
      Despite the large numbers of birds killed, there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide. This may be surprising, but many millions of birds die naturally every year, mainly through starvation, disease, or other forms of predation. There is evidence that cats tend to take weak or sickly birds.
      We also know that of the millions of baby birds hatched each year, most will die before they reach breeding age. This is also quite natural, and each pair needs only to rear two young that survive to breeding age to replace themselves and maintain the population.
      It is likely that most of the birds killed by cats would have died anyway from other causes before the next breeding season, so cats are unlikely to have a major impact on populations. If their predation was additional to these other causes of mortality, this might have a serious impact on bird populations.
      Those bird species that have undergone the most serious population declines in the UK (such as skylarks, tree sparrows and corn buntings) rarely encounter cats, so cats cannot be causing their declines. Research shows that these declines are usually caused by habitat change or loss, particularly on farmland.

      http://www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/birddeclines.aspx
      It seems there are a lot of cat haters out there with very vivid imaginations and little understanding of statistical mathematics.
      A bit like AGW True Believers, in fact.

  26. The proof of the pet cat’s predation has been captured on videotape from kitty-cams.
    “I think it will be impossible to deny the ongoing slaughter of wildlife by outdoor cats given the videotape documentation and the scientific credibility that this study brings,” said Michael Hutchins, Executive Director/CEO of The Wildlife Society, the leading organization for wildlife professionals in the United States. “There is a huge environmental price that we are paying every single day that we turn our backs on our native wildlife in favor of protecting non-native predatory cats at all cost while ignoring the inconvenient truth about the mortality they inflict.”
    http://abcbirds.org/article/kittycam-reveals-high-levels-of-wildlife-being-killed-by-outdoor-cats/

  27. I think I remember you now…you are the “Moist air is heavier than dry air” and “There is no such thing as convection” guy, aren’t you?
    Convection is a myth.
    Right. I’m the guy that figured out tornadoes. http://www.solvingtornadoes.com. You are another science pretender. Science is about what you can prove, not what you believe.
    There are no jet streams where hurricanes form
    Yes, this is true. Obviously you haven’t the slightest idea why.
    …strong wind aloft prevents them from forming.
    Bullshit. That’s a made up explanation based on speculation. But that’s what the weather channel claims. Likewise the simpletons proclaim that high pressure ridges block storms. All meteorological explanations are nonsense. Moist air is heavier than dry air. Meteorology is for dumb people.
    Almost all the rain we get here in the tropics is pure convective activity…there are no jet streams…the sun heating the ground causes air to rise rapidly.
    Case closed.
    All storms, even those that occur at the tropics and even those that occur hundreds or even thousands of miles from “the” jet streams are caused by jet streams. Jet streams AND THEIR TRIBUTARIES supply the energy of storms. Tributaries to the jet streams exist high, running along the boundary with the stratosphere.
    Does the fact that meteorology has never measured the weight of moist to dry air and refuses even now bother you at all?

    • Menicholas, tell us why you believe in convection theory. Tell us what other alternative theories you’ve considered. Tell us what empirical evidence (that means reproducible experimental evidence) convinced you of the validity of the convection model of storm theory. Tell us how the convection model explains the existence of the jet streams. Tell us how the convection model explains the existence of the violence that exists at the top of thunderstorms that can, and has, knocked aircraft out of the sky. Tell us how convection explains the rotation witnessed in storms? Why do you think it is that all tornadoes generally track the same direction at the jet stream lays? Coincidence?
      Where does the energy of storms come from? How does it arrive at a particular location and why is its arrival so abrupt?
      Tell us why the, supposedly, lighter moist air does not immediately rush up through the cooler, drier air above when it first evaporates of the surface of a body of water.
      Can you explain the structure that is plainly evident in a tornado votex? (I can. You can’t.)
      Why do you believe moist air is lighter than dry air? Have you ever measured it? If so where is the data and the methods? Are you concealing it/them from the public? If not then why do you believe something you’ve never measured? Put up or shut up.
      Do you agree the boiling point of H2O is 212F? Do you agree that, therefore, the moisture in the atmosphere is never above its boiling point? Do you believe the H2O in moist air is steam (monomolecular H2O)? Or is it little droplets? Tell us how you know. Have you measured it? Then how do you know?
      Do you consider the uplift that is withnessed in thunderstorms to be evidence of convection? Why? Have you considered other theories? What empirical methods did you employ to eliminate these competing hypotheses?
      Do you consider yourself an scientist?
      Do you think somebody that doesn’t do experiments should consider themselves a scientist?
      Indisputably clouds are heavier than moist air, right? Tell us your own words why they don’t come dropping out of the sky.
      You will have no real answers to any of the questions. Other than myself, no meteorologist does. You are all dingbats when it comes to the fators that underlie storms. Most meteorologist never deal with any of these issue in their whole career.
      When it comes to storm theory, meteorology is a pretend science. You yourself have already demonstrated as much right here in this thread.
      Can you explain how convection causes the low pressure witnessed in storms? Go ahead, nitwit, this is our second chance. Make my day.
      As you will demonstrate with your inability to answer any of these questions, all meteorologists (accept myself) are brain-dead believers who don’t have the slightest idea why they believe what the believe. You just believe.
      Answer all of these questions, you evasive twit.
      I predict you will not answer even one of these questions.
      Believers believe. Scientist measure and test.
      You are not a scientist, you are a believer.

Comments are closed.