National Audubon Society Sues Bay Area Wind Turbines (Altamont Pass–a 40-year problem)

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — February 8, 2022

Altamont Pass has been a black eye on the entire wind industry since its construction.” (National Audubon Society, below)

“… the need for renewable energy is not an excuse to … wipe out local populations of wildlife. Wind companies are making billions and can afford to ensure projects are responsibly sited and include adequate mitigations to reduce impacts to sensitive species.” (Ariana Rickard, Mount Diablo Audubon Society, below)

Altamont Pass again? Back in 1997, my Policy Analysis for the Cato Institute, “Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not ‘Green’,” included a section, “The ‘Avian Mortality’ Problem,” that focused on Altamont Pass, then the nation’s largest wind farm and a documented killing field for protected birds.

That 625-MW project was just a short car ride away from the San Francisco headquarters of the Natural Resources Defense Council. But NRDC did not care—that industrial wind complex was the centerpiece of the alternative to fossil-fuel-fired electricity. Neither did the Sierra Club, whose Las Angeles chapter coined the term for industrial wind turbines, “the Cuisinarts of the Air.”

As I documented in the Cato study a quarter-century ago:

  • The National Audubon Society called for a moratorium on new wind farms until the bird-kill problem was solved.
  • The bird kills at Altamont Pass was a federal crime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; killing bald eagles is also a crime under the Bald Eagle Protection Act.
  • “So intense has the windmill ‘avian mortality issue’ become in wind and wildlife circles, some fear for their jobs if they speak out; others fear for their research dollars, while the companies fear for their futures.”

Fast forward to today. A November 17, 2021, press release stated:

The National Audubon Society, Ohlone Audubon Society, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Mount Diablo Audubon Society, and Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society today filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court to challenge Alameda County’s approval of a new, 80-megawatt wind turbine facility at Altamont Pass, arguing that the project lacked sufficient environmental review and failed to adequately assess and avoid impacts to birds and bats. The lawsuit marks the first time that the National Audubon Society has sued to prevent approval of a wind project in California.

“Audubon supports responsibly developed wind projects and works collaboratively with wind developers that are authentically interested in avoiding impacts to birds, but we have been forced to file this lawsuit because Alameda County has broken its commitments and failed to protect birds and bats in the Altamont Pass for forty years,” said Mike Lynes, California state policy director for the National Audubon Society. “Alameda County approved a poorly planned project that they know will kill Golden Eagles and other birds in violation of state and federal laws and that will contribute to the continuing declines of Golden Eagles and other sensitive species.”

The press release continues:

The Altamont Pass is home to the densest nesting population of Golden Eagles in the world, as well as important populations of Western Burrowing Owls, Red-Tailed Hawks, Tricolored Blackbirds, other migratory birds and several species of bats. The area is also home to the largest wind resource area in the United States, where 5000 turbines were built over a 56-square-mile area in the early 1980s without any environmental mitigation. For decades, the Altamont Pass has killed so many Golden Eagles that it is a “population sink” for the species and is contributing to its overall decline in the region.

Negotiations with the Altamont owners and local authorities were unsuccessful:

Supervisors gave final approval to the project at Mulqueeny Ranch on October 7, denying an appeal by National Audubon and the Ohlone, Golden Gate, Mount Diablo and Santa Clara Audubon Societies. In the appeal, Audubon also urged the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to convene their independent Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of experts before their final decision to hear its recommendations on how the project could be modified to reduce impacts to birds. But the developer, Brookfield Renewables, LLC, objected to the independent review and County staff refused to convene the TAC prior to the board hearing.

The legal experience of Audubon groups with authorities (and silent, shameful Big Environmentalism) has been disappointing:

“Fifteen years ago, Alameda County and the wind companies settled a lawsuit with the Audubon chapters and committed to reduce bird deaths by 50% by 2009. With the approval of this project, the County is putting the Altamont Pass back on pace to kill as many Golden Eagles as it did 15 years ago,” said Glenn Phillips, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society. “Despite admitting they haven’t reduced bird deaths by 50%, the County wouldn’t even convene that their Technical Advisory Committee to receive recommendations before making a final decision. Instead, the County relied entirely on advice from Brookfield’s environmental consultant.”

“People in Alameda County want to see responsibly-sited renewable energy, but we’re tired of the county breaking its promises to protect wildlife and doing whatever the wind developers want,” said William Hoppe, Chair of Ohlone Audubon Society Board of Directors. “It’s time for some balance, where Alameda County listens to wildlife experts to ensure that wind projects avoid and reduce harms to birds and bats to the fullest extent possible.”

Climate change policy is no excuse, the press release continues. The law is the law, and carnage is carnage.

“We at Audubon understand better than anyone that climate change presents an existential threat to people and birds, and responsible renewable energy development is essential to transitioning from fossil fuels. But the need for renewable energy is not an excuse to … wipe out local populations of wildlife,” said Ariana Rickard, Vice-President of the Mount Diablo Audubon Society. “Wind companies are making billions and can afford to ensure projects are responsibly sited and include adequate mitigations to reduce impacts to sensitive species.”

Conclusion

The environmental game is rigged in favor of wind cronies and against existing protections for wildlife, which environmentalists passed in the first place. The press release ends:

“Alameda County and Brookfield refused to adopt the science-based recommendations of top experts from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife that would have reduced harm to birds and still left Brookfield with a viable project,” said Matthew Dodder, Executive Director of Santa Clara Valley Audubon. “We are only asking that Alameda County fulfill its promises to conduct objective, science-based reviews of projects and ensure that they are properly sized, sited, and mitigated to minimize harm to birds and bats.”

Stay tuned for developments in The National Audubon Society vs. County of Alameda.

——————-

About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

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Rob_Dawg
February 8, 2022 10:05 am

Raptor Reapers!

John Tillman
February 8, 2022 10:06 am

Coyotes thank the Militant Green-Industrial Complex!

Vuk
Reply to  John Tillman
February 8, 2022 10:15 am

BLM – birds lives matter.

John Tillman
Reply to  Vuk
February 8, 2022 1:28 pm

Except apparently they don’t, any more than do the innocent black kids k!lled in the crossfire of gangster warfare in Democrat-misruled cities.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Vuk
February 9, 2022 10:42 am

Don’t you mean: RLM – Ravens lives matter.

To suggest Birds lives matter is racist.

Skinmansd
Reply to  Vuk
February 13, 2022 12:10 pm

Now that’s funny.

Dave Fair
Reply to  John Tillman
February 8, 2022 3:38 pm

As Executive Director of the County Planning Commission, my wife was a member of a rural group organized by the BLM that reviewed activities related to the local use of Federal land and other similar issues. It was made up of Federal, State and local land management employees, ranchers and business people and a single wild (feral) horse advocate from San Francisco. Upon joining the group, my wife observed that the only interest not represented by any of the participants was that of the lowly coyote. She took it upon herself to advocate for the coyotes’ interests and wellbeing. She developed the slogan “A Sheep A Week Is All We Ask For.” While not very effective, her coyote advocacy did, however, reveal how few people have a functioning sense of humor, especially ranchers.

[As an aside, don’t ever use the word “feral” around a “wild” horse advocate; apparently their skin is not as thick as those they “protect.”]

Gunga Din
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 8, 2022 5:39 pm

… my wife was a member of a rural group organized by the BLM that…

I assume that you mean The Bureau of Land Management and not that other “BLM”?
(International readership. They may have only heard of the latter. 😎

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gunga Din
February 8, 2022 6:56 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Gunga Din. Sometimes I forget that most of the U.S. populace, much less people from around the world, don’t know that about 28% of the U.S. land area is owned by the Federal government. About 92% of that land is in only 12 western states, with about 85% if my home state of Nevada being lorded over by lackies from the Leftist Deep State swamp of Washington DC. Imagine your home “ownership” being ruled by and dictated to by a wildly out of control Marxist home owners’ association (HOA). That’s how most people outside the Leftist big cities feel about DC “stewardship” of Federal lands.

John in LdB
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 10, 2022 7:09 pm

Marxist Dave? Seriously? You are too kind. I’d say Stalinist.

Michael in Dublin
February 8, 2022 10:11 am

Which two articles could I recommend to people who are facing a problem of seven huge wind turbines to be built in their area with reliable information about the failure of such turbines on the land?

Last edited 3 months ago by Michael in Dublin
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 8, 2022 10:42 am

For overall economic failure, get (free) my illustrated post over at Climate Etc from a few years ago titled ‘True Cost of Wind’. That year, EIA claimed wind and CCGT were at LCOE parity. They deliberately misled. With correct inputs, CCGT was $58/MWh while onshore wind was $147/MWh.

griff
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 8, 2022 11:36 am

They don’t fail, so why worry?

fretslider
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 12:12 pm

Oh they fail and spectacularly

https://youtu.be/nemy4TD4I3A

Gary Pearse
Reply to  fretslider
February 9, 2022 10:56 am

Add this beauty:

comment image?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJpc3MiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwic3ViIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTppbWFnZS5vcGVyYXRpb25zIl0sIm9iaiI6W1t7InBhdGgiOiIvZi81MjE3NjBlOS0yNzY3LTRlM2UtYWQzYi05NGRlOTlkMWYzMTIvZDlwM2M0OC0yM2E4MTBjZi1mMjAwLTRkNWEtYjE2Mi1iZTg5YWZjMjBhMmEuanBnIiwid2lkdGgiOiI8PTEzMzQiLCJoZWlnaHQiOiI8PTU5OSJ9XV19.BEKKUF0jO7tJMieLlTaZ3-0pcPE61QDn1zks_sNeYBw

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 9, 2022 11:17 am

Oops, sorry about that. It was supposed to be a picture of a collapsing row of 6 adjacent windmills on fire. Maybe green gremlins screwed up the URL for the “Cause”

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 1:25 pm

You have that backwards as usual. None of them work at producing reliable power that actual people can afford.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  MarkW
February 9, 2022 12:24 pm

Wait a minute! If they are not working, they are not killing birds. Those wishing for power can just imagine that it is a windless day. Those who don’t can fly kites. Win-win.

John Tillman
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 1:33 pm

One of the insidious aspects of wind turbines is that they accumulate smashed insects on their blades’ leading edges. This attracts birds and bats, which are then clobbered.

You, sir or madam, are either a blithering ignoramus-stooge or paid liar.

While I now live in Chile, my native AO is northeastern Oregon, home to the world’s most extensive wind farms. Some are located on land owned by my closest kin. All hire dead bird and bat collectors to pick up the corpses and dispatch the not yet dead, lest the coyote population explode. Which it has done anyway, since some birds and all bats are clubbed to death by night, so that the dead are eaten before the crews arrive.

Last edited 3 months ago by John Tillman
MarkW
Reply to  John Tillman
February 9, 2022 6:02 am

You, sir or madam, are either a blithering ignoramus-stooge or paid liar.

“and” is a real possibility.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 4:25 pm

griff, anything mechanical can, and usually does, fail, especially if not maintained properly. Where do you get this stuff?

TonyG
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 9, 2022 10:43 am

I’m not even sure anymore that griff is a real person. Nobody can be so disconnected from reality and actually function day-to-day.

bill Johnston
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 4:58 pm

Did you perchance neglect to append the “sarc” tag??

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 5:43 pm

Seriously??? Look at the picture at the head of the post. Now, I couldn’t find anything confirming that this is a view of turbines at Altamont, but out of the 10 pictured, 2 are decapitated and one appears to be missing a blade. Proof that they do fail. Live by the absolute statement, die by the single counter-example.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 6:58 pm

They seldom see required significant repair, because It’s so costly to extensively repair or replace the turbines they are “placed temporarily offline” (left to rot).

Alan the Brit
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 11:56 pm

There you go again, displaying a level of ignorance beyond belief!!! Tell me Griff, have you sought medical advice about removing your head from its current stuck position, if not, I strongly recommend that you do because it must be getting very smelly up there!!!

Paul Penrose
Reply to  griff
February 9, 2022 9:33 am

I think the griff-graff is trying to see just how big a negative rating he can achieve, i.e., this is just a big game to him. If we want him to go away, we need to ignore him. Don’t reply, don’t down-vote. Once he realizes we will not play his petty games anymore, he will go elsewhere to get his cheap jollies.

ATheoK
Reply to  griff
February 9, 2022 4:09 pm

They don’t fail, so why worry?”

Unable to stop telling the biggest porkies, giffie!

Since you represent yourself as some sort of renewables expert, such bold lies make you legally culpable.

Richard Page
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 8, 2022 12:27 pm

There was a study done a few years ago between a UK and Scandinavian uni (I think) that suggested that, over a 20 year lifespan, there would be a 10% failure rate of onshore wind turbines. By that, they meant a single catastrophic failure not general wear and tear.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Richard Page
February 8, 2022 12:57 pm

It is a higher failure rate now because of larger turbines and severe axial bearing loading. Since the wind speed isn’t constant across the large diameter (slower lower, faster higher) there is an inherent wobble.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 8, 2022 3:22 pm

What about the vertical axis windmills? I would think that would have less bearing loading. Also, the wind should cause the blades to turn from any direction. I believe the blades would be less hazardous to wildlife since they don’t reach the speeds that the tips of horizontal blades do.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 8, 2022 3:47 pm

While working for the DOE, I was involved in evaluating experimental wind turbines at a site near the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. The vertical axis (eggbeater) design didn’t perform anywhere near up to snuff. To my knowledge, there are no large-scale commercially available “eggbeaters.”

EastBayLarry
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 8, 2022 8:37 pm

Altamont Pass had a large number of vertical turbines years ago. Since they’re all gone now I assume they didn’t pan out.

Last edited 3 months ago by EastBayLarry
John Hultquist
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 8, 2022 10:05 pm
beng135
Reply to  John Hultquist
February 9, 2022 7:31 am

Looking at them gives the impression of a monument to absurdity.

Fran
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 8, 2022 2:14 pm

This one is about the effects of infrasound on humans.

https://livestream.com/itmsstudio/events/8781285/videos/196181579

AndyHce
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 8, 2022 4:27 pm

to say nothing of the detrimental effects of wind turbines on people and other non flying animals

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 9, 2022 7:03 am

A good resource for info can be found here: https://wind-watch.org/

D. J. Hawkins
February 8, 2022 10:20 am

For those inclined, contact information:

District 1 David Haubert Board of Supervisors – District 1 – Alameda County (acgov.org)

District 2 Richard Valle BVanessa Cedeño<br>Chief of Staff – Alameda County (acgov.org)

District 3 David Brown Vanessa Cedeño<br>Chief of Staff – Alameda County (acgov.org)

District 4 Nate Miley Tona Henninger<br>Chief of Staff – Alameda County (acgov.org)

District 5 Keith Carson Board of Supervisors – District 5 – Alameda County (acgov.org)

Three out of five have a flunky screen their e-mail, but if you take the actual link and change the last digit to 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, apparently that will take you to a direct link to the supervisor’s district account. Happy hunting.

Bruce Cobb
February 8, 2022 10:24 am

I almost feel bad for the NAS. If only it weren’t for their blatant hypocrisy, I would.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 8, 2022 12:08 pm

Why doesn’t the article have some numbers of birds, number if golden eagles per month or year? I think that would be helpful to help get rid of these monstrosities once and for all.

Wharfplank
Reply to  JON P PETERSON
February 8, 2022 2:53 pm

Exactly. How many Olympic swimming pools or Manhattans?

Dave Fair
Reply to  JON P PETERSON
February 8, 2022 3:52 pm

To know the numbers, one would then have to count them. To count them, one would have to make a governmental database subject to FOIA requests. Should citizens have that data, one would lose their cushy jobs and/or donations from crony capitalists.

Steve Case
Reply to  JON P PETERSON
February 8, 2022 7:27 pm

Yes, there, there needs to be a count. Otherwise, I’m being asked to take their word for it that golden eagles are being slaughtered. It’s no different than being asked to believe that the polar bears are dropping dead when they are not.

EastBayLarry
Reply to  JON P PETERSON
February 8, 2022 8:41 pm

Only the operators would be able to do a count and they probably don’t want it known.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  JON P PETERSON
February 9, 2022 12:04 am

Last I read about was around 6 years ago, & according to the US Audubon Society some 10,000 birds per year were killed in this fashion!!! For some strange reason this figure is not brought to the fore by bird-lovers nor Windfarm companies, can’t think of a reason why not!!!

PCman999
Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 9, 2022 2:46 pm

Probably because it was an guesstimate based on a stack of assumptions and then rounded up to the next 10,000 to make it sound better.

ATheoK
Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 9, 2022 4:49 pm

Wind farm owners/operators go far out of their way to avoid counting the dead.

When they were expected to track windmill kills in california, the operators sent out laborers to collect and get rid of birds/bats before the counters went out

JustAnOldGuy
Reply to  JON P PETERSON
February 10, 2022 4:42 am

This item in the Federal Register might give you some idea of the number of eagles and golden eagles that can legally be taken by wind turbines. Federal Register :: Eagle Permits; Updated Bald Eagle Population Estimates and Take Limits .Notice the date, February 2nd this year.

Sara
February 8, 2022 10:24 am

So, you see now that keeping a balance in the environment – a balance between Earth and its critters – isn’t nearly as important as some hotsy-totsy bunch of money-grubbers getting what they want.

Oh, they’ll pay for it down the road.

RevJay4
Reply to  Sara
February 8, 2022 10:45 am

“…hotsy-totsy bunch of money grifters…”, fixed it for ya.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Sara
February 8, 2022 10:58 am

He who shits in the road, will meet flies on his return…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 8, 2022 4:50 pm

What if it’s a they?

Bob Hunter
February 8, 2022 10:31 am

Last spring In British Columbia, TMX pipeline construction was delayed 4 months(costing the company approx $400 million) because the ‘Migratory’ Anna Hummingbird was nesting in the pipeline right of way. btw the Anna Hummingbird wasn’t even in Canada 50 yrs ago but expanded its range from Oregon to BC due to planting of non indigenous trees & bird feeders along the west coast. Will be interesting what the California court says.

AND 6 weeks ago, during an extreme cold spell in BC, Anna Hummingbirds were freezing to death. Claimed the Anna Hummingbird was the only BC Hummingbird that didn’t migrate. Welcome to Environmental Lobby misrepresentations.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bob Hunter
John Tillman
Reply to  Bob Hunter
February 8, 2022 1:41 pm

Until I recently sold my house in NE Oregon, I grew red and pink hollyhocks to attract Anna humingbirds. Those lured into BC were doomed. Doing so was criminal.

Bill Toland
February 8, 2022 10:35 am

The average wind turbine kills 500 birds and bats every year. The website that I have linked to details the media cover up of the true death toll of wind farms around the world. There has been a noticeable decline in bird populations around every wind farm which has been constructed. This is probably the principal reason why populations of birds of prey are falling in developed countries; wind farms tend to be built in windy areas which are popular with birds of prey.

https://windmillskill.com/blog/windfarms-kill-10-20-times-more-previously-thought

griff
Reply to  Bill Toland
February 8, 2022 11:37 am

It does not.

It certainly does not in the UK or EU.

Ron Long
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 11:58 am

griff, I don’t know what the number of bird kills per windmill is (anywhere) but my experience walking along one line of such windmills, NE of Casper, Wyoming, suggest the number is quite large. I have previously commented how an early Monday morning clean-up crew arrived to throw the dead, mangled but still alive, and pieces thereof, birds into the back of a pickup, going from windmill to windmill along the line. griff, I’m wondering have you ever walked along a line of grassland windmills early in the morning to see for yourself what you are so proud of?

Jyrkoff
Reply to  Ron Long
February 8, 2022 2:25 pm

Lived in Oregon wind tower country for a decade. For starters, no one is “walking a line” of these things, because that would take sometimes days. There are literally tens of thousands and go on for dozens of miles.

You can drive up to them but it’s private land so without permission from several landowners you aren’t walking the miles of these that “one line” can comprise.

Second, I routinely took visitors to stand beneath those that were on private land whose landowners gave me permission to enter. The one thing everyone was always were surprised to note is the total absence of any dead birds or bats. It’s a myth, people.

Coyotes have been under pressure here for decades, yet over those decades populations have not decreased. We removed wolves, the apex predator that was here instead of coyotes, as well as big cats, and created farms and ranches and civilizations ripe for the overpopulation of rodents and rabbits. With no apex predators, plenty of food thanks to our development, and only piecemeal hunting of them by human eradication efforts, coyote populations have exploded everywhere, regardless of who has wind towers or not.

These towers are a scam, for sure. We all know the many obvious harms of these things, from being difficult to dispose of or recycle to their lack of productivity on too-calm days. I think they’re horridly ugly and ruin the landscape.

But the one thing I cannot agree with, after a decade of ground-truthing, is the suggestion that they’re “bird death machines” or “coyote buffets.” Get your boots on the ground people, then you can KNOW and not just repeat what someone else reported on some website somewhere.

I’m homeless on someone else’s wifi, not a shill. Just telling the truth regardless of how much it’s about to cost me here in the comments.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Jyrkoff
February 8, 2022 4:14 pm

Jyrkoff (Hellofa screen name; are you sure it isn’t Toobin?), are you asking us to disbelieve all of the numerous studies of bird and bat mortality caused by wind turbines globally? I don’t know the motivation of your shtick, but it is not going over.

czechlist
Reply to  Jyrkoff
February 8, 2022 4:27 pm

Everyone I know who has had covid in the past few months has been fully vaccinated and one was boosted
It is true, but purely anecdotal

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jyrkoff
February 8, 2022 4:56 pm

I’m homeless on someone else’s wifi, not a shill.”

So you’re a thief?

MarkW
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
February 9, 2022 6:07 am

And proud of it.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ron Long
February 8, 2022 4:54 pm

I don’t even know why people reply to griff.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
February 9, 2022 12:20 am

I think we reply to Griff because we are sensible, practical people, many with technological skills beyond Griff’s abilities to comprehend, & we are just trying to enlighten him! Admittedly it seems to serve little practical purpose, as the saying goes, “It is difficult to convince someone of a particular position to understand something, when their salary & pension depends upon them not understanding it!”. Griff seems to me to be of a limited capacity where thinking is concerned, at least thinking for himself that is, he just trots out the same old rhetoric full of Green Socialist bull, ignorance, & stupidity!!! He is one of Vladimir’s useful idiots, as he was so fond of calling his easily lead minions, demonstrating his utter contempt for his followers!!!

MarkW
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
February 9, 2022 6:08 am

If griff’s lies were allowed to go unchallenged, then he might influence the many people who visit here but not long enough to learn what griff is on their own.

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 12:10 pm

Griff, you obviously haven’t bothered to read the website that I linked to. The bird casualty figures come from studies in Sweden, Germany and Spain. All of these countries are in the EU.

StephenP
Reply to  Bill Toland
February 10, 2022 12:03 am

Also don’t forget the rare swift that was killed by a wind turbine in full view of a load of bird-watcher witnesses.
http://Www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/10146135/Birdwatchers-see-rare-swift-killed-by-wind-turbine.html

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 1:27 pm

Who cares what the data shows, we have an agenda to push and leaders to enrich.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 1:46 pm

Griff’s total disregard for this subject is disgusting.
It’s time for Griff to be thrown into the path of a spinning windmill.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Tom in Florida
February 9, 2022 12:23 am

“It’s time for Griff to be thrown into the path of a spinning windmill.” Thrown would be too good for him, “dangled” would much more tortuous & terrifying & long!!!

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 4:07 pm

Griff, please provide us (the people you are trying to convince) the source of your wind turbine bird and bat kill information. Please don’t bother with newspapers, wind energy associations nor wind turbine manufactures.

Redge
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 11:08 pm

Griff mate,

Your favourite rag, The Guardian, admits bird and bat deaths from wind turbines is significant.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Redge
February 9, 2022 12:25 am

I’ve said before, Griff can’t handle facts they just confuse him!!!

ihfan
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 11:23 pm

It does not.

It certainly does not in the UK or EU.

Citation, please.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  griff
February 9, 2022 9:20 am

Liar.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bill Toland
February 8, 2022 12:36 pm

The problem is that the very areas that are attractive for wind turbines (areas with little or no trees and where wind is often funnelled between hills, etc) are very attractive for birds of prey that coast along on winds and thermals. The impact is often maximised as, in many birds of prey, it’s the female that will seek out new hunting/mating grounds and the males follow – losing a few males in a population is less critical than losing a female for these small populations. There have been several studies done here in the UK about the catastrophic impact and the massive death toll of onshore wind turbines but, after all that, it is covered up in the rush to make money.

Ron Long
Reply to  Richard Page
February 8, 2022 5:34 pm

Right on, Richard. The secondary effect is the smell of dead birds attracts buzzards/vultures/griffs and they also get chopped up by the blades. I saw this in person.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Richard Page
February 9, 2022 12:27 am

Especially when that money is taxpayers/energy-payers money, it’s easy money for energy companies, one of the biggest scams in the UK, & it’s ALL legal!!!

J Spike1
Reply to  Bill Toland
February 11, 2022 6:18 pm

As someone who actually works on wind turbines everyday I got to call BS. One of my jobs is to drive to every turbine site and look specifically for dead birds and other animals. In 2.5 years I’ve found a total of 8 song birds and 6 bats. Any dead flying creature is photographed tag then stored in a special freezer.

Every other year our sites are audited by and independent company of biologists. They come to the sites every day with specially trained dogs to search. All of theater generation companies keep detailed records of every death on site.

Bird and bat deaths are simply not a big problem for the majority of the sites. I routinely watch eagles and buzzards fly in between the towers. They use the draws caused by running towers to glide around.

For the guy that said that bugs build up on blade edges yeah that’s not true either. I’ve hung off of multiple blades that were being repaired and have never seen bug build up on the blades.

Rud Istvan
February 8, 2022 10:38 am

The only new news here is the 80MW addition. Also true that the newer, bigger turbines are deadlier. And, despite the greenie notion that Altemont Pass is an ‘ideal’ CA location, its actual capacity factor averages just 22%. Nationally, on shore wind CF averages about 31% per NREL. Bad deal all around for birds, bats, and CA rate payers.

griff
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 8, 2022 11:37 am

No the old style multiple pylon based, close together ones were deadlier.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 1:29 pm

Just a few moments ago you were proclaiming that none of them were a problem.

Redge
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 11:14 pm

I think this is probably true.

The sheer number of pylons used to transport reliable electricity from nuclear, coal and gas plants must have a large effect on bird populations. Just my opinion, no data to back it up.

The problem with wind turbines, however, will increase considerably with more and more unreliable bird killers being built.

hiskorr
Reply to  Redge
February 9, 2022 5:35 am

I do not understand your second para; is it pure sarc? “Pylons” have nothing to do with “bird kills”. NCG powerplants are built relatively close to consumers, while wind/solar farms require many long transmission lines (as does importing electricity from WY and AZ to CA).

DrEd
Reply to  Redge
February 9, 2022 7:48 am

Are you serious? Pylons DON’T MOVE! Birds can avoid them or roost on them. No problem.

Redge
Reply to  DrEd
February 9, 2022 10:26 am

Neither to buildings but birds crash into them

Like I said, no data to back it up so I can accept I’m wrong

Redge
Reply to  Redge
February 9, 2022 10:36 am

Understanding bird collisions with man-made objects: a sensory ecology approach
Lists buildings, pylons and wind turbines

I haven’t read the paper, couldn’t be bothered

paul courtney
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 8, 2022 12:08 pm

Mr. Istvan: There’s alot of old news not covered. I’m pretty sure these windmills were installed as part of Jimmy Carter’s energy program. We were gonna run out of oil and gas by 1982 or so. The thinking then (some really old news here) was that wind energy would take over if government built this to show how great it would be. The same noise they make about EVs. Altamont was a good demonstration project, it showed wind can’t work. In other old news, enviro activists refuse to get that as they double down with bigger windmills. Another lesson of Altamont- nobody will remove them.

John Tillman
Reply to  paul courtney
February 8, 2022 1:47 pm

Replacing them with modern turbines would k!ll even more birds and bats.

hiskorr
Reply to  paul courtney
February 9, 2022 5:39 am

Are they still producing energy after 40 years? Pretty long life for turbines!

CD in Wisconsin
February 8, 2022 10:44 am

“The bird kills at Altamont Pass was a federal crime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; killing bald eagles is also a crime under the Bald Eagle Protection Act…”

KILL WIND TURBINES, NOT AVIAN WILDLIFE.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 8, 2022 11:04 am

Baby eagles come into the world in NE Florida….

Bald Eagle Eggs Hatch At NEFL Eagle Cam – YouTube

RevJay4
February 8, 2022 10:55 am

Never understood the need to put up a bunch of wind turbines nor the profusion of solar panels. Both are reliant on conditions being just right to garner any energy production for usage. And, mother nature, being what she is, fickle, never guarantees anything.
Thus far, the results of all the billions spent on these illusions have been less than spectacular in returns for the everyday citizenry. Oh well, its just taxpayer money. Mostly.

Doonman
Reply to  RevJay4
February 8, 2022 1:27 pm

The Dept of Energy was formed in 1977 under Jimmy Carter to remove OPEC domination of world oil supplies and costs.

The Department of Energy issued government grants to construct wind turbine demonstrations for evaluation. Altamont pass windfarm was one of them, because the Altamont is one of the most consistently windy areas in California.

45 years later, we are still deluding ourselves that wind power is a viable alternative to fossil fuel power generation. Some political parties never learn from the results of their own ideas.

MarkW
Reply to  Doonman
February 9, 2022 6:11 am

Reminds me of all the socialists and communists who keep insisting, “This time it will work”.

H.R.
February 8, 2022 11:04 am

From the article: “We at Audubon understand better than anyone that climate change presents an existential threat to people and birds, and responsible renewable energy development is essential to transitioning from fossil fuels.”


It seems they assume much without evidence. Models and YSM alarmist fact-free narratives are not evidence. They also seem to be ignoring nuclear as a way to transition power generation away from fossil fuels.

But the rest of the article is dead on about the ignored carnage to birds and bats caused by the pinwheels.



Serious idle question: How many birds and bats are killed by nuclear power plants? I don’t recall seeing much about the topic and I really don’t know. I just did a brief search and couldn’t come up with anything.

Redge
Reply to  H.R.
February 8, 2022 11:17 pm

Since nuclear plants have few windows, I imagine considerable less than the average housing estate

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  H.R.
February 9, 2022 3:15 am

I guess a few fly into windows and die that way, in the same way my house windows take out a couple every year when they mistake the reflection for real garden.

ResourceGuy
February 8, 2022 11:11 am

No doubt the LAT will stay far away from this issue.

ResourceGuy
February 8, 2022 11:16 am

So are in big trouble if a bird lands near ponds for oil and gas production or mining but you can kill off millions of them in the green cause with windmills. Maybe the oil industry and mining need windmill arrays surrounding all ponds and facilities, including those temporary fracking sites.

ihfan
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 8, 2022 11:26 pm

The solution is simple – put up a wind turbine, let it kill off and scare away the birds, then drill baby drill!

Greg S.
February 8, 2022 11:19 am

Altamont Pass has been a black eye on the entire wind industry since its construction

Let’s be real here. The entire wind industry itself is one big black eye.

Last edited 3 months ago by Greg S.
griff
February 8, 2022 11:34 am

Altamont Pass is no place for a wind farm… it would not get through in UK or EU.

That said, nobody has built a windfarm like the original Altamont in decades and it is important to remember the unique awfulness of Altamont, which did kill birds, is nowhere and in no way replicated among more recent wind projects.

do remember if the bird kill stats are taken from Altamont and applied elsewhere, they are invalid…

BCBill
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 1:25 pm

“Yeah, well my Dad is bigger than your Dad.” Remember when we were kids how the key to winning an argument was who could make up the biggest claim. No supporting data or evidence required. Most, but sadly not all, of us outgrow that phase by age six or so.

Doonman
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 1:39 pm

The Altamont pass is consistently the windiest area in Northern California. Wind funnels through there on its way to fill low pressure caused by the rising air of the daily heating of the Central Valley.

To say that the Altamont is no place for a wind farm is ignorance at its finest. It is the best place and only place to test wind efficiency, which is why it was built.

The fact that it can’t supply the electrical energy needed and without severe additional environmental consequences is evidence that windfarms are folly, not that it was in the wrong place.

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 4:20 pm

Data, Griff, data. Without it one is just blowing in the wind. [Pun intended.]

ihfan
Reply to  griff
February 8, 2022 11:28 pm

it is important to remember the unique awfulness of Altamont, which did kill birds

A few posts ago you said that wind turbines weren’t killing birds, and now you are saying exactly that.

Were you lying then or are you lying now?

hiskorr
Reply to  ihfan
February 9, 2022 5:46 am

The unique value of “and”.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  griff
February 9, 2022 2:03 am

“Altamont Pass is no place for a wind farm…”

Why on Earth not? And if it isn’t, why was it picked first?

Is San Gorgonio not a place for a wind farm? I lived in the San Bernardino/Redlands area for 28 years, and drove through the San Gorgonio wind farm (on the I-10) hundreds of times. Regardless of the time of day, I always had difficulty with the extreme wind buffet – and if my then wife was in the vehicle with me, I would invariably remark “This wind is awful. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t have all of these huge fans running…” (probably one of the reasons she is my “then” wife). But not all of the 2,700 wind turbines were running. In fact, even though the wind blew all the time, practically at gale force, at least 10% of the turbines never turned.

I don’t know what the bird death rate is in San Gorgonio, but I do know that it’s the biggest eyesore in Southern California. And given the fact that San Bernardino lies just a few miles to the west, that says a LOT.

Last edited 3 months ago by Michael S. Kelly
TonyG
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 9, 2022 11:36 am

In fact, even though the wind blew all the time, practically at gale force, at least 10% of the turbines never turned.

Lived there myself and often drove that same stretch. Never saw THAT many turning on the windiest of days.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
February 9, 2022 3:20 am

I’m not sure about that Griff, I think you’re a teenage version of Boris Johnson. First reaction tell an untruth, thereafter ignore all questions. In his case visit a vaccination centre, an MRI scanner, building site or factory all with restricted access and fancy protective clothing to make him look good. On the internet teenagers can ignore the questions and tell another porkie

Mac
February 8, 2022 12:14 pm

I lied in the area for more than 5 years and regularly rode my bicycle through the Altamont pass and also along a road on the east side of the mountains which also had many turbines. I did see dead birds and scavengers beneath the turbines. I remember one Christmastime (~2010?)there was a two week lull; no turbine activity. At any other time I estimated about 20% were not working.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mac
February 8, 2022 4:23 pm

Wait up there, Mac! Personal observations have no place it the rarified CliSciFi palaces of academia and government. Have your observations been pee reviewed? Did they receive money from anywhere but government and NGOs?

Last edited 3 months ago by Dave Fair
MarkW
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 9, 2022 6:15 am

“I lied in the area”
“been pee reviewed”

Either were having a rash of keybroad malfunctions, or I’m missing the joke?

Last edited 3 months ago by MarkW
Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW
February 9, 2022 10:54 am

I can’t speak for Mac (probably a mistype), but in my case you are missing the joke. You should take courses to improve your appreciation of sarcasm, MarkW.

TonyG
Reply to  MarkW
February 9, 2022 11:37 am

“Either were having a rash of keybroad malfunctions”

both?
🙂

Last edited 3 months ago by TonyG
markl
February 8, 2022 12:22 pm

I wondered how long it would take for them to eat their own. It’s about time, and too long a wait.

Dave Fair
Reply to  markl
February 8, 2022 4:28 pm

Without NIMBY, what are cranks, bluenoses and enviro-activists to do? Virtue signaling can only scratch that itch for so long.

fretslider
February 8, 2022 12:29 pm

Somewhat O/T

“ Tories fighting net zero plans are dragging climate into new culture war, experts say

More than half members of Net Zero Scrutiny Group were also in group that promoted Brexit vote, as fears grow for UK’s green agenda”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/feb/08/tories-fighting-net-zero-plans-are-dragging-climate-into-new-culture-war-experts-say

‘experts say’= ME Mann

Last edited 3 months ago by fretslider
Dave Fair
Reply to  fretslider
February 8, 2022 4:33 pm

To the Guardian and profiteers like Mann it is a culture war, not a clash over science and economics. Their culture war utilizes propaganda, misinformation and outright lies.

Rich Lambert
February 8, 2022 12:49 pm

That was quick. It only took the National Audubon Society, Ohlone Audubon Society, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Mount Diablo Audubon Society, and Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society 40 years.

Tom Abbott
February 8, 2022 1:09 pm

From the article: ““We at Audubon understand better than anyone that climate change presents an existential threat to people and birds, and responsible renewable energy development is essential to transitioning from fossil fuels.”

Obviously, you don’t understand the problem. There’s no reason to transition from fossil fuels. Alarmists are killing birds for no reason at all.

Thomas Gasloli
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 8, 2022 2:35 pm

The alarmists are killing birds with wind turbines for a reason: the major contributors to Sierra Club & NRDC make a government guaranteed profit from taxpayer subsidized wind turbines. It is all about the money. Guess the same contributors haven’t made sufficient donations to Audubon.

MarkW
February 8, 2022 1:23 pm

How long till the usual suspects that the Audubon Society is just a right wing shill funded by the big oil companies?

RickWill
February 8, 2022 1:27 pm

Wanted – Team Leader – Bird Carcass Collection Crew

Experience in identifying and handling maimed birds desirable. Current gun licence essential.

The Team Leader will be required to dispose of bird carcasses respectfully and maintain thorough records of the birds disposed of in the wind farm bird kill register. The register is maintained for official and public viewing.

The Altamont Pass subsidy farm has claimed an average of 1300 birds per year but it is seasonal.

If the subsidy farms had any concern for the birds they kill then all would maintain meticulous records of the birds killed and make it available to the public. The bird kill records are only estimates.

Joseph Zorzin
February 8, 2022 1:37 pm

““… the need for renewable energy is not an excuse to … wipe out local populations of wildlife.”

wildlife are everywhere

Audubon always says its important to “ensure projects are responsibly sited”. Here in Mass. I have asked MA Audubon officials to explain what that means- but they don’t. A wind farm was going to be built next to one of their properties in western Mass. and they screamed about it and killed it- just another NIMBY group that won’t mind much if a wind/solar farm gets built next to YOUR house. One was built next to my house a decade ago- and there were rare species in there- I told all the enviro groups in the state I’d take them for a tour of it- none got back to me.

Joel
February 8, 2022 2:08 pm

I feel sorry for the birds, but, really, shouldn’t we feel good about the critters who won’t get eaten by the raptors? And, all those insects who won’t be eaten by bats?
These birders remind me of the defund the police campaigners. Be careful what you wish for.
I hope conservatives don’t help the Audubon Society. They should live with the consequences of their decisions. And, if we conservatives attack windmills, that will let the windmill advocates say that big oil is behind the anti-windmill campaign.
I am not worried at all because I know that once humans depart this planet, nature will quickly come back. Look at the wildlife renaissance in Chernoble after the humans were evacuated.
BTW, Audubon was a butcher of birds. Every bird he drew I believe he shot and killed. It’s time they took his name off their letterheads.

Redge
Reply to  Joel
February 8, 2022 11:21 pm

All those insects not being eaten by bats are lining the blades and attracting bats in the first place

(I appreciate your comment was tongue-in-cheek – wasn’t it?)

Joao Martins
February 8, 2022 2:40 pm

National Audubon Society Sues Bay Area Wind Turbines
Fratricidal civil war?…

SMS
February 8, 2022 2:47 pm

You shoot one Bald Eagle from a helicopter and get 20 years in prison. Chop up several thousand eagles with wind turbines, and the money continues to roll in.

Wharfplank
February 8, 2022 2:50 pm

Do Ca Condors get that far north?

Gunga Din
February 8, 2022 5:28 pm

I seem to that several years ago that the Feds fined an oil company a hefty sum for a few dead birds around a sludge pond,
Why does it take a civil suit by the prominent Audubon Society rather than Fed action to address the bird choppers and fryers?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gunga Din
February 8, 2022 6:38 pm

Because of Federal political ideology and big money donations. Your question implies that the Federal government is ruled by laws and principle.

Dennis G Sandberg
February 8, 2022 6:47 pm

Just another example of an environmental organization pretending to “care’. if they really ‘cared’ they wouldn’t take insane positions like, “Audubon supports…..wind projects”.

All wind projects are bad, some worse than others, they do nothing for the environment and only make electricity more expensive. It’s not the 80’s anymore, the results are in: Wind is a costly failed experiment. Let’s hear the Society file suit against the huge offshore central coast California windfarm currently going through the Review Process, including here at Morrow Bay, CA.
copy
The lawsuit marks the first time that the National Audubon Society has sued to prevent approval of a wind project in California.
“Audubon supports responsibly developed wind projects and works collaboratively with wind developers that are authentically interested in avoiding impacts to birds,

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
February 9, 2022 12:25 am

Golly Mr. Sandstone, I’d surely have thought that one who truly lived at Morro Bay, CA would know just how it was spelled (but silly me, eh?)! So do tell us what else we may with full confidence in truth rely on you for?

Robert of Texas
February 8, 2022 6:47 pm

And suddenly a bunch of so-called environmentalists notices that green energy isn’t so clean and safe after all. They aren’t even touching the problems of subsidizing, grid stability, blight on the landscape, and possible low-Hz noise problems.

griff
Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 9, 2022 1:17 am

Of course they are addressing those problems -except low frequency noise isn’t an actual problem.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 9, 2022 6:25 am

In the space of a single article, you go from declaring it isn’t a problem, to declaring that the problem is being worked on. Can’t you keep your lies straight any longer?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
February 9, 2022 8:59 am

It is a problem and is recognised as such.

https:www.researchgate.net>publication>843674-low-frequency-noise-and-annoyance.

https:www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/low-frequency-noise

George Tobin
February 9, 2022 9:48 am

Given that deployment of windmills already signals disregard for cost efficiency, why not require mesh tent/silos over each windmill. The air can still move but the birds can’t get to the blades. Maybe a reflective surface mounted on top of each tent/silo to reduce the albedo or a solar panel…

John
February 9, 2022 11:03 am

I lived in Livermore 2006-2009 and used to fly small airplanes out of Livermore airport to the central valley for touch-and-gos. Flew right over the bird grinders on the Altamont Pass and rarely saw many of them turning. I assumed environmentalists had shut them down. What a waste of money………only in the state where logic goes to die.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
February 9, 2022 12:18 pm

They got the name wrong:

“…the term for industrial wind turbines, “the Cuisinarts of the Birds of the Air.”

Accuracy is important.

John in LdB
February 11, 2022 6:04 am

So nobody noticed that Brookfield Renewable Assets is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management where ex Bank of Canada Governor, ex Bank of England Governor and arch hypocrite (you lead the simple life while I live large) Mark Carney is Director of “Transition Investing” for sustainability. Also UN Special Envoy on Climate Change.

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