Friday, October 21, 2011

Green Wind Energy Can Be Deadly for Bats

It must be hard to be an environmentalist some days.  You love green energy sources like wind power, but you also have strong feelings for bats, especially rare, endangered ones like the Indiana bat (pictured above).  And if just one of those cuddly creatures is found dead near a wind turbine, there's only one solution: stop the windmills from operating at night until the middle of November when the bats will hibernate until spring.  

That's exactly what just happened this week in Pennsylvania, read about it here and here.    

HT: Matt Bixler


At 10/21/2011 2:45 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

how many Salmon have been wiped out by Dams on the Columbia and what has been done about it?

How many fish have been poisoned by mercury from coal power plants and what has been done about it?

how many sea animals have been killed by oil spills?

how many birds and bats have been killed by automobiles and pet cats?

I'm not minimizing the impacts but pointing to the double standard.

thousands and thousands of fish now contain mercury levels high enough to warn women and children to watch how much they eat but do they shut down the coal plants ?

millions, billions of Salmon perish in the turbines of dams but how many dams have been shut down during Salmon migration season?

what we have here is folks who are essentially opposed to wind and seek to judge it not on the same basis as other energy.

tsk tsk.

At 10/21/2011 3:37 PM, Blogger Free2Choose said...

I don't think that's the case at all. Most of us could give a rat's ass about a dead bat. I think Mark's point is that those who tend to be the biggest proponents for saving the environment are also destroying it, just in a different way.

At 10/21/2011 4:41 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Meanwhile, seven North Dakota oil companies recently charged in federal court with the deaths of 28migratory birds.

Windpower kills over 400,000 birds a yr.

"Guess how many legal actions the Obama Administration has brought against wind turbine operators under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act? As far as we can tell, it’s zero."

At 10/21/2011 4:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: proponents of wind power - stereotypes

folks who "like" wind/solar are not necessarily the green weenies that some might think - at least not all of them.

the wind turbine "problem" is no worse than the dam "turbine" problem , in fact not near as bad because until you're killing in numbers that threaten the survival of the species - most critters get replaced.

I do not see the hand wringing for the critters killed by airplanes and cars... or dams..oil spills or coal power plants.

what Mark did was to continue the wedge narrative...

At 10/21/2011 5:16 PM, Blogger Mike Lutz said...

Larry G:

So do we do our impact assessments on the Megawatts / dead critter basis? It would be interesting to see how wind turbines would fare then.

At 10/21/2011 5:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: critter assessments....

it's a bogus issue.

billions of birds are killed by automobiles and pet cats every year.

do we stop using autos or keep pet cats?

huge geographic areas downwind from coal plants have significant mercury deposition that renders fish unfit as a food source for humans as it can cause neurological problems (remember the mad hatters?)

how many critters are killed/wiped out from mountain removal for coal? How many rivers with acid runoff - all the critters killed?

billions of Salmon are gound up in the dam turbines on rivers to the point where Salmon are now extinct in the upper tributaries of the Columbia.

how many dead birds have we seen at oil spills?

how many dead deer, skunks, racoons on the roadsides?

why are wind turbines selected out as more egregious?

I just don't see it.

At 10/21/2011 6:55 PM, Blogger Craig Howard said...

Stop 'em at night? Gee, that's just when the solar panels quit working.

At 10/21/2011 7:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I have heard that there are ways to scare the critters away from the turbines.

they're working on it.

and vertical axis turbines don't have that problem.

but people don't understand how non-endangered critters work.

mother nature creates far more critters than can survive and there is a very high failure rate that "trims" the numbers - basically to what the habitat can support.

So it's bad that turbines kill birds but unless they are endangered - mother nature will replace them - just as it replaces the ones creamed by autos and cats.

if you think about the Salmon chewed up in the dam turbines - it's much, much worse because not "some" Salmon are pulverized - but instead most are - to the point where the overall numbers of Salmon are in decline.

So.. you have "clean" hydro power but is has a dark side to it also.

what do you do?

do you take down all the dams?

I don't think so.

but why do we talk about wind turbines killing critters and not hydro turbines killing critters in the first place?

At 10/21/2011 7:36 PM, Blogger Earl said...

Save the dinosaurs!

At 10/21/2011 10:03 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Indiana Bats. The last I read, "white nose" disease had taken out about 1 Million of them (or, was it 2 million?)

We can probably spare a couple to the wind turbines. :)

At 10/21/2011 10:13 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Everything has trade offs.

Except apparently the rigid beliefs of conservatives.

At 10/21/2011 10:16 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Mil is on the right track. How do we generate the power we need at the lowest total cost, including the cost in critters?

At 10/22/2011 5:52 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

there is a differentiation between endangered species and non-endangered species.

It could be that if a huge installed base of turbines could, in fact, do the same thing to some species of birds that dams have done to migrating fish.

and that is of sufficient concern that it is a legitimate issue.

but that's not the agenda of those who opposed wind power and favor coal and fossil fuels.

it's basically a kind of a culture war between those who favor the use of fossil fuel resources and those who favor renewable resources.

so both sides sling arrows at the other....

and that was the premise behind this blog title...

just one more salvo in the war.

At 10/22/2011 9:12 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

It's much more than a culture war. It's a war for the Big Bucks.

And, the FF Companies have a multitude of weapons (Financial Resources) to bring to bear.

At 10/22/2011 12:09 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

LG @ 4:51

"folks who like wind/solar are not necessarily ... green weenies"

I'm certainly not a "green weenie".
I'm very much in favor of wind power, but I also want much more domestic crude oil/nat gas.

I "like" solar, but I'm opposed to any government subsidies for it.

At 10/22/2011 12:16 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" I "like" solar, but I'm opposed to any government subsidies for it. "

how about NUKES?

do you want them subsidized?

just trying to see how consistent your position is.....

At 10/22/2011 2:19 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Except apparently the rigid beliefs of conservatives"...

Or the clueless, factless delusions of liberals...

At 10/22/2011 2:24 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"How many fish have been poisoned by mercury from coal power plants and what has been done about it?"...

Zero obviously larry g or you would've had some credible information to back up your comment...

From Junk Science: Congress (finally) asks: Is science driving EPA policy, or is policy driving science?

At 10/22/2011 2:32 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"huge geographic areas downwind from coal plants have significant mercury deposition that renders fish unfit as a food source for humans as it can cause neurological problems (remember the mad hatters?"...

Are you merely ignorant larry g of the reality around you or are you the typical liberal liar pushing an agenda?

Do some homework...

At 10/22/2011 2:42 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"how about NUKES?

do you want them subsidized?

No larry g, we want your hero to continue playing venture socialist with extorted tax dollars and losing propositions...

At 10/22/2011 4:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

At 10/22/2011 4:06 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: subsidizing nukes

nothing to do with the current President.

purely a question to you free market lovers.

should NUKES be free market and not subsidized?

how consistent are you in your free market philosophies?

At 10/22/2011 5:31 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Larry G,

No, I don't want to subsidize nukes

At 10/22/2011 5:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@arbitrage789 - then I applaud the consistency of your philosophy.

what I support: Nukes that don't melt down and thus don't need subsidies.

and when you do that - you'd have a real apple-to-apple comparison with solar and wind - no subsidies for either side.

At 10/22/2011 7:57 PM, Blogger juandos said...

re: ''...

Wikipedia is a great idea, but it suffers from such such horrendous lack of credibility that it has been banned as a reference citation at all respectable schools and universities...

At 10/22/2011 8:09 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

these are the sources in the wiki article:

^ Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2010). United States Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2011.

^ Croteau, M., S. N. Luoma, and A. R Stewart. 2005. Trophic transfer of metals along freshwater food webs: Evidence of cadmium biomagnification in nature. Limnol. Oceanogr. 50 (5): 1511-1519.

^ Cocoros, G.; Cahn, P. H.; Siler, W. (1973). "Mercury concentrations in fish, plankton and water from three Western Atlantic estuaries". Journal of Fish Biology 5 (6): 641–647. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1973.tb04500.x. edit

^ EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1997. Mercury Study Report to Congress. Vol. IV: An Assessment of Exposure to Mercury in the United States . EPA-452/R-97-006. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards and Office of Research and Development.

^ a b New York Times, 2009 Aug. 19, "Mercury Found in Every Fish Tested, Scientists Say,"
^ FDA mercury levels in fish and shellfish [1]

^ a b Mercury contamination in fish: Know where it's coming from Natural Resources Defense Council. Retrieved 23 January 2010

^ EPA (1997). "Mercury Study Report to Congress". Retrieved January 23, 2008.

got some better, more authoritative sources to rebut?

At 10/22/2011 9:50 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I'm in favor of whatever mix of power sources comes Kate the lowest total cost.

Even if some if the cost is borne in the form of subsidies.

Juandos is off the deep end of denial on the health effects of coal combustion. Probably does not find cigarettes harmful either.

At 10/23/2011 9:47 AM, Blogger juandos said...

larry g says: "got some better, more authoritative sources to rebut?"...

Got anything credible that those are the actual sources?

Wikipedia's basic premise is built on a pseudo-intellectual concept of collective contributions, on the mistaken belief that since there are lots of people constantly contributing and reviewing entries, they will somehow come out accurate. Chairman Mao would have been proud. Wikipedia cheerleaders believe that the old traditions of mainstream media (fact-checking and professional editing) lack merit, and that an entry that is written by an anonymous contributor, and subsequently reviewed and edited by many other anonymous contributors, will be inherently superior. It's rather like getting a hundred monkeys in a room together and expecting them to produce "Hamlet."...

At 10/23/2011 9:59 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Juandos is off the deep end of denial on the health effects of coal combustion"...

Well gee hydra should I take the word of someone who's track record of honesty and the use of facts is as spotty as your's is?

"Probably does not find cigarettes harmful either"...

Well cigs are probably infintely safer than paying attention to a liberal spouting off about things he knows nothing about...

At 10/23/2011 6:24 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " Wikipedia's basic premise is built on a pseudo-intellectual concept of collective contributions,"

as opposed to what?

I asked if you had credible/authoritative references and all you did was continue to attack Wiki - which is more than anything else for many entries - a compendium of sources.

do you disagree with the sources and have alternative ones that rebut them?

Have you got references that say mercury contamination does not comes from coal power plants?

or do you just believe what you wish to believe?

At 10/24/2011 1:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I'm in favor of whatever mix of power sources comes Kate the lowest total cost.

Even if some if the cost is borne in the form of subsidies.

Cost to whom?

And who's Kate?

Those are mutually exclusive statements, unless you think costs to taxpayers aren't really costs.

Remember, be careful with math problems.

At 10/24/2011 1:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" In 2008 the Congressional Budget Office estimated the value of the subsidy at only $600,000 per reactor per year."

" An analysis by economists Heyes and Heyes (1998) places the value of the government insurance subsidy at $2.3 million per reactor-year, or $237 million annually"

if these costs were incorporated into ratepayers electric bills - would nukes become more expensive than wind.

At 10/24/2011 1:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"re: " Wikipedia's basic premise is built on a pseudo-intellectual concept of collective contributions,"

as opposed to what?

You probably mean "as compared to what?

And, that would be something like Encyclopedia Britannica, or similar authoritative source, rather than the output of random people writings whatever they feel like writing.

Remember, if you're not paying for it, you probably aren't the customer.

At 10/25/2011 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the mermaids harpooned by mistake or caught in trawlers' nets? Does anyone worry about those?

I won't even mention the mermen, they being less sympathetic critters.


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