Not long ago a gentleman emailed me about an article I had written a year or so ago over the issues of bird kills and wind generators. He felt it was wrong for me to write the article, because there are billions of birds in the world and a few lost to wind turbines is no big deal. Apparently, he felt that the alternative or renewable energy was more important to mankind that a few dead birds. He sent in this condemnation:
I'm sure you're a nice guy, really. Perhaps we could get the stats on your "car wash bird kills". Maybe you could provide the nets for my wind generators, possibly defraying from the needless killing of unwanted birds and costs of new blades. Do you actually know how many birds are in the world? Your article was vague at best and no real numbers revealed. Only "kill more birds than the Santa Barbara, CA mini-oil spill". Wow! An epiphany! Intelligence at its best.
Perhaps you could put aside the entire ego boosting, character builder, comments from friends and family members and actually write something that makes sense. Maybe even something tangible that would give us faith in higher education or the benefits of renewable energy. I'm dumber for having read your article, not being that smart to begin with. Must have been a timeline issue.
Hmm, interesting the amount of verbal attacks from folks in denial of reality, so if you are wondering how come the world is becoming so politically correct, it's because folks are afraid to speak out, because someone might give them a hard time. And, the complainer was right on one account; Yes, I suppose I am a nice guy although that is not necessarily relevant to the "bird kill" issues of wind-turbines.
And mind you I am not an environmentalist at all, I just like to point out the hypocrisy in all of this. The environmentalists sue developers on behalf of animals, insects, endangered species, but when it comes to something they support they look the other way? Ah the perfection of hypocrisy, I love it. The truth of the matter is that we can design better wind turbine blades with less drag, and much more efficient. Thus, perhaps needing much less of relative wind-speed to be worthy and we can do it in a way that does not kill birds, everyone wins. Instead, the politically correct environmentalists attack and then turn the other way when the law of unintended consequences strikes one of their wind turbine blades.
With his joking around about car washes, it appears he has learned that I was once in the car wash business and birds, yep, any waste-water runoff would indeed hurt the eco-system (birds too). Actually, when the Federal Clean Water Act was instituted in 1972 the environmentalists stated that 1,000s of birds died in Santa Barbara from an offshore oil spill. But then the number was dropped to 163, then down to about a third of that. Amazingly enough, Nixon, decided to move on the Federal Clean Water act for media generating purposes and PR back then. It worked for him.
In the defense of the critic of my article, he is correct in that perhaps the article did not state how many birds were killed, because it varies, Crows seem to be able to learn quickly and stay away from them, but the migrating birds often do not. I know because our company had cleaning contracts to clean the wind generators and we always saw dead birds underneath them. Like, I said, I am not an environmentalist. The number of birds always varied sometimes 3-4, sometimes 1-2, and sometimes, a whole bunch. Oh well, there are lots of birds out there in the California Desert was always my thinking on it.
Of course, in 2005 the USA Today did a story claiming that 10s of 1000s of brids each year were killed by wind turbines, so, it has become apparent that the Wind Turbine environmentalists want to have their cake and kill the birds too. And, is it really fair to attack the messenger of information, especially considering that I written probably 500 or more articles on environmental causes, everything from Ocean Dead Zones, Exhaust schemes, Solar, wind, recycling, you name it. Well, in any case this is just another example of environmental hypocrisy and how all this hot air is really for the birds.