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Schreckliche Realität im ungleichen Kampf WKA vs Vögel und Fledermäuse
US Kolumnist Paul Driessen in seinem Artikel in der Townhall.com zum Mord an der Avifauna durch Vogelschlag, Barotrauma und Vertreibung:
“Die schreckliche Realität ist, dass allein in den Vereinigten Staaten, vermeintlich ökologische Windräder schätzungsweise 13 Mio. bis 39 Mio. Vögel und Fledermäuse jedes Jahr töten!”
The horrific reality
comments by Mark Duchamp, based on an article by Paul Driessen:
Stop subsidizing the slaughter
Dec.15th 2012 m.townhall.com
“The horrific reality is that, in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines are killing an estimated 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year!” – Paul Driessen
These figures may appear to be exaggerated, but in reality what was exaggerated was the minimizing of bird and bat mortality, as Big Wind had managed to own the mortality statistics, enabling their massaging into “acceptable” levels (the 440,000 birds a year often quoted for the US). Indeed, monitoring contracts routinely signed between windfarm operators and ornithologists typically stipulate that reports to be prepared by the latter will be the property of the former. And to make the cover-up airtight, “gag clauses” prohibit hired ornithologists to disclose their findings in any way or form.
Paul Driessen says so himself in the article: “Officials also let operators treat data as proprietary trade secrets, safeguarded under nondisclosure agreements or put into private data banks immune from FOIA requests; impose high security at turbine sites to make accurate, honest, independent mortality counts impossible; and filter, massage and manipulate data to make mortality appear minimal. “
Before this unfriendly takeover of mortality statistics by the wind industry, a 1993 study in Sweden and Germany had found even higher numbers than did this year the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife): “In a summary of avian impacts at wind turbines by Benner et al. (1993) bird deaths per turbine per year were as high as 309 in Germany and 895 in Sweden.” This was reported in a California Energy Commission study of 2002, whose link is available here:
Think of it that way: if average mortality were of one bird per turbine per day (not an unreasonable hypothesis), for 39,000 turbines in the US (IEA figure for the end of 2011) this would come to 365 birds x 39,000 turbines = 14,235,000 dead birds per year for the US.
And if wind turbines killed about twice as many bats as they did birds, which is likely because 1) scientists have found that bats are attracted to wind turbines, 2) most monitoring studies come up with much higher figures for bats than birds, and 3) just watch this video where bats are struck, or “barotraumized” to death in front of your eyes: http://www.epaw.org/multimedia.php?lang=es&article=b6
… then, average bat mortality would be: 365 x 2 x 39,000 = 28,470,000 dead bats per year.
For birds and bats taken together: 14,235,000 + 28,470,000 = 42,705,000 killed yearly in the US.
This would be higher than the “13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year” from Paul Driessen’s article. So the average estimate of the Spanish Ornithological Society would come down to, in round numbers, one bat per turbine per day, and one bird every other day. Nothing surprizing about that, considering that each wind turbine sweeps an airspace as large as a football field (on average), sometimes as often as once per second, with blades whose speed at the tip varies between 100 and 200 mph. And they do it at a height where a considerable number of birds fly. On top of that, bats are attracted to the blades (as per the video above), arguably by the vibrations these emit, and raptors investigate the perching opportunities: http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/vultures-killed-videos.html
To my knowledge, there is no statistically-proven difference between bird and bat abundance to be found in Spain, as opposed to the US or any other country for that matter. We may therefore take, as a rule of thumb, the following to be applicable to just about to every country: one bat per turbine per day, and one bird per turbine every other day. Note: this estimate includes mortality caused by the high tension lines that link each windfarm to the grid. SEO/Birdlife very conservatively calculated as follows: an average of 9 km of power lines per windfarm, and a “minimum detected mortality” of “1.07 individuals per km”. In reality, mortality caused by power lines is much higher: “Scientific studies have estimated that high tension lines kill on average 200 birds per kilometre (1). In migration zones, the toll is higher at 400-500 birds/km (2) & (3) .” This is based on three studies, the one with the highest estimate being from Birdlife International, whose partners are the most prominent bird societies in the world: Audubon, RSPB, NABU, SEO, LPO etc.:
http://www.iberica2000.org/es/Articulo.asp?Id=3717 The article’s estimate is thus shy of reality, if real mortality by power lines built because of wind farms is taken into full account.
Some will say: it is less than the birds killed by cars, cats etc. But those are mainly sparrows and song birds. Cats never kill an eagle, a swan or a crane. Wind turbines do. The truth has to be faced once and for all: wind turbines are likely to cause the extinction of many of our large bird species, and of many smaller ones as well.
Cats, cars and windows don’t kill bats; wind turbines do. The large numbers of bats they kill will accelerate their extinction: they are slow-reproducing animals, and some species of bats are already on the endangered list. The rapid decline in bat populations is likely to cause an increased use of pesticides in agriculture, with a corresponding increase in food prices and food-related allergies and illnesses.
Now, we must realise that wind turbine numbers are set to multiply over the next decades, by as much as ten times in some countries. As argued by Paul Driessen, the only way to save our biodiversity is for our elected representatives not to renew the subsidies to the wind industry.
Chairman, World Council for Nature
Lesen Sie auch den Artikel von Paul Driessen: Stop Subsidizing the Slaughter
Stop Subsidizing the Slaughter
Dec 15, 2012
Congress and the White House are struggling to find even one subsidy or entitlement program that they are willing to cut. Meanwhile, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) insists that the 2.2-cents per kilowatt-hour Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind electricity should be extended yet again – and then (maybe, partially) phased out over the next five years. By then, claims CEO Denise Bode, wind energy could be cost-competitive with other energy sources. What nonsense. No evidence supports any of this.
Wind energy is a net jobs and economic loser. By raising electricity costs for factories, internet hubs, offices, malls, hospitals, school districts and other businesses, industrial wind power kills two to four jobs for every wind job created through government mandates, subsidies and tax credits – which themselves extract billions of dollars from productive sectors of the economy, to support Big Wind. Its impact on the budgets, health and well-being of people on low and fixed incomes is equally damaging.
Wind energy will never be competitive with alternative electricity sources, especially with the shale gas revolution driving the price of natural gas down to $3 per thousand cubic feet to power high-efficiency combined-cycle generators. Intermittent, unreliable wind power is parasitic, entirely dependent on fossil fuel generators to provide electricity every time the wind is low or nonexistent.
From an ecological standpoint, wind is our least sustainable energy option. Industrial wind projects require huge swaths of land, often in pristine area, for turbines, access roads and ultra-long transmission lines. Turbines and transmission towers require enormous quantities of steel, concrete, rare earth metals, copper, unrecyclable fiberglass and other materials – more than fossil fuel power plants that generate 90% of US electricity. It makes far more sense to build conventional power plants, and forget about the wind.
But by far the most compelling reason to end the PTC, right now, and stop any further expansion of wind power is moral and environmental. Wind turbines disrupt and destroy wildlife habitats. They butcher birds and bats that are vital to ecological diversity and agriculture. It’s time to stop subsidizing the slaughter!
The US Fish and Wildlife Service and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States. Turbines also eradicate countless night-flying, insect-eating bats. However, new studies reveal that these estimates are frightfully low, and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that, in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines are killing an estimated
13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year!
These shocking figures reflect the presence of some 39,000 turbines in the United States, located in habitats with widely varying numbers and species of raptors, other birds and bats, says Mark Duchamp, president of Save the Eagles International and chairman of the World Council for Nature. The estimates are based on a 2012 study by the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife), which utilized data from nearly 100 official turbine monitoring studies from Spain, and are corroborated by a 1993 study of bird mortality from wind turbines in Germany and Sweden, Duchamp explains.
These figures cover only flying creatures that are struck and killed or mortally wounded by turbines, whose blade tips move at 100-200 mph. Over the past 25 years, 2,300 golden eagles have been killed by turbines just at Altamont Pass, California, Dr. Shawn Smallwood estimates. The subsidized slaughter “could easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our western states, Save the Eagles International biologist Jim Wiegand told me, plus many bald eagles. Entire flocks of geese can blunder into turbines and get killed.
These are not sparrows and pigeons killed by house cats. They are our most vital and magnificent species.
In the 86-square-mile area blanketed by the Altamont wind facility, no eagles have nested for over 20 years, and golden eagle nest sites have declined by half near the facility, even though both areas are prime habitat, says Wiegand. Overall, there has been an 80% population decline for the golden eagle in Southern California, he notes. Since wind turbines began proliferating, there has been a 47% loss of raptors in Oregon, the USFWS states, and a 42% decline in bird populations in Iowa, according to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources researcher.
After being nursed back from the brink of extinction, magnificent five-foot-tall whooping cranes now face annihilation, due to thousands of turbines being erected within their 200-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long migration routes, former FWS whooping crane coordinator Tom Stehn fears. From their small population, over 200 cranes have “gone missing” in recent years, and now Fish and Wildlife is deceitfully delaying the 2012 “whooper” count until after Congress votes on the PTC. It has also changed the survey methods, from a complete census with a 2% margin of error – to a “distance sampling method” that injects a 25% error margin that Stehn says is “unacceptable and useless for species recovery management.” (But the new methods are very helpful for hiding wind turbine kills, says Wiegand.)
These actions are an integral part of the corrupt practices, disinformation and double standards engaged in by politicians, government agencies and environmental groups to support Big Wind: outrage, intolerance and penalties for fossil fuels – subsidies, favoritism and exemptions from laws and regulations for wind.
The Interior Department has used sage grouse and lesser prairie chickens to justify prohibitions on oil leasing and drilling, and prosecuted oil companies for unintentional deaths of 28 mallard ducks in North Dakota – but it has never penalized a single wind turbine company for eco-slaughter. Now its Fish and Wildlife Service wants to issue “programmatic take permits” that would allow wind turbine operators to repeatedly, systematically, legally and “inadvertently” injure, maim and kill eagles, cranes and condors.
Possess a feather from an eagle killed by a wind turbine, trap a bat in your attic or smash a goose egg – and the penalties are swift and severe. But kill eagles, bats, geese or whooping cranes with a wind turbine, and there is no penalty and no outrage from the Sierra Club – only more subsidies and tax credits, and more exemptions from the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and NEPA/EIS studies.
Interior and the FWS also let monitoring ornithologists search for dead birds only within 130-165 feet from turbine towers, thus missing numerous birds that were flung further by the impact or limped off to die elsewhere, and search for carcasses only every few weeks, allowing scavengers to take most of them away. In addition, wind facility crews remove and bury carcasses illegally, say Wiegand, Duchamp and the Spanish Ornithological Society. Officials also let operators treat data as proprietary trade secrets, safeguarded under nondisclosure agreements or put into private data banks immune from FOIA requests; impose high security at turbine sites to make accurate, honest, independent mortality counts impossible; and filter, massage and manipulate data to make mortality appear minimal.
No other American industry is allowed to operate with such immunity and impunity. It is time to end the wind Production Tax Credit and the blatant favoritism and exemptions for the wind power industry. Big Wind must be held to the same standards, laws and regulations that apply to all other industries.
Industrial wind operators must be required to permit access by unbiased outside experts to their facilities, to ensure compliance with the law and facilitate regular, full, independent bird and bat mortality counts. They must be required to comply with all endangered species, migratory bird and other environmental laws.
Before acting on the PTC, Congress should demand an accurate and verifiable 2012 winter count for the whooping cranes, along with complete age class figures – and prohibit the Fish and Wildlife Service from implementing any programmatic take permit system for eagles and other birds. It should also demand a multi-year, independent, transparent study of bird and bat mortality, at every wind facility in America, before allowing the PTC to be extended or another turbine facility to be built in the United States.
Allowing current practices to continue – or worse, permitting Big Wind to expand to generate 25% of US electricity – would be a catastrophe of monumental proportions. Millions more birds and bats will die, and entire species will disappear from habitats, geographic regions and throughout the United States.