We’ve written plenty about the mayhem, murder, and peril birds suffer from wind turbines. It’s like Hitchcock in reverse: these slicers and dicers are merciless on our feathered friends, including and especially our national symbol, the bald eagle.
But it’s more than just birds:
DISEASE and heedless management of wind turbines are killing North America’s bats, with potentially devastating consequences for agriculture and human health.
Wind turbines nationwide are estimated to kill between 600,000 and 900,000 bats a year, according to a recent study in the journal BioScience. About half of those lost to turbines are hoary bats, which migrate long distances seasonally throughout North America. Eastern red and silver-haired bats, commonly seen in Central Park in New York City hunting insects at night, are also being killed by turbines by the tens of thousands.
We can’t afford to lose these creatures. In the Northeast, all of our native bat species eat insects. One little brown bat can eat 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, reducing the potential for mosquito-borne diseases. A colony of 150 big brown bats can protect crops from up to 33 million rootworms over a growing season. The Mexican free-tailed bats of Bracken Cave in south-central Texas consume about 250 tons of insects every summer night. The natural pest control provided by that species across eight Texas counties has been valued at nearly $750,000 as it protects the $6 million summer cotton crop. Nationwide, the value of bats as pest controllers is estimated to be at least $3.7 billion and possibly much more.
So, you’re okay with chopping bats and eagles into mincemeat, just to “save” the climate?
You are so stupid:
Edward B. of Vancouver, Wash., writes:
Do wind farms affect weather, at least locally?
Yes, and the more widespread they become, the more these changes will go beyond the immediate area. Some effects, such as ground warming and drying for miles around, are already known, but cumulative effects on the weather—especially if wind farming grows significantly—are unpredictable.
One point to note is that while wind farms are a source of renewable energy, this doesn’t mean they—and other forms of renewable energy, for that matter—don’t cause change. Even improved engineering of the turbines (to reduce turbulence, etc.) cannot eliminate the fact that the machines remove energy from the wind, and this will have an impact on the weather and ultimately the climate.
That’s Marilyn vos Savant, the “smartest” person in the world (as measured by IQ) in Parade Magazine. Why it never occurred to us that the law of conservation of energy applies to wind farms shocks me. She’s absolutely right: has anyone done even a preliminary study on the effect of turbines sucking wind energy our of the atmosphere? Think of wind currents as waterways. If you keep draining off more and more of the current to turn more and more turbines, eventually the wind runs “dry”. Good news for the birds and bats of the world, but not so hot (rather, too hot) for the farmers.