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Originally posted Sunday, June 2, 2013 at San Diego Loves Green.

By Roy L. Hales

(Image left: Jim Wiegand, of Save the Eagles, sent me this amplification of an image from Google Earth with the explanation, “The blades hung out past the search area. They only looked in the cleared/gravel area around the turbine.”)

Some people are reminiscent of Old Testament Prophets speaking to a people that do not want to listen. While they may not speak in the name of God, they know something is wrong and dedicate their lives to righting it. Jim Wiegand has assumed that mantle in his defense of America’s eagle population. He sometimes uses words like “fraud” and “complacency,” which I find difficult to hear – we often underestimate the extent to which denial, lack of responsibility and hard heartedness guide decisions – but I am also beginning to wonder if they are appropriate. There are very definitely appear to be forces at work to trying stop us from making a conscious choice.

The real questions before us are:

  • How great is the carnage that wind turbines are reaping among America’s eagle population?
  • Is this something we wish to continue doing? or are there other solutions?

This morning Jim sent me a link to an investigation by the Associated Press uncovered reports of more than 4 dozen golden eagles, including 14 from California, being killed by Wind Turbines. (This is important because America’s Golden Eagle population is rapidly disappearing.)

The author stated, “More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.”

(Though Industry’s apologists like to point out that far more birds die after crashing into windows every year, I suspect this is what recovering alcoholics call “stinking thinking.” You do not hear of many eagles crashing into windows. This is a diversion, not a real argument.)

The AP report continued, “Each killing of a protected bird is a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. No wind-energy company has been prosecuted.

“The large death toll at wind farms shows how the renewable energy rush comes with its own environmental consequences, trade-offs the Obama administration is willing to make in the name of cleaner energy.”

Perhaps even more important than the article itself, a number of periodicals picked this story up and then for some unexplained reason nixed it. These include the Allied Press  (here and here), the Washington Post, South Bend Tribune and Connecticut Post.

This had been discovered by a third part to our discussion, who wrote, “My guess is that this is just the beginning. I only did a page of Google links. I’d bet that you could add 20-30 more links (or even pages of links) and find many more that have been yanked. An interesting sidebar study would be to go back a year or more on links to some oil spill, gas pipeline, coal mine or other fossil fuel accident – and see how many of THOSE links have gone extinct. I would bet most of them are still very much alive. It would be a very interesting comparative study.”

As I pondered on the implications of this, my thoughts went back to something Jim told me about methodology for calculating the number of birds killed by wind turbines every year. Researchers are still searching for corpses within a 50 meter search radius (drawing below).

Jim wrote, “They’re only looking for and only counting carcasses found small areas around these huge turbines. Areas the same size as the ones used on the small 100 kw turbines. Turbines now twenty five times larger  and the industry is still using the same size search areas. This is not scientific. It is not even close.”

So there more than 573,000 birds are killed by word turbines every year, possibly a great deal more.

This must be all too obvious to the people who carry out these studies. Do they think about it? How would they  they justify their participation in such a deceptive activity? By the fact they are carrying out an established procedure? So who set the procedure? and why won’t they change it to reflect present realties?

I feel like using an Old Testament word, “Repent,” but come back to the basic questions:

  • How great is the carnage that wind turbines are reaping among America’s eagle population?
  • Is this something we wish to continue doing?
  • Will we get a choice in the matter?