Joined: Feb. 2006
|As to the bird kills, every research article I can find on that subject points to one site, using old turbines that spin a higher rates of speed, causing a FEW bird deaths. According to the report, cats killed more birds in the US than wind turbines.|
Killing 500 California condors will have a greater ecological impact than killing 500,000 house sparrows (indeed, the condor would be extinct well before you managed to kill 500 of them).
This "we can measure the impact by counting the number of birds killed" meme is crap. It's an intentional deflection.
The same argument can be made to claim that DDT, for instance, was not a significant threat to birds because after all, eggshell thinning only impacts a small number of species at the top of the food chain. Yet the peregrine was extirpated throughout the lower 48 states, even though cats kill orders of magnitudes more birds than DDT killed indirectly, and even though their preferred urban prey species continue to flourish, frequently in pestilential numbers (starlings).
There are legitimate concerns regarding wind power and its effects on various species which are already under great pressure.
Fortunately, grown-ups have studied the problem, rather than simply say "cats!" as the wind industry did from the very beginning in their efforts to sweep concerns under the rug.
New designs are, as Oleg points out, better at least in regard to raptors as Altamont pass's early mills used derrick-style pylons which attracted red-tails and the like to perch-hunt from them (leading to them getting whacked by the turbine as they went to-and-fro their perch).
This has led to requirements to survey proposed sites for possible conflicts with species such as golden eagles (ridge sites) and prairie chickens and other increasingly rare gallinaceous birds (farm country sites).
And no, I'm not just making this stuff up Mitigation, as described at the linked resource, is one approach. To pretend there's no problem is simple ignorance.