GR: Energy production destroys wildlife. Burning fossil fuel is has the worst impact, but wind and solar are also harmful. Unless we reverse our population growth, cut our resource use, and reduce our energy needs, we will continue to drive our fellow species toward extinction.
Small hibernating bat colonies need protection
to prevent extinction
“Between collisions with wind turbines and deadly white-nose syndrome, endangered Indiana bats may not have much of a chance of recovering, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.
“The researchers used a scientific model to compare how wind turbine mortality and WNS may singly and then together affect Indiana bat population dynamics throughout the species’ U.S. range.
“Bats are valuable because, by eating insects, they save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars per year in pest control,” said USGS scientist Richard Erickson, the lead author of the study. “Our research is important for understanding the threats to endangered Indiana bats and can help inform conservation efforts.”
“Wind energy generation can cause bat mortality when certain species, including the midwestern Indiana bat, approach turbines during migration. Meanwhile, WNS, which is caused by the Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus, has killed millions of hibernating bats in North America and is spreading. The new study found that the combination of these two hazards has a larger negative impact on Indiana bats than either threat alone.” –Bob Berwin (Continue reading: Endangered Indiana bats face twin threat from wind turbines and white-nose syndrome – Summit County Citizens Voice.)
GR: The mortality rate suggests that wind turbines will result in loss of almost all the western U. S. Golden Eagles.
“Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed each year by wind turbines worldwide. But few studies have looked at the demographic consequences of this local-scale mortality for a species as a whole.
“Now, researchers have gathered evidence that deaths of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) at a single wind farm in northern California may have effects on the entire western US population of this species.
“The researchers studied 67 golden eagles killed by wind turbines at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, one of the largest and oldest wind farms in the country.
“Eagles tend to use that habitat around the turbines. It’s windy there, so they can save energy and soar, and their preferred prey, California ground squirrels, is abundant there,” says J. Andrew DeWoody, professor of genetics in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University. “As they soar, these eagles are often looking straight down, and they fail to see the rapidly moving turbine blades. They get hit by the blades, and carcasses are found on the ground under the turbines.” —
More: Local wind farm fatalities may affect whole bird populations | Anthropocene
GR: Alternative energy may reduce pollution, but it has its own problems. In the desert near me, solar farms are shading and destroying native vegetation, roads and transmission corridors are spreading habitat destruction and giving access to invasive plants. As explained in John Murawski’s article, just the wind-farm survey impacts will be significant. Construction will add more damage. So what? Well, I would like to see our leaders make some proposals for cutting our energy requirements. Otherwise, we are simply creating another major industry that will see growth and profit as far more important than protecting nature.
This map shows that the U. S. east coast is more attractive than the west.
Following article posted by John Murawski on January 22, 2015
Federal environmental officials are seeking public comment on the environmental impacts of offshore wind farm-related activity proposed for an area of some 480 square miles of Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina’s coast.
The results of the environmental assessment could determine if the U.S. Department of Interior further shrinks the ocean areas deemed suitable for offshore wind farms. The currently proposed area was slashed from 1,900 square miles last August in response to concerns about conflicts with shipping routes, marine ecology and local tourism.
The Department of Interior will hold three public meetings next month in North Carolina, and will also start a 30-day public comment period Friday.
Running the world on renewable energy.
“If you listen to the fossil fuel cheerleaders, the possibility is more remote than ever. Earlier this month, a few oil and natural gas fracking boosters in the EU derided the high cost of energy in Europe. They claimed that shifting to a policy of climate and groundwater threatening fracking could free them from both energy price shock and dependence on threatening overseas powers like Russia.
(GE wind turbine with battery backup in the turbine housing stores power for times of peak demand or when the wind is not blowing. Image source: Smart Planet.)
“Unfortunately, such, unattached-to-reality, fossil fuel boosting by former industry professionals turned politician isn’t new. For these wayward ministers had missed recent developments in nearby Denmark providing a real long-term solution to both high energy prices and dependence on foreign suppliers, and all without the added hassle of threatening Europe’s water supplies or pushing the world one step closer to climate change game over.
Cheaper Than Other Forms of Energy
For according to a recent report from the government of Denmark, new wind power coming online in 2016 will cost half that of energy now provided from current coal and natural gas based power plants. The net price would be equal to 5.4 cents (US) per kilowatt hour.
Rasmus Petersen, Danish Minister for Energy, Climate and Buildings was far more sanguine than a number of his wayward peers regarding renewable’s prospects:
“Wind power today is cheaper than other forms of energy, not least because of a big commitment and professionalism in the field. This is true both for researchers, companies and politicians.”
“We need a long-term and stable energy policy to ensure that renewable energy, both today and in the future is the obvious choice.”
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