I recently signed up to receive wind generated electricity from my power company. Luckily I have a friend who worked for years with the Chesapeke Climate Action Network who knew a lot about the issue. As with everything else that has the potential for real change, some powerful people will have their interests slightly diminished and will try to spread misinformation. Aside from the fossil fuel industry my friend warned me that many rich people try to prevent windmills from being put up on aesthetic grounds and even animal welfare grounds. Basically they don’t want the things in their backyard.
Interestingly, the news today provides a quick rejoinder:
“In the United States in 2003, wind generators accounted for only three-thousandths of 1 percent of bird killings — no more than 37,000 birds. That same year, possibly as many as a billion birds died in collisions with buildings, and electrical power lines may have accounted for more than a billion more deaths, the report said. And domestic cats were responsible for the demise of an estimated hundreds of millions of songbirds and other species every year.”
“In the eastern United States, up to 41 bats are killed annually for every megawatt of wind energy generated along forested ridge tops, the report said. In Midwestern and Western states, the number is lower, no more than 9 dead bats per megawatt. Unfortunately, poor statistics about the size of bat populations — which are notoriously more elusive than birds — make it hard to estimate how severely such kills affect bat populations, the report said.”