Wind energy’s colossal lies about bird & bat mortality (Wildlife Biologist)
Jul 31, 2013
Editor’s note: Lately, there has been a flurry of media articles expressing indignation over wind energy’s creative and colossal lies. (What else does one call them?) We have published several of the articles and editorials in these pages; there are many more we have not bothered to post. You can find them on National Wind Watch.
Here’s another one, by wildlife biologist Jim Wiegand, decrying the phony “bird & bat mortality reports” by wind companies—wind companies working in collusion with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, at the moment a captured agency of Big Wind.
—Jim Wiegand, Wildlife Biologist
No matter how anyone feels about wind turbines, no one should condone the corruption, the silent fraud, and bogus studies supporting this industry.
I cannot stress this enough. From what I have see from looking at wind industry bird & bat mortality studies, this industry and our wildlife agencies are so corrupt they might as well all be selling used cars with their odometers turned back at least 90%—because this is how bad it really is.
Across the nation official bird and bat-kill estimates have been derived from studies rigged to hide mortality. The real numbers are at least 10 times the amount being reported and sometimes far more. Altamont Pass has reported less than a hundred dead bats in 30 years of service, although thousands have been killed there. This industry is “set up” to hide mortality and the latest “incidental take” or “kill permits” for a few endangered bats could end up being 5000. A single permit for an eagle could easily end up with dozens being killed.
One wind turbine in Delaware was reported to be killing about 82 birds and bats per year. This may sound like a lot, but after looking over the study I believe they covered up over 95% of the mortality. With their tiny searches on the gravel area around the turbine, all the data collected using flawed search intervals, flawed searcher efficiency trials, and flawed scavenger removal rates—rendering the mortality figures completely meaningless. Even two gulls that were seen killed by this turbine were not counted because they fell outside the “designated” little search area.
The distance carcasses travel is one of the primary ways the industry uses to rig their mortality studies. Industry studies are designed to look in an area that goes out no more than 50 meters and AWAY from the direction of carcasses throw. The blades on most of the larger turbines are 50 meters or longer.
One study that slipped through the cracks on midsized turbines showed approximately 45 percent of fatalities being found at 50 meters or more. On the newer 2-3 MW turbines, it is likely to be 80% or more.
Goodhue County, Minnesota, put up a several-year battle and defeated this industry. The community was unified in the effort to save their eagles and other species from these turbines. I believe the project developers knew a court battle was inevitable and, since it meant the industry’s hidden mortality would be publicly disclosed, they left town.
When you think about it, no matter what experts or representatives from conservation groups the developers called in for testimony—what could they really say? They would all look like idiots trying to defend the industry’s bogus mortality data.
Then think of all the new information that would be revealed from subpoenas compelling this industry and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to produce documents. (I keep an entire list handy, awaiting that glorious day.)
Big Wind knows their data will not hold up. This is why every community should be dragging these people into court.
A generation ago these were the people we incarcerated or ran out of our neighborhoods. Now these same people are fleecing us of our tax dollars while putting us on the path of massive industrial blight and extinction of species.
This man-made disaster, this gothic horror story, will be the wind turbine legacy we hand our children.