Wind energy’s colossal lies about bird & bat mortality (Wildlife Biologist)

Jul 31, 2013

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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.
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—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.

Jim Wiegand

Jim Wiegand

  1. Comment by Jim Wiegand on 07/31/2013 at 12:28 pm

    I want to make this very clear……. I am not against the entire FWS. Just the individuals that have sold out. There are many that work for this agency that are very dedicated and want to do the best possible job protecting our vanishing species. But even though their hands are tied, I still receive indirect feedback and know that many are cheering me on.

  2. Comment by Jim Wiegand on 07/31/2013 at 1:33 pm

    US wind installations sink to zero in Q2
    Credit: 31 July 2013 by Graham Clews, windpowermonthly.com ~ I want to see this zero figure drop even further into the minus column because of communities dismantling these deadly turbine projects. The first to go should be those sites most deadly to protected species. I know of many.

  3. Comment by Linda Salamon on 08/01/2013 at 12:13 pm

    Mr. Wiegand, Thank you so much for bravely speaking the truth about bird & bat kill by Wind Turbines. This information will be very useful to send to the Massachusetts Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, who is UNBELIEVABLY planning on building a Turbine on their sanctuary!!!

  4. Comment by Penny Melko, Tehachapi Pass on 01/13/2014 at 7:02 am

    Hello Jim, I have something interesting for you to check out about bird deaths from solar plants.

    Please read the LIUNA comments.
    http://www.co.kern.ca.us/planning/pdfs/eirs/fremont_solar/fremont_solar_sr_addendum3.pdf

    Furthermore, there seems to be an acceptance that there is due diligence in identifying where there are tortoises, burrowing owls and other ground animals. I’ve lived on 28 acres of native desert land for over 9 years. It’s nearly impossible to find dens or the nooks and crannies under bushes or juniper trees, or sometimes on the edge of a gully (culvert). It takes years to come across the locations. Yet, environmental impact reports make it appear that habitats are in clear view over 400 to 23,000 acres and that a negligable number of active nests are destroyed.

    Let’s be reminded that when European settlers came to North America they nearly wiped out the indigenous Indians, buffalo, birds for their feathers. And just for money.

  5. Comment by Jess Delaney on 07/23/2014 at 11:24 am

    Jim,

    I have been in the solar energy business since 1978. I started in thermal solar, then began doing primarily off-grid PV telecom power design and sales. Wind generators have always been a joke to me. Both the solar and wind energy industries have become just that — industries that have ridden this wave of global warming hysteria into a true, self-propelled problem. They have figured out that they can sell any idiotic scheme as long as it “saves the planet.”

    I’m sure you have noticed that the environmental propaganda spewed forth by the half-witted media has created plenty of wind farm proponents who have a very blind, almost religious zeal. The same thing goes on with them as to solar energy. Any half-baked plan is good as long as it’s solar!

    I’m a heretic in my own industry. But I’m 60 now, and I just don’t care; the truth is the truth!

    I want to say thanks for doing so much to stop the rape of many scenic places with these intermittent, very expensive boondoggles!

    Keep me posted!

    Jess

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