I was recently featured in an article in the Daily Iowan about wind power. In that article, the reporter Savannah Guyer interviewed three people.
The first interview was with Michael Hutchins, director of the Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign for the American Bird Conservancy. He described how hundreds of thousands of birds are killed by wind turbines every year in the U.S. As he noted, “The more wind turbines we put up, the more birds and bats will be killed, which has a major effect on our ecological environments.”
The second interview was with a woman from the Macbride Raptor Project. Her main point? Wind turbines’ effect on avian mortality is not an issue that needs to be confronted. Hundreds of thousands of birds killed every year is not an issue? And this statement from someone who supposedly advocates for raptors.
The final interview was with me. One of my key points was that corporations involved with this industry are not willing to lose money in order to save species.
“Whooping cranes are an endangered species that move straight across Iowa to get to Canada,” I said. “The number of wind turbines they’re facing is a hazard to their population.”
I ended my interview with a positive set of actions that we can take to protect the birds:
1. There are many different wind energy designs that could be used in place of the huge wind turbines that kill so many birds. Many of the new designs have minimal impact on birds, cost less to build, and produce as much energy.Many different wind energy designs can be used in place of the huge wind turbines that kill so many birds. Click To Tweet
2. Wind turbines can be set to run at different speeds to prevent killing so many birds.Wind turbines can be set to run at different speeds to prevent killing so many birds. Click To Tweet
3. Wind turbines can be sited in different locations. Rather than being sited along key bird migration routes or raptor hunting grounds, wind turbines can be built in low-risk areas for birds (and away from the homes of people as well).
“If nothing changes with wind turbines, large birds with become extinct and small birds will become endangered by 2030.”Wind turbines can be built in low-risk areas for birds (and away from the homes of people as well). Click To Tweet
Broken Wing: Birds, Blades and Broken Promises, an incredible account of the broken promises of the wind industry, is available now as a Kindle ebook on Amazon.