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Science Forum

  1. 16 May '09 23:55
    http://www.scitizen.com/stories/future-energies/2009/05/Save-Birds-by-Promoting-Wind-Energy/index.php?
    Though the sample space is small here and this needs more research, it's a lesson in comparing relevant data before coming to conclusions.
    Any comments?
  2. 17 May '09 10:14 / 4 edits
    The link rather annoyingly didn’t allow me to scroll far enough to the left so that I could read all the text (why is that?).
    Fortunately you can get round that with a bit of hassle by copying and then pasting it like I did.

    The link says:

    “…Avian wildlife can perish not only by striking wind turbines in the ways described above, but by smashing into nuclear power plant cooling structures, transmission and distribution lines, and smokestacks at fossil-fuel fired power stations. Birds can starve to death in forests ravaged by acid rain, ingest hazardous and fatal doses of mercury, drink contaminated water at uranium mines and mills, or die in large numbers as climate change wreaks havoc on migration routes and degrades habitats.
    ….

    When these avian deaths are correlated with the units of electricity those power plants produce, some may find the results surprising.

    ….”

    It then gives an estimate of the average avian mortality for each energy source using the samples. Summary of this:

    wind farms: 0.269 fatalities per GWh.

    coal power plants: 5.18 fatalities per GWh.

    nuclear power plants: 0.416 fatalities per GWh.

    -this apparently shows that wing farms are the least harmful to birds out of the three above -I had long suspected as much.

    I also question the importance of bird conservation -will it really make a big difference if we had fewer birds?
    Which is more important; preventing a global weather disaster which includes sea levels rising and flooding the land (which could lead to a world famine) or preventing the deaths of some birds?
    Surely it is more important to prevent a global weather disaster?
    I think many people have a warped sense of priority here.
  3. 17 May '09 11:40
    I don't think people have a warped sense of priority. It's just that some people are really desperate to find ways to disagree with "lefty" policies - even if there may very well be sensible reasons to oppose wind power (e.g. the cost, the reliability).
  4. 17 May '09 22:41
    This is what I thought... Unfortunately science isn't immune to spin doctoring, and people seem to lap it up.

    I agree with Andrew - what good is saving a few birds now at the expense of their climate changing drastically?
  5. 18 May '09 18:07
    I agree. With the situation as desperate as it is, people should consider the loss of part of the ecosystem versus the loss of the majority of the ecosystem.

    It just makes sense!
  6. Subscriber joe shmo
    Strange Egg
    18 May '09 19:54
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't think people have a warped sense of priority. It's just that some people are really desperate to find ways to disagree with "lefty" policies - even if there may very well be sensible reasons to oppose wind power (e.g. the cost, the reliability).
    Thats funny...I thought it was the "left" who were coming up with the "save the world" polices?
  7. 19 May '09 18:33
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    Thats funny...I thought it was the "left" who were coming up with the "save the world" polices?
    "Save the world" rhetoric, maybe.
  8. Subscriber joe shmo
    Strange Egg
    20 May '09 01:12
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    "Save the world" rhetoric, maybe.
    my sentiments exactly.
  9. 22 May '09 00:49
    Originally posted by mrstabby
    http://www.scitizen.com/stories/future-energies/2009/05/Save-Birds-by-Promoting-Wind-Energy/index.php?
    Though the sample space is small here and this needs more research, it's a lesson in comparing relevant data before coming to conclusions.
    Any comments?
    I disagree. Wind power can be very harmful to migratory birds.
  10. 22 May '09 10:50 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Badwater
    I disagree. Wind power can be very harmful to migratory birds.
    -so can hurricanes and loss of habitat due to global warming.
    Hurricanes and loss of habitat due to global warming can harm birds regardless of whether they are currently migrating.
    Pollution from burning oil/coal can also directly harm birds.

    Also, I have often seen migrating birds and I have for most of the time observed them migrating so high in the sky that they couldn’t possibly hit the blades of even the biggest and tallest wind rotors when the birds are flying at that height! Therefore, for most of their typical migration they would surely be in no danger from hitting the wind rotors so I find it difficult to buy the idea that the wind rotors are very harmful to migratory birds.
    There are a lot more tree branches in existence along their migration routes than there are wind rotors; are these tree branches swaying in a wind also very harmful to migratory birds? -grant you they don’t usually move with such speed but I have been hit and hurt by a swaying branch! (I used to prune very large apple trees).
    And what about our flying aircraft? Why are there usually few complaints about our flying aircraft being very harmful to migratory birds and thus calls to disallow our flying aircraft?