View Poll Results: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

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  • Wiind energy is great & complainers should adapt.

    29 38.67%
  • Wiind turbines are good & property owners should be justly compensated for decrease property value

    11 14.67%
  • I think Obama is an idiot

    8 10.67%
  • I'd be upset if wind turbines went up interfering with my view

    5 6.67%
  • The wind turbines should not be allowed to disrupt views

    2 2.67%
  • I think George W Bush ruined this nation

    3 4.00%
  • Other, please explain

    17 22.67%
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Thread: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

  1. #21
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Animal Legal Defense Fund is sueing BP for violating the Endangered Species Act. Can we look forward to a suit against the wind turbine industry?

  2. #22
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbbtx View Post
    Animal Legal Defense Fund is sueing BP for violating the Endangered Species Act. Can we look forward to a suit against the wind turbine industry?
    are the turbines killing endangered species?
    So follow me into the desert
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  3. #23
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbbtx View Post
    Animal Legal Defense Fund is sueing BP for violating the Endangered Species Act. Can we look forward to a suit against the wind turbine industry?
    umm only if you want to create a suit for all the other instances which appear to cause much more bird deaths. Please if your going to make arguments against this new power generation at least make it a viable argument.

    Advice from an Expert - Putting Wind's Impact on Birds in Perspective

    This report states that its intent is to "put avian mortality associated with windpower development into perspective with other significant sources of avian collision mortality across the United States."14 The NWCC reports that: "Based on current estimates, windplant related avian collision fatalities probably represent from 0.01% to 0.02% (i.e., 1 out of every 5,000 to 10,000) of the annual avian collision fatalities in the United States."15 That is, commercial wind turbines cause the direct deaths of only 0.01% to 0.02% of all of the birds killed by collisions with man-made structures and activities in the U.S.
    Death by….

    Utility transmission and distribution lines, the backbone of our electrical power system, are responsible for 130 to 174 million bird deaths a year in the U.S.1 Many of the affected birds are those with large wingspans, including raptors and waterfowl. While attempting to land on power lines and poles, birds are sometimes electrocuted when their wings span between two hot wires. Many other birds are killed as their flight paths intersect the power lines strung between poles and towers. One report states that: "for some types of birds, power line collisions appear to be a significant source of mortality."2

    Collisions with automobiles and trucks result in the deaths of between 60 and 80 million birds annually in the U.S.3 As more vehicles share the roadway, and our automotive society becomes more pervasive, these numbers will only increase. Our dependence on oil has taken its toll on birds too. Even the relatively high incidence of bird kills at Altamont Pass (about 92 per year) pales in comparison to the number of birds killed from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. In fact, according to author Paul Gipe, the Altamont Pass wind farm would have to operate for 500 to 1000 years to "achieve" the same mortality level as the Exxon Valdez event in 1989.

    Tall building and residential house windows also claim their share of birds. Some of the five million tall buildings in U.S. cities have been documented as being a chronic mortality problem for migrating birds. There are more than 100 million houses in the U.S. House windows are more of a problem for birds in rural areas than in cities or towns. While there are no required ongoing studies of bird mortality due to buildings or house windows, the best estimates put the toll due collisions with these structures at between 100 million and a staggering 1 billion deaths annually.4

    Lighted communication towers turn out to be one of the more serious problems for birds, especially for migratory species that fly at night. One study began its conclusion with, "It is apparent from the analysis of the data that significant numbers of birds are dying in collisions with communications towers, their guy wires, and related structures."5 Another report states, "The main environmental problem we are watching out for with telecommunication towers are the deaths of birds and bats."6

    This is not news, as bird collisions with lighted television and radio towers have been documented for over 50 years. Some towers are responsible for very high episodic fatalities. One television transmitter tower in Eau Claire, WI, was responsible for the deaths of over 1,000 birds on each of 24 consecutive nights. A "record 30,000 birds were estimated killed on one night" at this same tower.7 In Kansas, 10,000 birds were killed in one night by a telecommunications tower.8 Numerous large bird kills, while not as dramatic as the examples cited above, continue to occur across the country at telecommunication tower sites.

    The number of telecommunication towers in the U.S. currently exceeds 77,000, and this number could easily double by 2010. The rush to construction is being driven mainly by our use of cell phones, and to a lesser extent by the impending switch to digital television and radio. Current mortality estimates due to telecommunication towers are 40 to 50 million birds per year.9 The proliferation of these towers in the near future will only exacerbate this situation.

    Agricultural pesticides are "conservatively estimated" to directly kill 67 million birds per year.10 These numbers do not account for avian mortality associated with other pesticide applications, such as on golf courses. Nor do they take into consideration secondary losses due to pesticide use as these toxic chemicals travel up the food chain. This includes poisoning due to birds ingesting sprayed insects, the intended target of the pesticides.

    Cats, both feral and housecats, also take their toll on birds. A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) report states that, "recent research suggests that rural free-ranging domestic cats in Wisconsin may be killing between 8 and 217 million birds each year. The most reasonable estimates indicate that 39 million birds are killed in the state each year."11

    There are other studies on the impacts of jet engines, smoke stacks, bridges, and any number of other human structures and activities that threaten birds on a daily basis. Together, human infrastructure and industrial activities are responsible for one to four million bird deaths per day!

  4. #24
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    are the turbines killing endangered species?
    I don't know. What kind of birds are they killing? What kind of bats? Are they going to be allowed to break the law just because they are the servants of the environmental movement and the oil industry is not?
    It just stands to reason that if we are going to have these things all over the country they will be killing endangered birds or bats maybe to the point of extinction for those really rare birds that may only inhabit a small area of the country. The Animal right groups should be outraged. Where's PETA?

  5. #25
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbbtx View Post
    I don't know. What kind of birds are they killing? What kind of bats? Are they going to be allowed to break the law just because they are the servants of the environmental movement and the oil industry is not?
    It just stands to reason that if we are going to have these things all over the country they will be killing endangered birds or bats maybe to the point of extinction for those really rare birds that may only inhabit a small area of the country. The Animal right groups should be outraged. Where's PETA?
    Maybe they are not killing endangered species in sufficient numbers to warrant concern for the viability of those species. Do you have links which indicate that they are? It sounds like you're trying to claim hypocrisy without showing that it actually exists.
    You can never be safe from a government that can keep you completely safe from each other and the world. You must choose.

  6. #26
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    Maybe they are not killing endangered species in sufficient numbers to warrant concern for the viability of those species. Do you have links which indicate that they are? It sounds like you're trying to claim hypocrisy without showing that it actually exists

    I found this study. Is trying to stop so called global warming worth the trade off?




    .
    Scientists study wind-farm risks to birds
    Scientists are taking a careful look at the impact wind farms are having on bird populations.

    By Hal Bernton

    Seattle Times staff reporter

    PREV 1 of 3 NEXT


    STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

    A turkey vulture floats on the wind, looking for a meal near wind turbines at the sprawling wind-farm development on Windy Point near Goldendale in Klickitat County. The area is home to one of the largest wind-power projects in the state. The ridges are lined with wind turbines that reflect the boom in this new power source.

    STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES
    Biologist Orah Zamora places a marker while performing a raptor survey below one of the wind turbines at Windy Point, near Goldendale in Klickitat County.


    STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES
    Wind farming is taking over old-fashioned farming on Windy Flats, also near Goldendale.
    Related

    Gallery | Harvesting the wind
    GOLDENDALE, Klickitat County Biologist Orah Zamora spends her days walking around wind turbines in search of dead birds and bats. Most of her surveys turn up nothing, but every once in a while she finds a carcass that may have been felled by a whirring blade.

    "It's like a crime scene, and you try to figure out what happened. Sometimes, it's really obvious because you see a slice mark," Zamora says.

    Zamora's monitoring at the Windy Flats project is part of a larger series of surveys to assess how the wind-power boom is impacting birds that must now share air space with the towering turbines.

    The surveys, which are financed by the wind industry, indicate that wind power is a relatively minor hazard to birds. But some scientists say it is still too soon to discount the risks posed by the rush to develop Northwest wind power. They are particularly concerned with the plight of hawks, eagles and other raptors, which are large, long-lived birds at the top of the food chain.

    One survey at Big Horn Wind Farm in Klickitat County estimated that more than 30 raptors were killed during an initial year of operations more than seven times the number forecast in a pre-construction study. The dead raptors included kestrels, red-tailed hawks, short-eared owls and a ferruginous hawk, which Washington state lists as a threatened species.

    "It's just too early to say what this all means," said K. Shawn Smallwood, a California ecologist who has published numerous scientific articles on wind farms and raptor deaths. "The science is just not there yet."

    There also is uncertainty about how raptors react to wind-power development, which often carves up foraging grounds with miles of new roads. Some say more studies are needed to determine if some species shy away from these areas or eventually abandon nests near the wind farms.

    "Some of these projects are going up in undeveloped areas that were kind of havens for these species," said James Watson, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist who has spent 40 years studying raptors. "These turbines are occupying some of the flight space that is their bread and butter."

    Bird-mortality rates

    Zamora works for West Inc., an ecological field-study company that has become a major contractor for the wind-power industry. The company's surveys of turbine operations, which typically last a year or more, do miss some dead birds that get quickly picked apart by ravens, vultures or coyotes. Statisticians try to account for such removals in coming up with the final survey estimates that have been released for about a dozen Northwest wind farms.

    Based on that information, the wind-power turbines currently operating in Oregon and Washington kill more than 6,500 birds and more than 3,000 bats annually.

    In an era of climate change and a massive oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, wind-power advocates say these deaths are an acceptable trade-off for development of a renewable energy source.



    They note that house cats and other man-made hazards cause tens of millions of bird deaths each year.

    Bird mortality "at wind farms, compared to other human-related causes of bird mortality, is biologically and statistically insignificant," wrote Mike Sagrillo, a consultant who writes for American Wind Energy Association.

    But Altamont Pass in California, where an earlier generation of wind turbines constructed during the 1980s were densely packed into a key raptor area, offers a notorious example of wind power's toll on birds.

    These Altamont wind farms have consistently killed more raptors per megawatt of power than anywhere else in the nation. Despite efforts to modify these wind farms, surveys indicate the Altamont wind farms still kill more than 1,600 hawks, eagles and other raptors annually, according to Smallwood.

    The Altamont experience raised concerns among bird biologists as wind power spread to the Northwest in the late 1990s. In one of the first major projects, Florida Power & Light proposed extending Stateline wind-farm turbines into the bird-rich Wallula Gap saddle, just above McNary National Wildlife Refuge on the Columbia River.

    "We told them that we need to think about this and so do you," recalls Mike Denny, a biologist who serves on the board of the Blue Mountain Audubon Society.

    After initially brushing aside those objections, Denny said that Florida Power & Light eventually agreed to negotiations that kept the turbines out of the area and made other siting concessions to reduce the impacts on birds. "I really think they did their best," Denny said.

    Considering birds' needs

    In recent years, some of the biggest Northwest concerns about raptors and wind-power development have been in the plateau country of Klickitat County, whose farm fields and grazing lands offer a buffet of chukars, rabbits and other prey to birds that nest in the nearby Columbia River Gorge.

    When raptors spot prey, powerful hunting instincts take over, and the birds may dive to the ground without paying much heed to rotating and potentially lethal blades. Or, they may hover in the air currents, searching for prey, and then drift into the turbines.

    In Klickitat County, a new generation of bigger turbines can produce more than twice the electricity of the older models at Altamont. These projects typically have far fewer turbines spaced farther apart, helping reduce the bird toll.

    Wind-power developers, after consultations with state biologists, also have agreed to relocate some turbines away from canyon edges frequented by raptors, and avoid installing them in some areas used by raptors or near their nets.

    "We take the questions and concerns of wildlife impacts very seriously," said Jan Johnson, a spokeswoman for Iberdrola Renewables, which owns the Big Horn Wind Farm and which invested in conserving 455 acres of wildlife habitat on the south side of the Big Horn site, a larger conservation easement than the state required.

    Still, as the industry expands in the years ahead, the raptor death toll will continue to rise. Just how much is in dispute.

    One effort to estimate that industry's cumulative death toll was undertaken by West in a study paid for by the Klickitat County Planning Department.

    If the industry doubled in size, that study estimated the turbines would kill 516 raptors each year in the Columbia River plateau region of Oregon and Washington. Even at those rates, the study concluded such a toll would not appear to have significant impacts on any species. But ecologist Smallwood thinks the study significantly underestimates the raptor death toll. It's difficult to determine whether these deaths would harm individual species because there aren't good estimates of the total population for most Northwest raptor species, he said.

    "We can't say what [death toll] is biologically significant," he said.

    Greg Johnson, a biologist who co-authored the West study, conceded that the surveys used to estimate raptor populations have large margins of error. But he said it's better to use those estimates then to "shrug our shoulders and say we don't know."

  7. #27
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    It's like saying.. there is a garage in the next yard that is unattractive.. or a tree.. maybe the neighbours have kids.. maybe they should compensate one another when the have to mow their lawns. Dogs.. cats.. dogs and cats.. gardens.. kids play parks.. endless possibilities.
    Maybe, but I think having an industrial wind turbine behind, or in front, of the house would have a bit more of an impact on sale-ability than the examples you give.

  8. #28
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    Maybe they are not killing endangered species in sufficient numbers to warrant concern for the viability of those species. Do you have links which indicate that they are? It sounds like you're trying to claim hypocrisy without showing that it actually exists.
    No there is no hard evidence that it has impact on endangered species... or much on any species. It's a real baloney argument imo of course.

  9. #29
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    Maybe, but I think having an industrial wind turbine behind, or in front, of the house would have a bit more of an impact on sale-ability than the examples you give.
    Probably not much more then say having a large flag pole set up.

  10. #30
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    Re: How do you feel about homeowners protesting electric generating wind turbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    No there is no hard evidence that it has impact on endangered species... or much on any species. It's a real baloney argument imo of course.
    Look above.
    If thousands of hawks, eagles, raptors etc. are killed annually in one area how can you call that baloney?
    Environmentalists are nut cases. They banned DDT because they thought (never proven) that it made bird EGGS soft shelled. Millions of lives were lost and are still being lost due to Malaria because of the ban. Yet they find any number of bird deaths acceptable for electricity because it's "clean" Well I call it "bloody" energy.

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