Video link courtesy of Jon Boone:
Now to the original text:
According to the Californian.com, a new “Report paves way for wildlife-friendly wind power in Monterey County.”
So, exactly how do they achieve this ground-breaking harmony between endangered species and the massive wind turbines? Well, according to the article, “Recently constructed wind turbines in San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties are not situated in the flight path of the condors as turbines in the wind-rich lower Salinas Valley would be.”
Now, I’ve got to admit, that’s pretty creative PR. The turbines are called wildlife-friendly simply because they’re not built anywhere near the wildlife. I bet if they never took the silly contraptions out of the box, it would be even better! The amount of worthwhile energy produced to the grid would be about the same.
You see, that’s exactly what the Allegheny Front Alliance has been trying to tell folks in Mineral County, WV. Don’t build the darned things in the path of migratory birds, eagles and endangered bats. So, now perhaps, now we can all just get along!
It seems to me, that it doesn’t take much to please an environmentalist any more. The article states that “The thousand of birds killed by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass tainted the reputation of the renewable energy source.” Makes you feel bad for the industry, doesn’t it? And then, this: “But according to a recent report by the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project, smaller wind-power projects may be able to harvest energy in some parts of Monterey County without harming the endangered California condor.”
Oh, yes … but then there’s the bat issue. Seems “Bats may be the next species to consider, said Dave Johnston, a bat expert for H.T. Harvey & Associates, a Bay Area-based ecological consulting firm.
“It’s potentially a very serious problem,” Johnston said.
Bat fatalities have been documented at wind turbines on the East Coast, but scientists have not gathered any data on bats at wind-power facilities in California, Johnston said. Several bat species, including some that may soon be considered endangered, may feed in the Salinas Valley or pass through during migration.
According to Humboldt State University professor Joe Szewczak, bats eat one-third to one-half of their body weight in insects every night. The snacking habits of millions of bats save agriculture and forests from many insect pests.”
While the proponents of these tinker toys continue to grab any inkling of positive press to promote their wares, thankfully, common sense is arriving on the scene.
The Altamont Pass was discussed briefly in today’s earlier post “A Conversation with Jon Boone – Toward a Better Understanding of Industrial Wind Technology.” Perhaps Mr. Boone will expand on his views of this topic, as well as the “collision” between wind plants and the environment, in his next discussion.
Related posts: Alex Eastman’s letter posted at “Agencies sworn to protect must not permit the kill.” … also see – “The Allegheny Highlands – Where eagles dare!” … “Bats deaths at wind farms attributed to lung hemorrhage … aka – the bends! As we move full speed ahead, is the remedy in place?” … and at the Beech Ridge project “Federal Judge asked to halt Beech Ridge windfarm – a matter of bats.” and ““Bat-gate: Cover-up at the Beech Ridge wind facility” – Editorial from the Industrial Wind Action Group”
Go to the Mountain Communities For Responsible Energy web page for additional information.