Free Markets, Free People

Hypocrisy endemic in leftist enviro position on solar and wind power

How many times have we been treated to hissy fits by the environmental left when it comes to species other than humans and their endangerment?  What group has constantly pushed for laws that protect animals from humans?  And where have the enviros been mostly silent as a particular group of animals is wantonly slaughtered daily in the name of green, renewable energy?

California’s massive Ivanpah solar power plant can produce enough electricity for 140,000 households — but the environmental cost is nothing less than an avian slaughter.

The plant’s 350,000 mirrors bounce sizzling sunlight to the tops of three 40-story boiler towers, heating steam for turbine electricity generators. Temperatures near the towers can reach up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, heat certainly sufficient to fry a fowl.

“Workers at the state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — ‘streamers,’ for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair,” the Associated Press reports this week.

That’s a common occurrence, the AP continues; federal investigators saw a bird burn roughly every two minutes. Ivanpah owner BrightSource estimates that “about a thousand” die each year, and one environmental group says the plant kills up to 28,000 birds each year.

Of course, if you do the math (and account for 12 hours of darkness each day) it comes out to about 130,000 a year – assuming the observation that one bird “burns” every two minutes.  And the outcry?  Yeah, not so much.

And some of the birds it is killing are, among others, endangered:

As the plant prepared to begin operations, workers found the winged corpses of “a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks, and a variety of warblers and sparrows,” the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year.

You want a “silent spring”?  Keep building these sorts of installations.

What about wind turbines?  Well, Ivanpah comes up a piker in comparison:

Ivanpah isn’t the only green darling with a lot of bird blood on its hands, either. The American Bird Conservancy estimates wind turbines slay 440,000 birds each year, and the an analyst writing in the Wildlife Society Bulletin says it’s closer to 573,000 — in addition to 888,000 bats.

And, as usual, our federal government makes exceptions to the law for favored industries:

Federal wildlife officials on Friday for the first time agreed not to prosecute a developer if an endangered California condor is struck and killed by turbine blades at its proposed wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

You accidentally do it and watch how much of an exception they make for you.

In the meantime, with all this data showing massive bird kills among solar and wind turbine installations?

Crickets – unless they find some other sort of “green energy” source that happens to wipe them out too.


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3 Responses to Hypocrisy endemic in leftist enviro position on solar and wind power

  • As I recall, one of these “green” energy outfits also needed a LOT of water.
    Nola problema. Snail darters be damned. Or dammed. Whichever. They are just bait when they bump up against the “green machine”. Birds are just air rats.

  • These types of reactions from the “Environmental Lobby” is very similar to what occurred during the Clinton Administration.  When you compared the 2 administrations (Clinton v Bush43), you would think the Clinton Administration, being named the first “Environmental President” would conduct many more Environmental Impact Statements and such to study the effects of federal actions on the environment and that the Bush43 would slack off on these types of actions.  The reverse was true – and even worse, the actions that were neglected completely for these kinds of studies during Clinton were all over the Bush43 administration.  Why?  Legal action by this very same “Environmental Lobby.”  What the Clinton Administration was give a pass for was slammed in the courts during the Bush43 years.  And except for the year directly following the infamous government shutdown during the Fall and Winter of 1995/96, the Bush Admin outspent the Clinton Admin in the environmental arena when comparing not only the raw dollars but the percentage of the federal budget.  Hint:  The Environmental Lobby has very little to do with the Environment and everything to do with power and influence.

    • Interestingly enough, that “environmental lobby” that was suing the government, was FUNDED by the government, specifically, the EPA.

      Yeah, the EPA paid some outside lawyers $$$hundreds and hour to sue them.