The Canary in the Coalmine (2013 Edition)

 

The Daily Mail reports:

There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846. So when one popped up again on British shores this week, twitchers were understandably excited. A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia. But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show when it flew into a wind turbine and was killed.

Writing in the Guardian, Harry Huyton, head of “climate change policy and campaigns” for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, tries to rally his grieving and conflicted followers:

“If you’re mourning for the needletail that died this week, don’t blindly lash out at windpower. Do something about it. Insulate your home, install some solar panels, drive less, buy wildlife-friendly food – because every single act we take to reduce our footprints will save lives.

As is customary in such desperate moments, he throws in a little apocalypse:

One synthesis study in the journal Nature estimates that 15-37 per cent of species would be ‘committed to extinction’ by 2050 under a mid-range global warming scenario.

To be fair, Huyton’s point that most forms of energy come with collateral damage to our feathered and furry friends is a reasonable one, but this next comment is dodging the elephant still thriving in the room:

We need wind power to work, alongside everything else that will cut our climate-changing emissions.

Whether wind power does work (in the UK) in the way Huyton would like remains, however, somewhat contentious. Its huge cost, however, is beyond dispute.  

Just this week, there was this (via Bloomberg):

The U.K. will pay offshore wind developers triple the market price for electricity they generate under a subsidy program to boost renewable energy that by 2020 will cost consumers 7.6 billion pounds ($11.6 billion) a year.

And the same story contained this snippet:

The flurry of initiatives overshadowed the first results from the government’s “Green Deal,” which allows consumers to take out subsidized loans to pay for insulation, double-glazing and other efficiency measures. It was the centerpiece of the Cameron’s first energy law. In its first five months of operation, only four of the nation’s 26.9 million households took up the incentive.

Four! 

There are 16 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NickStuart

    We will know that globalclimatewarmingcoolingchange is real, and that windmills are truly market-competitive sources of energy when there are windmills in Nantucket Sound, San Francisco Bay, and Al Gore’s backyard.

    • #1
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    @LarryKoler

    This is too delicious. I had the whole family here laughing out loud. 

    But seriously: that poor rare bird. It brings tears to my eyes. 

    Then again the good news is that this shows that this world is truly nothing but a vale of tears, a Greek tragedy (no, I mean the old fashioned kind). The reason this is good news is that we all kind of suspected that we are fighting against all the cruel aspects of this world AND we have conservative politicians to deal with. This combination is what exacerbates the difficulties of life on this plain. 

    Takeaway: we simply must do something about the part we can control: we must destroy the conservatives of all countries. This is surely the correct lesson to draw. (And you thought you were going to teach the liberals — are they progressives now? — a lesson, didn’t you Andrew.)

    • #2
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    @Valiuth

    Does it make me a bad person that I am disappointed there was no video of the thing getting thwaked? Probably. 

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Instugator
    Valiuth: Does it make me a bad person that I am disappointed there was no video of the thing getting thwaked? Probably.  · 0 minutes ago

    No – I wouldn’t want to see the poor creature (killed due to greedy men trying to cash in on public ignorance) – no, the video I would rather see is the one depicting the horrified onlookers.

    If only they hadn’t wasted soooo much carbon on newsfeeds / email – heck – electricity for their homes, not to mention the fuel they spent scurrying to catch a glimpse of the bird. Yep – their very lifestyle ensured the demise of the poor creature.

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    @Instugator

    <removed double post>

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @LarryKoler
     …

    If only they hadn’t wasted soooo much carbon on newsfeeds / email – heck – electricity for their homes, not to mention the fuel they spent scurrying to catch a glimpse of the bird. Yep – their very lifestyle ensured the demise of the poor creature. 

    Exactly! They also just have to fly to get to world conferences on the lies they share with each other.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @EHerring

    Title should read: Schadenfreude Alert, The Canary in the Coal mine 2013 Edition

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Valiuth
    Instugator

    Valiuth: Does it make me a bad person that I am disappointed there was no video of the thing getting thwaked? Probably.  · 0 minutes ago

    No – I wouldn’t want to see the poor creature (killed due to greedy men trying to cash in on public ignorance) – no, the video I would rather see is the one depicting the horrified onlookers.

    If only they hadn’t wasted soooo much carbon on newsfeeds / email – heck – electricity for their homes, not to mention the fuel they spent scurrying to catch a glimpse of the bird. Yep – their very lifestyle ensured the demise of the poor creature. · 29 minutes ago

    OH Yah. That video would be hilarious. As you see their faces go from awe to horror. Mmm their tears are so sweet. All I can think of now is Whale Wars were I got to see a Japanese fishing boat spear a whale in front of the Sea Shepherds. It was amazing. Kind of like eating a burger in front of a Vegan. 

    • #8
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    @Alfa158

    Friend of mine made a tidy sum on windmills he bought near Palm Springs. Between periods of no wind and regular malfunctions they generate negligible amounts of electricity but with the tax structure and guaranteed income they provide better and more reliable returns than the stock market. He shakes his head over the fact that at times they are just sitting there motionless and Uncle Sam sees to it that he is still making money anyway, but he isn’t going to turn down free money.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @WesternChauvinist
    Alfa158: Friend of mine made a tidy sum on windmills he bought near Palm Springs. Between periods of no wind and regular malfunctions they generate negligible amounts of electricity but with the tax structure and guaranteed income they provide better and more reliable returns than the stock market. He shakes his head over the fact that at times they are just sitting there motionless and Uncle Sam sees to it that he is still making money anyway, but he isn’t going to turn down free money. 

    There ya’ have it! “Going green” provides perverse incentives to do perverse things with resources. Perfect example.

    • #10
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    @AdrianaHarris

    I hate wind turbines. They are a blight on the landscape and they kill flying wildlife. Also, the energy they produce is expensive and inconsistent. Why do the greenies worship them so?

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Devereaux
    Adriana Harris: I hate wind turbines. They are a blight on the landscape and they kill flying wildlife. Also, the energy they produce is expensive and inconsistent. Why do the greenies worship them so? · 8 minutes ago

    Because it doesn’t come from coal or oil. No other reason. Actually no reason at all – just blind hatred, of which they seem to have an inexhaustible quantity.

    • #12
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    @Alfa158

    Greens love turbines because they support the illusion that no CO2 is being released, although of course it is produced making, shipping and maintaining the windmills. As an added bonus the more sophisticated Greens know that these alternate sources produce very little energy and their long term goal is to cripple technological civilization by restricting the production of energy. During the cold fusion brouhaha some Greens flat out said that a genuinely cheap, clean, and abundant source of energy would be a catastrophe.I don’t know how it works in the UK with windmills but in the US fossil fuel and utilities absolutely love windmills and solar because their output is variable , which means that they have to be backed up with small generating plants to cover the shortfall and down periods. This means that the power suppliers get the approval process for new plants fast-tracked because they are now “green” and natural gas producers, in particular, get to sell huge amounts of gas.

    • #13
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    @NickStuart

    Remember, Leftism is a religion. Radical Environmentalism one of its hardcore fundamentalist sects. As they see it, the needletail died for our sins.

    • #14
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    @Kervinlee

    To paraphrase: “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Needletail without laughing.”

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @barbaralydick

    “… don’t blindly lash out at windpower. Do something about it. Insulate your home, …”

    Am struggling to understand how insulating one’s home is going to prevent a turbine blade from whacking a bird…

    Anyway, had mentioned in a previous post that those windmills are sometimes referred to as Condor Cuisinarts in honor of the first condor bred in captivity in CA.  It was released into the wild and met the same fate as the white-throated needletail.

    A hunter can be fined $100,000 and a year in prison for killing a bald eagle here in the US.  Oil companies are liable for tens of millions of dollars for an oil spill that in any way befouls the environment.  But windmill owners that are responsible for a kill rate of nearly 600,000 birds/year – including hundreds of eagles – face no such prosecution.  In fact, whereas it requires many months, often years, of review of environmental impact studies for any energy or energy-related company (oil, gas, nuclear), the EPA is working on regulations that would give wind companies 30-year permits waiving  environmental damage, including killing birds.

    This is hypocrisy on stilts.

    • #16

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