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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.