It’s hard to pick which aspect of the global green movement disgusts me most: really, we’re spoilt for choice. But if I had to choose one thing, I think it would be its grotesque, almost pathological hypocrisy. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the greenies’ ongoing obsession with wind farms – about as environmentally-unfriendly a way of generating energy as any lunatic could possibly have dreamed.
If you really hate nature, you’ll love wind farms. Not only do they destroy the landscape, blight views, increase flooding and disturb the peace, but, as this Spectator article reveals, they kill rare birds and bats on an industrial scale.
Because wind farms tend to be built on uplands, where there are good thermals, they kill a disproportionate number of raptors. In Australia, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is threatened with global extinction by wind farms. In North America, wind farms are killing tens of thousands of raptors including golden eagles and America’s national bird, the bald eagle. In Spain, the Egyptian vulture is threatened, as too is the Griffon vulture — 400 of which were killed in one year at Navarra alone. Norwegian wind farms kill over ten white-tailed eagles per year and the population of Smøla has been severely impacted by turbines built against the opposition of ornithologists.
Nor are many other avian species safe. In North America, for example, proposed wind farms on the Great Lakes would kill large numbers of migratory songbirds. In the Atlantic, seabirds such as the Manx Shearwater are threatened. Offshore wind farms are just as bad as onshore ones, posing a growing threat to seabirds and migratory birds, and reducing habitat availability for marine birds (such as common scoter and eider ducks).
But what interests me at least as much as Dr Hambler’s fascinating and timely piece is the outraged response of some greenies. This fellow, Keith Kloor, for example. Is he bothered by the increasing evidence that wind farms act like gigantic Cuisinarts on our avian populations? Is he troubled by the fat subsidies taxpayers and energy users are funneling into the pockets of greedy, rent-seeking corporations? Is he not puzzled by the complicity of bird charities like the Audubon Society in this disgraceful scam? Does he not recognize that there’s a certain inconsistency in professing to care for the environment while simultaneously speaking out for devices that do so much damage to it? Nope. As with so many adherents of the green religion, his ire is directed at those who would criticize one of most important articles of his faith.
Wind energy is “renewable” and renewables are good – regardless of all the copious evidence there might be to the contrary.