Not Content with Lying About its Bird Slaughter-Houses, Wind Industry Sues to Cover up Death Count Data

lies

Just bread and butter for the wind industry.

Linowes: Bird mortality: Big Wind on defense
Casper Star-Tribune
Lisa Linowes
22 October 2014

Nobody really knows how many birds are destroyed annually in wind turbine related collisions. Wind proponents have long discounted the carnage by pointing at other sources of bird mortality including cats, windows, and communications towers, but the issue still haunts developers.

Last month, the wind industry released its latest analysis of bird fatalities. The report examined 116 post-construction bird mortality studies conducted at 70-plus projects in North America between 1996-2012 and concluded that turbines kill up to 368,000 bird (including raptors), annually in the U.S. and Canada.

The problem is that many researchers — and the public — aren’t buying the industry’s numbers, and for good reason.

Flawed data, flawed studies

Determining bird mortality at a site involves the tedious work of searching around the towers looking for carcasses. Those that are found are counted, their species and cause of death cataloged, and notes are taken regarding the timing of the find, distance from the turbine and any evidence of scavenging.

Intense debate persists regarding the accuracy of the mortality estimates. The significant variability in the methods that are followed, both in the field and modeling, raise doubt that continent-wide kill rates can be derived from the current data.

Undercounting birds

There are several obvious problems with the field searches that shed light on why industry data cannot be trusted and could result in a significant under-reporting of bird mortality.

Plot size: The size of the search area below a turbine must be large enough to account for most bird kills. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) guidelines call for large search areas equal to twice the turbine height up to the blade tip. Others argue that more field research is needed to determine optimal search radii based on tower height, blade length and the distance carcasses can be flung. Plot sizes varied significantly across the 116 studies with most being significantly smaller than FWS guidelines. Dead birds thrown outside the search boundaries are generally not counted.

Search intervals: Search intervals varied widely across all 116 studies. Many were conducted monthly or bi-monthly. Others adjusted the frequency of their searches depending on the time of year or when migration was occurring. The longer the time period between searches, the less accurate the study, particularly if scavenging rates are high and not properly accounted for.

Number of years studied and seasonal timing: The duration of the studies varied as well with many conducted over a period of one year or less. Single-year or partial-year surveys are not adequate given the significant annual variations in bird activity that can occur. Also, studies have shown that concentrating searches in particular months or seasons can substantially underestimate mortality.

Geographic areas underrepresented: It’s apparent that many geographic areas were poorly represented in the study. Only three mortality studies applied to all of Texas, for example. Of those, two conducted searches at three-week intervals for less than a year.

Minnesota’s surveys weren’t much better. Of the ten mortality studies included for the state, seven dated back to 1996-1999 at the Buffalo Ridge wind plant with a total wind capacity of just 236 megawatts, turbine hub heights at or below 50 meters, and partial year searches conducted bi-monthly.

All of Canada was represented by two studies, one in Ontario and one in Alberta, covering just 146 megawatts which is less than two percent of Canada’s 8,517 megawatts of installed wind capacity.

The industry’s true intent

The industry’s report attempts to draw conclusions about continent-wide bird mortality based on very limited, highly biased data. It’s evident from the literature that more needs to be done to understand bird (and bat) mortality, but the industry is becoming less, not more, cooperative. Transparency is the only way to inform the science yet, fatality reports are harder to find and most of the new studies are kept confidential.

But the true intent of the study is not about accurate mortality estimates. It’s about deflecting the problem. In the final section of the paper, titled “Further Research” the authors arrogantly suggest we’re wasting our time assessing turbine-related kills when we should be developing “solutions for reducing mortality from those other sources” – like cats and buildings.

The fact is, many more birds (and bats) are dying at operating wind plants than we know and as the turbines spread, mortality will increase. Now is not the time to relax our concern and look elsewhere. Rather, we should be demanding that the industry be held accountable for bird mortality once and for all!

Ms. Linowes is executive director of the WindAction Group, a national advocacy group focusing on the impacts and public policy associated with industrial-scale wind energy development.
Casper Star-Tribune

For the wind industry, its parasites and barrackers belting, slicing and dicing bats and birds to kingdom come is just another “inconvenient truth” attached to the great wind power fraud. Wholesale avian annihilation is excused with the usual chestnut about “saving” the planet from “imminent incineration”.

Never mind that there hasn’t been a shred of evidence produced anywhere in the world to show that wind power reduces CO2 emissions in the electricity sector – probably because all the evidence points in the opposite direction (see our post here).

But the evidence of wanton carnage is getting harder to bury. Graphics like these don’t help:

dead_white-tailed_eagle-500

Rare & endangered White-Tailed Eagle takes one for the planet.

dead_eagle_at_base_of_turbine

A sacrifice the greentard is willing to make …

eagle 1

Another martyr to eco-fascism does his bit for “green” symbolism.

crane germany

German crane doing her bit to help the German wind power “miracle”.

griffon vultures

A pair of griffon vultures contemplate their contribution to Spain’s wind rush.

eagle short-toed

Spanish short-toed eagle, short-changed by wind power.

pelican

Pelican divided on wind power’s “benefits” …

For a wrap up on the millions of birds and bats being clobbered by giant fans – see our posts here and here and here.

With evidence of pointless bird and bat slaughter mounting around the globe – real environmentalists on the warpath – and denial no longer an option – the wind industry has resorted to the last refuge of scoundrels: it’s suing the US government to prevent the press from accessing the kind of evidence that will see them readily convicted in the court of public opinion.

Here’s a couple of reports on just how low the wind industry will go.

Buffett-owned power company sues to block data on wind-farm bird slaughter
Washington Examiner
Timothy P. Carney
18 November 2014

Pacificorp — an energy company owned by Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway — is suing Obama’s Interior Department.

The surprising reason: Interior is going to follow the Freedom of Information Act and disclose to an Associated Press reporter how many birds are killed by Pacificorp’s wind farms. Pacificorp is suing to block the disclosure.

Here’s the story by AP’s Dina Cappiello:

Wind energy companies objected to the AP’s efforts to uncover more information about the numbers of bird deaths. The companies said the information was confidential, submitted voluntarily and should not be revealed under the government’s open records law.

Wind farms definitely kill birds. If the AP finds that it kills a lot of birds — and particularly endangered species of birds — that could diminish the industry’s valuable image as an earth-friendly source of energy.
Washington Examiner

Here’s the original report from Associated Press.

Wind firm sues to block release of bird-death data
Associated Press (bigstory.ap)
Dina Cappiello
17 November 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — A company that operates at least 13 wind-energy facilities across three states is suing in federal court to block the U.S. government from releasing information to The Associated Press about how many birds are found dead at its facilities.

Pacificorp of Portland, Oregon, is seeking an injunction in U.S. District Court in Utah to prevent the Interior Department from releasing information it considers confidential. The Obama administration has said it planned to turn over the material to The Associated Press, which sought it from the Interior Department in March 2013 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. The government concluded that the industry’s concerns were “insufficiently convincing” to keep the files secret.

The information the AP sought was part of its larger investigation into bird and eagle deaths at wind farms and the administration’s reluctance to prosecute the cases as it advocated the pollution-free energy source. The AP asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for data collected under federal permits given to companies to collect the carcasses of protected bird species, including eagles and migratory birds, found dead at their facilities.

Using documents, emails and interviews with former wildlife officials, the AP in articles published last year documented more than four dozen eagle deaths in Wyoming since 2009, and dozens more in California, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. Corporate surveys submitted to the federal government and obtained by AP showed at least 20 eagles found dead in recent years on Pacificorp wind farms in Wyoming.

The wind energy industry has said more birds are killed by poisoning and collisions with cars, buildings and electrical wires.

Wind energy companies objected to the AP’s efforts to uncover more information about the numbers of bird deaths. The companies said the information was confidential, submitted voluntarily and should not be revealed under the government’s open records law.

Last month, the government informed Pacificorp and other companies that within days it intended to release some information to the AP. It said the harm the companies cited from the information’s release was “too general” and “insufficiently convincing” to prevent its release.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 17, said the disclosure will cause “irreparable harm” to Pacificorp, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. In the complaint, the company said withholding the information is in the public’s interest because it will ensure “open communication” between such companies and the government.

A Pacificorp lawyer told the AP the company does not comment about pending litigation.

Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan. Though the blades appear to move slowly, they can reach speeds up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.
Associated Press

Facts

When they get out of hand, it’s time to bury them …

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. The Banality of Evil says:

    Big Wind has taken a page from disgraced Lance Armstrong’s song book. Live Strong, Lie Strong, Sue Strong.

    Like the cheating cyclist, their deception and fraud cannot last forever. Whistle-blowers have emerged already and some are “singing” to protect themselves. The objective acoustic and medical science is slowly but surely emerging in spite of wide spread industry and government obfuscation and inaction. Pacific Hydro commissioning ‘top gun’ acoustician Steven Cooper are a notable exception.

    What is surprising is that Australia’s Cadel Evans has got involved with Siemens’ wind. Siemens have an historical association with industrial scale ovens at Ravensbruck, Buchenwald and Auschwitz, (https://archive.org/details/SIEMENS-WERKEN), so it is unremarkable they are not too concerned about human or animal health impacts of industrial scale wind turbines. In fact many if not most turbine manufacturers have military-industrial links, so ‘collateral damage’ is par for their course.

    Like many folk in Germany during the holocaust, Christine Milne, Mark Butler and the greentards (think brown shirts) turn a blind eye to the appalling abuse of their fellow citizens and indeed applaud it at public meetings. The ecofascist’s ‘wind gods’ are elevated stratospherically on the Green ‘save our planet’ Podium. Even their giant wind towers could be mistaken for the Nazi salute, the swirling blades an ecological swastika, a prop from a Leni Riefenstahl film.

    The longer Big Wind continues to lie about their knowledge of adverse human health impacts of acoustic pollution from industrial scale wind turbines (Kelley/NASA research 1980’s), the harder they are going to fall. May they take their corrupted acousticians and ‘health experts’ with them, along with the public ‘servants’ who have acquiesced in the torture and abuse of rural citizens around the world.

  2. Wind power is a means to transfer money out of poor peoples’ pockets to the rich using Govt. subsidies. Cut subsidies and they will be left rusting – just like in California.

  3. (Sarcasm) The year 2012 – Need a job? Well, there’s one for you here in Michigan’s Thumb area! You can drive around in your lovely pick-up, starting early in the morning, visiting each new IWT in Tuscola County. We have several new IWT’s and more on the way! Just pick up the dead birds around the turbine bases, put them conveniently inside the back of your pick-up inside a plastic bag. When your finished going to every site, just deliver your bags to the area where Nexterror has rented acres from a farmer (quietly now *wink*) and bury them. All Done !! Now be quiet! Your paycheck depends on it!

    Don’t you dare to be intelligent enough to know that this area is a HUGE Migratory Path for the U.S. Birds. Don’t you dare know this information.

    Don’t you dare know that the Thumb Area of Michigan is also rated as the THIRD BEST SOIL in the WORLD, where you can grow anything !! Where the farmers have the luxury of crop rotation.

    Yes, STT, I’m feeling totally Sarcastic today.

    FYI. During the set up of these turbines, “they” went to a farmer asking to rent 5 acres for dead bird burial.

    Bird burial

  4. One would hear all about it if someone run over a windweasel greentard goon, but it doesn’t matter if a bird got hit with a corrupt fan and falls a couple a hundred feet to the ground even it was not dead until it hit the ground. So much for the greens protecting the wild life, what a joke.

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