Wind Power: Unfolding Environmental Disaster – Entire Ecosystems Collapsing

As STT followers are well-aware, this site doesn’t mince its words: wind power is the greatest economic and environmental fraud in human history.

Pull the subsidies, and this so-called ‘industry’ would disappear in a heartbeat.

For the best part of 20 years, the wind cult has attempted to justify the hundreds of $billions squandered on subsidies for wind power, as being all for the greater good.

Armchair environmentalists – who have never planted trees to prevent erosion on creek lines or dragged junk and gunk out of polluted waterways – claim ‘mission accomplished’, every time a new wind turbine whirls into (occasional) action.

Obsequious charlatans (like Simon Holmes a Court) even encourage naïve and gullible virtue signallers into ‘investing’ in so-called community wind farms (see our post here). They never get their money back, but at least they can tell their mates at Getup! that they’ve done their bit for the environment.

And yet, when the trifling amount of electricity generated by these things across the planet is compared with the grief caused to communities, neighbours and the environment itself, it’s hard for anyone gifted with our good friends, logic and reason, to make a case for wind power. Here’s why.

Scientists: Expansion Of Wind Turbines ‘Likely To Lead To Extinction’ For Endangered Vulture Species
No Tricks Zone
Kenneth Richard
5 October 2017

When pondering the future of wind power and its ecological impacts, it is well worth re-considering this seminal analysis from Dr. Matt Ridley.

[W]orld energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, […] it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area half the size of the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year.

If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area half the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfill the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

The profound costs to wildlife of future-planning to expand wind energy to the levels demanded by “green” advocates — just to meet the world population’s additional energy demands with 350,000 more turbines each year — has been increasingly documented by scientists.

The last remaining vulture species native to southeastern Europe is “likely” faced with extinction in the next few decades due to an “eight to ten times greater” mortality rate associated with the rapid expansion of wind energy projects in the region (Vasilakis et al., 2017).

Bat species can be found dwelling in a wide variety of terrestrial habitats, including deserts and along sea coasts. Each species may play a fundamental role in its local ecosystem.  For example, Kuntz et al., (2011) indicate that 528 different plant species rely on bat pollination and seed dispersal for sustainability.  Boyles et al., (2011) estimated that by controlling pest populations (insects), the agricultural benefits of bats may reach $22.9 billion (U.S.D.) annually in the continental U.S. alone.

In addition to White Nose Syndrome, deaths  connected to collisions with wind turbines are now the leading cause of multiple mortality events in bats (O’Shea et al., 2016).  Roughly 25% of North American bats are now classified at risk for extinction (Hammerson et al, 2017), in large part due to the explosion of wind turbines across the landscape.   If the expansion of wind turbines continues at its current pace, the hoary bat population is projected to be reduced by 90% (Frick et al., 2017) within the next 50 years.   As Hein and Schirmacher (2016) conclude, the “current and presumed future level of fatality [for bat populations] is considered to be unsustainable.”

Even large mammals like the already endangered Portuguese wolf  (“between 200 and 400 individuals” left) has had its reproduction rates reduced by the recent addition of nearly 1,000 new turbines in their shrinking habitat range (Ferrão da Costa et al., 2017 ).

So what, exactly, are we gaining in exchange for increasingly endangering critically important wildlife species?  Slightly above nothing.

According to the IEA, wind energy provided for 0.39% of the world’s total energy demands as of 2013.

At what point may we ask: Are the benefits of wind energy worth the ecological and wildlife costs?

 


 

Vasilakis et al., 2017

Numerous wind farms are planned in a region hosting the only cinereous vulture population in south-eastern Europe. We combined range use modelling and a Collision Risk Model (CRM) to predict the cumulative collision mortality for cinereous vulture under all operating and proposed wind farms. Four different vulture avoidance rates were considered in the CRM.  Cumulative collision mortality was expected to be eight to ten times greater in the future (proposed and operating wind farms) than currently (operating wind farms), equivalent to 44% of the current population (103 individuals) if all proposals are authorized (2744 MW). Even under the most optimistic scenario whereby authorized proposals will not collectively exceed the national target for wind harnessing in the study area (960 MW), cumulative collision mortality would still be high (17% of current population) and likely lead to population extinction.


Hammerson et al, 2017

Conservationists are increasingly concerned about North American bats due to the arrival and spread of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) disease and mortality associated with wind turbine strikes. To place these novel threats in context for a group of mammals that provides important ecosystem services, we performed the first comprehensive conservation status assessment focusing exclusively on the 45 species occurring in North America north of Mexico. Although most North American bats have large range sizes and large populations, as of 2015, 18–31% of the [North American bats] species were at risk (categorized as having vulnerable, imperiled, or critically imperiled NatureServe conservation statuses) and therefore among the most imperiled terrestrial vertebrates on the continent.


Frick et al., 2017

Large numbers of migratory bats are killed every year at wind energy facilities. However, population-level impacts are unknown as we lack basic demographic information about these species. We investigated whether fatalities at wind turbines could impact population viability of migratory bats, focusing on the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), the species most frequently killed by turbines in North America. Using expert elicitation and population projection models, we show that mortality from wind turbines may drastically reduce population size and increase the risk of extinction. For example, the hoary bat population could decline by as much as 90% in the next 50 years if the initial population size is near 2.5 million bats and annual population growth rate is similar to rates estimated for other bat species (λ = 1.01). Our results suggest that wind energy development may pose a substantial threat to migratory bats in North America. If viable populations are to be sustained, conservation measures to reduce mortality from turbine collisions likely need to be initiated soon. Our findings inform policy decisions regarding preventing or mitigating impacts of energy infrastructure development on wildlife.


Hein and Schirmacher, 2016

Two recent attempts were made to estimate bat fatality in the United States for 2012. Hayes (2013) followed a similar approach to Cryan (2011) and based his analysis primarily on the limited dataset from Arnet et al. (2008). Hayes (2013) indicated that >600,000 bats were killed at wind energy facilities in 2012 and suggested that this was a conservative estimate. Smallwood (2013) estimated up to 888,000 bats were killed in the United States in 2012. … We suggest that each of these be considered an order of magnitude estimate; taken together, they highlight the almost certain large number of bats being killed (i.e., on the order of hundreds of thousands per year) in the United States and Canada. Given that bats have a low reproductive rate—typically only having 1 or 2 pups/year—and require high adult survivorship to avoid population declines (Barclay and Harder 2003), this level of impact presumably puts bat populations at risk. Moreover, many species were thought to be declining prior to the onset and expansion of wind energy development, including species impacted by white-nose syndrome (Winhold et al. 2008, Frick et al. 2010). Although population data are sparse or lacking for many bat species, current and presumed future level of fatality is considered to be unsustainable, and actions to reduce impact of wind turbines on bats should be implemented immediately.


Ferrão da Costa et al., 2017

Over the last 15 years, more than 900 wind turbines were built inside the range of the Portuguese wolf. Due to the endangered status of this large carnivore in Portugal, several monitoring plans were conducted, resulting in a reasonable amount of information being collected on the effects of wind farms on wolves. We reviewed the methodological approaches, compiled major findings and summarised the mitigation/compensation measures used in Portuguese wind farms. The overall outcomes show increasing human disturbance in wind farm areas, resulting in lower wolf reproduction rates during construction and the first years of operation, as well as shifts in denning site locations of more than 2.5 km away from the wind farm. … According to a review by Lovich and Ennen (2013), the construction and operation of wind farms have both potential and known impacts on terrestrial vertebrates, such as: (i) increase in direct mortality due to traffic collisions; (ii) destruction and modification of the habitat, including road development, habitat fragmentation and barriers to gene flow; (iii) noise effects, visual impacts, vibration and shadow flicker effects from turbines; (iv) electromagnetic field generation; (v) macro and microclimate change; (vi) predator attraction; and (vii) increase in fire risks.

No Tricks Zone

Simon says: let’s all hold hands and say ‘mission accomplished’.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    It is not just the slice and dice that kills bats but the noise moving through the ground and up structures if they should roost within cooee of a Turbine. They would even build their monsters near birthing caves of the critically endangered Southern Bent Winged Bat if they could get away with it – fortunately they have not succeeded YET, but the way things are going in southern Western Victoria anything is possible. Two groups of this bat exist but they do not interbreed, there is one group in SE SA and one in SW Victoria. It needs to be remembered and accepted by the Flaying Green jelly mob that Bats have very sensitive hearing and are prone to die if shocked awake.
    None of the Flaying Green Jelly Mob (FGJM) will even consider the noise sent through the ground from their beloved Towers of Torture could be having a massive detrimental effect on all creatures in the ground and above it.
    These members of the FGJM operate under the delusion that if you don’t see it, it can’t exist or doesn’t happen.
    As they do not go out and see the damage done by the slicing and dicing of blades for themselves it follows in their tiny minds that it doesn’t happen.
    Its a pity we can’t dismiss them in the same way – why, because we’re not stupid we know they exist even when we cannot see them.

  2. Funny how even the presence of a red spotted warbling wren or a speckled tree toad can bring a project to a halt. We had road works near us delayed for a year because someone saw a legless lizard (real name not being stupid that time).

    Meanwhile wind turbines get built no worries, overtly slaughter birds and bats , some quite rare, and still no worries. The sensitivity to environmental impacts seems amazingly selective.

  3. Paid and elected government agents who have ushered in the demise of rural regions and the destruction of habitat for humans and animals need to be identified and prosecuted for their lack of competency and their failure to assess the negative effects of industrial scale wind. Forcing people to live in urban centres, where they inevitably become out of touch with the earth and unable to realize and respect the delicate interconnection of species is the exact opposite direction we need to be going in. ‘Rural Renaissance’ is not only possible, it is an absolute necessity.
    Thank you STT for exposing the truth.

  4. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    ~

  5. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “The last remaining vulture species native to southeastern Europe is “likely” faced with extinction in the next few decades due to an “eight to ten times greater” mortality rate associated with the rapid expansion of wind energy projects in the region (Vasilakis et al., 2017).”

    WHERE’S the outrage from environmental and wildlife groups? There is none because the “global warming” agenda and the implementation of fake fixes to a fake catastrophe is far more important than saving flora and fauna. Herein lies the folly of the great global warming ‘religion’. Completely devoid of sanity or reason.

    • I agree Jamie but would go one step further…these are not environmentalists. They are socialists, what we refer to as watermelons, a perfect description for the hideous, vile, shrill hate mongering vermin that they are.
      Watermelon could only be a better metaphor if watermelons were both poisonous and capable of screeching hatred. These people do not care less about the ecology, most of them are inner city cockroaches and have zero connection with nature at any time in their miserable hate filled lives.
      What does a person who spends there entire lives in a world of hate care about a bat?

  6. Blowin Dan Tehan more worried about the battlefeilds of France, than the present day slaughter of endangered birds and bats. His good family friends, the lying Officers, who host the Macarthur turbines. Never mind the local Indigeonous remains that probably would have been disturbed, over the 10000 odd acres the Macarthur wind factory was constructed on. Here’s hoping he has a Pommy forebear.

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