Wind farms threaten birds
A favorite source of clean energy for many environmentalists is the good old fashioned windmill, and today’s windmills are very high tech.Â No more shingle sided buildings with wood-framed canvas blades turning quietly on a bucolic hillside.Â The new windmills are shiny spires with aircraft type blades over 200 feet long, and the blades literally slice through the air.Â The benefit of generating power this way is obvious to most everyone.Â Once built, the windmill operates basically on its own, and produces electricity almost for free.Â It’s estimated that within the next 15 years or so, windmills could produce up to 7% of all the electricity used in the United States, which should be a good thing in anyone’s book.
Other environmentalists though, have an issue with this scenario.Â Too may windmills could disrupt the migratory flight paths of birds, and bats.Â Of most concern, are the critters that fly at night.Â The feeling is, they won’t see those blades whirring.Â Birds however, seem to have an uncanny knack for getting out of harms way.Â Have you ever had a bird fly into the path of your car while you’re barreling down the highway at 65 miles an hour, and at the last second the bird veers away?Â The bird felt the disturbance in the air that was caused by your car, and got out of Dodge.Â Bats, on the other hand, don’t ‘see’ anything at all, hence the term Blind as a Bat.Â They operate on something similar to radar, and windmill towers are big, really big.Â If you haven’t actually seen one up close, trust me, they are huge mamma jammas.Â We’re guessing that the bat’s radar would trigger theÂ Uh oh, something really big is in the way alarm in their little bat brains, and they would fly around the obstacle.Â But like I said, we’re just guessing at that.
For every good idea that seems to come along, there are those that have a problem with it, and too often the vocal minority is allowed to establish the rules.Â Rewind 40 some years ago, to 1963.Â If this issue had risen way back then, and the concerns were real, Alfred Hitchcock would have been in quite a pickle.Â He never could have made his classic thriller, The Birds, because the birds never would have made it to Bodega Bay.Â The windmills would have sucked them all up first.
Full Story: Seattle Post
Hitchcock: The Birds
Cartoon from Sid in the City