We have all been to those Wind Developer ‘Open Houses’ where the proponents assure us their wind generating station won’t harm birds, bats or other endangered species.
They pull out glossy publications and ‘fact’ sheets and thick reports prepared by their consultants.
We are uneasy, unconvinced but often at a loss how to respond or criticize the assertions being made.
Here are some of the ways that the developers and their consultants hide the true impact of their wind plants on birds and bats.
How bad is the slaughter, really? What tricks does the wind industry use to hide it?
by Jim Wiegand
A “green energy” wildlife genocide is depopulating wildlife habitats across the world where vital species once found refuge. Wind turbines have invaded these habitats and are devastating bird and bat species.
Rather than avoiding these critical habitats or taking steps to minimize impacts on important species, the heavily subsidized wind industry is responding by producing faulty, misleading and even fraudulent documents to hide the serious and growing mortality. This situation has continued for years but has been shielded by state and federal agencies and other supporters of wind power.
Having studied these installations and their wildlife impacts for years, I can say without reservation that most of what people hear and read about the wind industry’s benefits and environmental costs is false. However, buried in thousands of pages of wind industry documents are data, omissions and calculations that tell a wind turbine mortality story that is far different from what is portrayed in industry press releases, mainstream news stories and official government reports.
I have frequently said the wind industry is hiding over 90% of the bird and bat mortality caused by their turbines. This statement is supported by the industry’s own data and reasonable adjustments for its manipulations. These calculations will help people understand how the industry is using its studies to hide millions of fatalities; they will also help local residents and officials understand “wind farm” impacts and their role in species extinctions that could soon exact an irreversible toll in many regions.
My analysis focuses on two North American wind resource areas that are well known for killing raptors, other birds and bats: Altamont Pass in southern California and Wolfe Island in eastern Lake Erie, on the Ontario-New York border. While studies prepared for these two wind resource are quite different, both were designed to hide mortality. Indeed, hiding mortality is an industry-wide practice, and it is easy to discredit any mortality or cumulative impact study produced by wind energy developers.