“Green” Hypocrisy: RSPB Fiddles as Scotland’s Wind Farms Found Guilty of Rampant Raptor Slaughter

dead_eagle_at_base_of_turbine

Centuries from now – archaeologists and palaeontologists will be sifting through what were communities of isolated-candle-lit hovels and find the remains of the 21st Century greentards and ecofascists that ended up living in the Stone Age poverty that they were ready to foist upon everybody else.

As they unravel the secrets of what led to the great wind power fraud – that will then be ancient history – the experts will be more than a little perplexed at how these people were able to generate foaming outrage – on the one hand – and benign indifference – on the other – when faced with identical avian outcomes.

Every time an oil rig blows up or an oil tanker runs aground – the ecofascist is the first to howl “blue murder” and demand an end to the oil industry, as soon as birds start washing up on a beach drenched in the black stuff.

Gulf Oil Spill

Photos and footage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the Exxon Valdez spill filled our papers and TV screens for years afterwards – with well-meaning environmentalists gently washing birds and other critters back to health. No criticism there – nothing wrong with a little human compassion for our feathered friends.

However – the game changes when the greentard is confronted with birds and bats being belted for 6 or sliced to ribbons by giant fans.

Something in the greentards’ wiring fails to connect turbines with the death and destruction they cause.

Is it good old hypocrisy? Is it selective thinking? Is it the fact that their simplistic world view reduces all equations to: “green” GOOD and fossil fuel BAD?

Whatever it is – it demonstrates an inability to apply logic to a given situation and the absence of any guiding principle – a point well made by James Lovelock.

If human activity causing death and harm to wildlife is abhorrent and cause for outrage in one circumstance – then – as a matter of principle – it should be abhorrent in all circumstances. Or does greentard thinking – if that’s what it is – reduce to the old chestnut about “the greater good”?

For birds, successfully negotiating 56m blades with their outer tips doing over 350km/h is, according to wind industry ecological “consultants”, just case of keeping your cool – or NOT.

eagle 1

One group of rabid enviro-hypocrites is Britain’s (ironically named) “Royal Society for the Protection of Birds” (RSPB) – which should seriously think of changing its moniker to the “Royal Society for the Protection of the Wind Industry”, as a fitting nod to its biggest single financial benefactor.

The RSPB has been running cover for its wind industry paymasters for years; denying that wind turbines kill birds; and – when caught out peddling that patent myth – claiming that more birds are killed by evil farmers, motor vehicles, flying into windows and by bands of bird eating pixies (see below).

Not content with simply endorsing the wind industry’s mindless slaughter of millions of birds and bats, the RSPB is keen to get in on the act – with plans to erect its very own bird and bat slicing machinery in the middle of – wait for it – a Scottish Nature Reserve. Here’s The Scotsman describing how – for so-called environmental groups – hypocrisy has become the new “black”.

‘RSPB wants to erect a wind turbine that will kill birds’ claim protesters
The Scotsman
Frank Urquhart
15 October 2014

RSPB Scotland are planning on erecting a wind turbine at the Loch of Strathbeg reserve

A MAJOR wildlife charity has been accused of hypocrisy and double standards after revealing plans to erect a wind turbine at one of Scotland’s largest nature reserves.

RSPB Scotland has submitted plans to Aberdeenshire Council to install a 62ft high “domestic” turbine at its Loch of Strathbeg reserve, near Crimond, in Buchan.

The reserve is home to almost 300 species of birds during the year and in winter tens of thousands of geese, including up to a quarter of the world’s population of pink-footed geese, visit the loch.

RSPB Scotland has been one of the leading objectors to a series of major wind-farm developments in Scotland in recent years. And the charity’s decision to erect a turbine at the reserve has been condemned by the protest group Communities Against Turbines Scotland.

Spokeswoman Kim Terry said: “This application smacks of hypocrisy and double standards. They are supposed to be a charity whose remit is the protection of birds and yet they are erecting something which they know from data all over the world will harm and kill birds in great numbers.

“They are almost taking money under false pretences. They are taking money from members of the public and not fulfilling their remit. I think a lot of their members will be aggrieved about this.”

Ms Terry added: “While the RSPB does lot of good work in other ways – and there is no denying this – I think a lot of people think they have got it completely wrong here.

“The smaller the turbine the faster the blades go round. The RSPB should not be condoning developments that are going to be a danger to something they should be protecting.”

Aedan Smith, RSPB Scotland’s head of planning, defended the development.

He said: “We do object on occasion to wind-farm developments. But if you look across the whole sweep of different development proposals we actually end up objecting to only ten per cent of those.”

He continued: “The way we have treated this turbine is consistent with our approach to other developments across the UK. We look at them on a case-by-case basis and assess what the likely conservation impact is going to be.

“If there is likely to be a problem then we would object to it and wouldn’t be proposing it in the first place on our reserve.

“But if it is not going to be a problem then we are supportive of wind turbines because of the need to reduce the impact on birds and other wildlife of the effects of climate change.”

An ornithology report, submitted by RSPB Scotland in support of the application, admitted that small numbers of pink-footed geese and whooper swans will be at risk of collision if the development is approved.

The report states: “It is possible to conclude that the turbine ­development is unlikely to have a significant impact on the qualifying species of Loch of Strathbeg SPA (special protection area).”

Mr Smith said the report ­assessed the risk to pink-footed geese as one death every five years and one death every 2.5 years for whooper swans. These deaths rates, he stressed, would have no impact on the conservation status of either species.

He added: “The purpose of the turbine is to try and improve the environmental performance of our estate.

“The RSPB as an organisation is becoming increasingly concerned about the effect of climate change on wildlife across the UK and across the world and we are doing what we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Scotsman

eagle at waterloo

The RSPB’s “conservationist” (read “wind power fraud apologist”) Aedán Smith heads straight for the “greater good” chestnut in his effort to defend the indefensible. Trying to justify the inevitable slaughter of the purported objects of RSPB munificence on the grounds that a single turbine will have a discernible effect on global temperature, smacks of the nonsense that springs from childish desperation.

Of course, giant fans have absolutely NOTHING to do with global warming or climate change (whichever is your poison) – as they require 100% of their capacity to be backed up 100% of the time with fossil fuel generation sources (see our post here). That simple and unassailable fact means wind power cannot and will never reduce CO2 emissions in the electricity sector: the sole justification for the wind industry’s heavily subsidised existence – instead, increasing wind power generation results in increased CO2 emissions (see our post here).

Previously,  Smith, pitching RSPB spin, has argued: “that many more eagles are killed by landowners, gamekeepers, power lines and trains” (see our post here). He could have added planes and automobiles.

The “conservationist”, Smith’s thinly veiled attempt to let giant fans off the hook is a bit like an accused armed robber mounting his defence on the basis that plenty of others had robbed the same bank before he did, so he simply can’t be guilty. (For a discussion on the inherent hypocrisy seen in arguments excusing the slaughter of millions of birds and bats by wind turbines see our post here.)

And there’s a mighty big difference between wind turbines, on the one hand, and farmers or gamekeepers (armed with poison or guns), power lines, planes, trains and automobiles, on the other.

The wind industry and its parasites have – from the outset – pitched their fans as a “planet saving, clean, green and environmentally friendly technology”; whereas, the others in the list of offenders have never made any such claim.

Were anyone caught shooting or poisoning rare and endangered eagles they would face prosecution.

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Kill a relatively common Wedge-Tailed Eagle in Australia and you’ll face 6 months imprisonment or a $10,000 fine. As the stories in these links show – when lads with a .22 do it – there is media “shock” and “outrage” at a crime worthy of condign punishment. In Scotland, similar offences carry a maximum penalty of £5000 or 6 months in prison and generate the same media outrage.

But the operators of wind farms face no such criminal penalties – and get to slice and dice birds and bats of all shapes and sizes with impunity (see our posts here and here).

The one thing that giant fans can’t be accused of is “prejudice”: they’ll slaughter anything that flies by; from bats to lowly seagulls, pelicans, majestic raptors and everything in between (see our post here).

The RSPB’s efforts to protect its beloved wind industry by trying to pin the blame for Scotland’s rampant raptor slaughter on farmers, cars, windows and marauding pixies has been dealt a major blow.

A report just published by the Scottish Government-funded “Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme” has given the wind industry top billing as the Highland’s number 1 raptor killer. Here’s The Telegraph on the report that cans the RSPB’s attempt to defend the wind industry’s pointless eagle slaughter.

Wind turbines have killed more birds of prey than persecution this year
The Telegraph
Auslan Cramb
29 October 2014

Rare white tailed sea eagle among four raptors killed by turbine blades, according to official report

Wind turbines have killed more birds of prey in Scotland this year, including a rare white tailed sea eagle, than deliberate poisoning or shooting, an official report has revealed.

Four raptors were killed by turbines between January and June and a fifth bird, a golden eagle, was electrocuted by a power line. Over the same period, two birds were confirmed to have been poisoned or shot.

The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) said the figures showed their members were being judged “guilty until proven innocent”.

The SGA suggested conservationist groups including the RSPB should now demand that the wind farm industry be held to account for raptor deaths.

The numbers were revealed in an interim report published from the Scottish Government-funded Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.

It reveals that in January a buzzard was found dead, with a wing missing, under a turbine in the Western Isles. The eagle was also found dead in the Western Isles.

In February, a sea eagle was found dead under a wind turbine in Tayside. A post mortem examination found several broken bones, but no evidence it died from poisoning.

A kestrel was found dead the same month below another turbine in Tayside while in June an osprey was found dead under a turbine in the Grampian area.

The same report states that two peregrine falcons were killed illegally. One was found in Central Scotland and appeared to have been shot. The second bird was found in Strathclyde in February and a veterinary drug was found in its tissues.

Sea eagles are Britain’s biggest raptors and have been the subject of a long-running reintroduction programme in Scotland.

In May, the RSPB claimed landowners should face jail terms of up to six months if illegally poisoned birds were found on their land.

They made the call after it was reported that 22 birds of prey had been found poisoned near Conon Bridge, Ross Shire. The figure was later reduced to 16 red kites, and earlier this week police admitted the killings were probably an unintentional side effect of pest control measures.

A spokesman for the SGA said the report revealed the truth behind the “prejudice” aimed at landowners and farmers which painted the shooting industry as “guilty until proven innocent.”

He added: “It is important the public can understand for themselves the true picture regarding wildlife crime.

“After the appalling finger pointing at the shooting and farming industries following Conon Bridge this year by the highly politicised conservation movement, we will be interested to see if those groups now call for the same licensing measures against the government-backed wind farm industry.”

An investigation into the illegal killing of six buzzards in Aberdeenshire was abandoned this month after police DNA-tested and fingerprinted farmers over carcases that later turned out were probably hens.

Ian Thomson, of RSPB Scotland, said: “The Scottish Government recently published its wildlife crime report for 2013. This listed 23 birds of prey as being victims of crime, including poisoning, shooting and trapping.

“Most commentators accept that this figure represents the “tip of the iceberg” as offenders will attempt to cover up evidence that they had committed a crime, by disposal of bodies etc. It is clear from a huge weight of peer-reviewed scientific evidence that wildlife crime continues to constrain the population and range of a number of bird of prey species in Scotland, notably hen harrier, golden eagle and red kite.”

Last week, the government said levels of wildlife crime in Scotland had remained relatively “static” over the last five years.

The Telegraph

SEA-EAGLE-Action-01

Scotland’s endangered White-Tailed Sea Eagle. Once upon a time 
the RSPB was there to protect her. But that was then, this is now.

This image published by the Telegraph here without any credit or the approval of the photographer Terry Pickford

7 comments to “Green” Hypocrisy: RSPB Fiddles as Scotland’s Wind Farms Found Guilty of Rampant Raptor Slaughter

  • David Le Mesurier

    Once one bird of a protected species is killed by a turbine should the turbine not be closed down since by keeping it open and it killing a second bird of a protected species the owners are guilty of killing a protected species aren’t they.

    1st one could be claimed accidental but once it is know that the turbine in question kills protected birds then the owners surly have a duty to stop it or they will commit an offence if they kill a 2nd one.

  • paul williams

    David…You will now have the clean up team scampering up to the turbines.

  • thomas carroll

    With eyes wide shut!

  • Ian Whittaker

    I do think we need to be careful about lurid headlines and not throwing the baby out with the bath water in trying to protect birds of prey.I’d be amazed if anti-wind turbine views were driven mainly by a desire to protect birds of prey. Much like the shooting community’s claims to be the guardians of wading birds and song birds when this is merely a localised by-product of their prime objective to produce as many game birds as possible. Note already that the SGA has seized on the (few) instances of birds of prey being killed by wind turbines to deflect from the much more serious impact that grouse shooting has on bird of prey populatons and distribution. There really is a bigger picture when it comes to climate change and the direct and indirect effects it is having on environments and bird populations. Can we assume that this Scottish anti-wind brigade which condemns “eco-facists” and “greentards” is equally in favour of further exploitation of oil and gas through fracking? I may be a little cynical to suggest that they may well be only as long as there is none on their doorstep. At least the RSPB is consistent – its line with any form of development is to consider what the local and global impacts on birds and wildlife will be. And how can it be hypocrisy to use renewable forms of energy wherever possible if as an organisation it has a position in support of genuinely sustainable development. Most people when affected by development (and it is human nature) will pick and choose their arguments to support their opposition and usually without much consistency. We would be wise to choose our bedfellows carefully when it comes to protecting birds of prey.

  • Mike Holliday

    Not only do these turbines kill birds directly they also reduce vastly the hunting areas of some of our most dramatic raptors. This is very much the case when they are sited very close to known eagle nesting areas, such as the Braes of Doune. This is also adjacent to a Kite stronghold so one wonders at the so called protectionists not managing to work out that birds killed by the turbines will draw in the scavengers!

  • Andy

    Good grief, I’m not entirely convinced by wind farms, but that article is ridiculous! The kind of language used is typical of the right wing anti green climate change denial types who have absolutely no interests in protecting birds of prey. By all means challenge the idea of wind farms, but I thought this site was better than this.

  • paul williams

    Solar power works, then again, no money in that for the big boys