Bats, birds and blades: wind turbines and biodiversity by Mark Lynas

[singlepic id=316 w=400 h=300 float=left]Everyone should take the time to read what Mr Lynas has to say about wind turbines and their adverse affect upon wildlife, in particular  large birds of prey in many countries. Because the original article is covered by copy right Raptor Politics has provided a link below to the complete article. We would like to express our thanks to one of our many readers for bringing this story to the notice of Raptor Politics. May we also draw your attention to the many comments below the original article which we also feel are worth reading…..

All the conventional ‘green’ scenarios for reducing carbon emissions include a dramatic upscaling in renewable power generated by wind, both on and offshore. However, the environmental impacts of this large-scale industrial deployment – both of turbines and power lines, frequently in relatively natural areas – are often neglected by climate campaigners. Here two ‘planetary boundaries’ conflict: those of biodiversity and climate change.

That some wind farms kill worrying numbers of birds, especially large birds like raptors, is undeniable – yet the wind industry does its best to downplay the impacts. As the American Wind Energy Association puts it: Wind power is far less harmful to birds than the fossil fuels it displaces. Incidental losses of individual birds at turbine sites will always be an extremely small fraction of bird deaths caused by human activities.

1 comment to Bats, birds and blades: wind turbines and biodiversity by Mark Lynas

  • Tim Sarney

    In the Lune Valley our fight against wind turbine proliferation in the Forest of Bowland AONB continues. The application for 20 new 127m (417ft) tall turbines on Claughton & Whit Moors near the Lune Valley was refused on nine counts including significant biodiversity issues.

    The developer appealed but subsequently withdrew the appeal. They then submitted a new application for 13 new 127m turbines on the same site. These are 40% taller than the existing 8 turbines on Caton Moor, and spread over a much wider area and on higher ground. This application was also refused unanimously by Lancaster City Council. Natural England, the County Ecologists, the Wildlife Trust, the Lune Rivers Trust and the RSPB all objected on biodiversity grounds.

    Impacts on raptors and breeding waders are a major issue of this proposal. But the applicant has appealed again, and we face a Public Inquiry later this year or early next year. The applicant will hire the top Barristers in the country for the Inquiry – ironically funded through subsidies from our electricity bills. We have to fund raise to pay a Lay Advocate to fight the developer at the Inquiry; we could never afford a Barrister. In reality we are paying both sides to contest the development!

    Gresgarth Hall Gardens, near Caton, will be open on Sunday next (26th June) from 11am to 5pm. The proceeds will go to FELLS (Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunesdale Scenery) to help fight the Public Inquiry and stop this development. The entrance fee is £7. The gardens and woodlands are among the best in the North West and well worth a visit.