1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Protecting the Protected from the Protectors ...

Discussion in 'Tortoise and Turtle Articles' started by BeeBee*BeeLeaves, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. BeeBee*BeeLeaves

    BeeBee*BeeLeaves Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    Orange County, So Cal
    We have discussed the whole business of doing business in the desert before in other forums, most recently the whole thing with the Nevada tortoises, and then again using the desert tortoises as an excuse to bring in Chinese corporate cronies in solar ... to much of our chagrin.

    I wanted to share this article because it pegs what many of us suspected. It makes me very angry, the death and the cost to taxpayers. But more the death of animals. I am tired, are you? of having to protect the protected from the protectors that we have subsidized so fully and richly, only to have evil results. Mortified.

    Here is the article for your information. Read it and weep like I have. Then let's at least call or write your legislators and let them know, if you feel the same, how disgusted we are. Please. Thank you.

    Renewable energy death toll impugns green claims
    By H. STERLING BURNETT / Contributing Writer
    Published: Sept. 19, 2014 Updated: 4:13 p.m.

    Renewable energy sources are killers, not so much green as red. Until recently,renewable energy sources – wind, solar, hydro, etc. – have gotten a pass on the environmental harms they cause. However, as the death toll mounts, the public has begun objecting to the deadly impacts of “green” energy sources.
    Hydroelectric dams, once the darlings of the green jet set, have been killing migrating salmon for decades. Despite designers’ best efforts, they have yet to solve the problem, and now dams are being dismantled to save salmon and river ecosystems.
    Two decades ago, some environmentalists began referring to wind farms as “cuisinarts of the air” because birds were being mangled by the huge, fast-spinning turbines.
    The problem has only gotten worse as the number of wind farms has grown rapidly under the Obama administration’s push for subsidized green energy.
    Wind turbines kill bats as well as birds. Most recently, a 7,600-acre wind farm in Nevada was found to have killed 566 bats, more than triple the number it is allowed to take each year. Conservationists believe many more bats die each year but their carcasses are not found.
    Biologists have found even if a bird or bat avoids the spinning blades, the changes in barometric pressure caused by the spinning blades can cause their insides to explode.
    Engineers have tried various ways to avoid or reduce bird and bat deaths, by reducing turbine speeds, shutting down turbines during certain periods, and spacing turbines differently, all to no avail. Birds, including eagles, falcons and condors, continue to be killed, along with huge numbers of bats.
    Wind farms must be located where the wind blows fairly constantly. Unfortunately, such locations are prime travel routes for migratory birds and bats, including protected species such as bald eagles, golden eagles and endangered Indiana bats. Wind farms act as both bait and executioner – rodents or insects near the base of turbines multiply with the protection from raptors and bats, and their greater numbers draw more birds and bats to the blades.
    Industrial solar power plants also kill wildlife. Traditional photovoltaic facilities fundamentally alter the dozens of square miles the solar panels take up. In the Western United States, such farms are swallowing up large blocks of threatened desert tortoise habitat. Tortoises have died in and around these facilities.
    In some instances, tortoises have been relocated from their native habitat where solar panels are being placed to other, similar areas, but whether the tortoises can thrive or even survive in their new locations has yet to be established.
    New research indicates areas where solar farms and tortoises currently coexist may soon become too hot for tortoise survival as the solar farms become heat islands – areas much hotter than the temperature in adjoining rural locations.
    Solar power towers, where hundreds of thousands of mirrors redirect concentrated sunlight toward boiler towers, heating the water inside to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and producing steam that turns turbines to generate electricity, are turning out to be the microwave ovens of the skies.
    The Center for Biological Diversity estimates BrightSource Energy'se Ivanpah solar tower project kills 28,000 birds annually. The bright light reflecting off the mirrors attracts huge amounts of insects, which in turn attract birds. Both are torched in mid-flight by Ivanpah’s intense heat.
    Federal and state wildlife officials have confirmed birds flying over Ivanpah are catching fire in midair, with numerous reports of puffs of smoke suddenly appearing, followed by dead birds, called “streamers,” plummeting to the ground.
    For decades, people have recognized and accepted the environmental drawbacks fossil fuels impose because coal, oil and natural gas have been the engine driving the economic progress of the past two centuries.
    Renewable energy sources, by contrast, destroy wild, open lands and kill wildlife, while delivering little or no economic benefit.
    Instead of putting money into the economy, the subsidies they require to exist and operate drain federal, state and, ultimately, individuals’ pocketbooks.
    Every energy source has negative environmental impacts, but traditional power sources at least deliver tangible benefits such as jobs, reliability and tax revenue. Let’s stop subsidizing environmentally and economically costly green energy pipedreams. The birds, bats and tortoises will thank us.

    H. Sterling Burnett (hsburnett@heartland.org) is managing editor of the Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News.
    AmRoKo likes this.
  2. aztortoisegal

    aztortoisegal Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2014
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    28
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    It's sickening. :( Thanks for sharing that article.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    42,420
    Likes Received:
    20,378
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    Tough issues. I have spent many hours observing and muling over this subject. The solution that seems so obvious to me, is to put the solar panels where the power is needed. On individual roof tops. Instead of spending a billion dollars to put some giant facility out in the middle of nowhere and where the desert animals all live and then run 1000's of miles of expensive cable to route the power, just randomly select a few million homes or businesses and stick the photo voltaic cells right on top, as so many people have done themselves. This could be done as a lottery system. Home owners or businesses that want free electricity, could simply throw their name in the hat, so to speak, and every year there could be a free electricity lottery. The problem here is that the politicians and crooked giant corporate conglomerates have not figured out a way to make billions of dollars from doing it this way yet...

    Another trend I see around here is all the schools putting up awnings over their parking lots. The awnings are set at the most ideal angle and their tops are covered with electricity generating panels. We are talking hundreds of panels, and shading people cars at the same time. No animals are harmed or put out by the practice since there is already a building or parking lot there.

    What this article ought to demonstrate to the masses more than anything else is that we need to bring some common sense back into our country.
    ALDABRAMAN, Floomby, AmRoKo and 2 others like this.
  4. Yourlocalpoet

    Yourlocalpoet Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    143
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location (City and/or State):
    Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    This is difficult.
    I understand the article, and it's grim. But I also understand that the world economy is built on energy and the 'traditional' power sources that create jobs, reliability and tax revenue, also do so in the most inefficient and wasteful ways possible.

    The problem is that the energy we take from the ground, namely, the traditional sources, are finite and therefore unsustainable. Don't even get me started on fracking.

    At the same time, renewable sources, rightly condemned in the article, are not wholly renewable or 'green' for other reasons too. They are pretty much fossil fuels repackaged. But, they are an attempt at a solution.

    What's the other option Nuclear energy? I think we're all screwed either way.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tortoise Forum
    Floomby likes this.
  5. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,960
    Likes Received:
    2,752
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    I worked one summer as a 'wind farm observer'. Bats absolutely get the short end of that stick, and they are way under counted. Most birds at the farm I worked at were killed by flying into the mast and breaking their neck. Bats though, are found laying on the ground in perfect condition, other than they are dead. One colleague found some peer reviewed literature where the investigators dissected (performed a necropsy) to see what had happened, and some part of the sinuses of the bats had been popped.

    Wind farms are also barely profitable, and without re-selling them every time they depreciate, to another LLC owned by the original owner, they would not be profitable at all. Their upkeep and maintenance are high, and there is much down time.

    Otherwise it was a great summer job, to be paid to walk around and look at wildlife. I saw many living thriving animals too.
  6. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    35,966
    Likes Received:
    12,171
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Chicago, Illinois, USA

    Right on Tom, very simple common sense solutions. That's the problem, the government doesnt understand nor do they have common sense. Common sense would work wonders for all aspects of this country if the government ever had any, ever.
  7. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,835
    Likes Received:
    2,474
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Apple Valley, California
    The bottom line is the driving force...not the garb that is fed to the crowds.....these mass plants are a horrible waste of money---and I am horrified at what the next headline will be in 20-30 years when they all wear out , then where will all of those liquid filled and leaking panels lay to rest...likely here in the desert...the worlds dumping grounds...out of sight out of mind.....I for one am sick to my stomach every time some damn politician says the phrase "green energy" or "global warming"...both are a huge joke.
    AmRoKo likes this.
  8. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,835
    Likes Received:
    2,474
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Apple Valley, California
    nice to see you back by the way bee bee...

Share This Page