I'd call that a metaphor.
But it's true:
Last Thursday, Minnesota residents who have been fighting this wind "farm" for years won a delay on its groundbreaking to give Pickens's company, AWA Goodhue Wind, a chance to finally produce an "an adequate plan to protect America's national symbol and other flying creatures."
"I don't think that the American people are ready to watch Minnesota's nesting bald eagles be destroyed on behalf of a Texas millionaire," said Mary Hartman, a local resident.However, if Pickens gets his kill permit, he won't have to worry about protecting eagles and other flying creatures. And why wouldn't he? There seems to be an exemption waiting in the Obama administration for just about anyone willing to fly the green flag. In this case, the exemption from laws protecting endangered species would come from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which reportedly originated the idea:
Goodhue Wind has recently conceded that the project would probably harm an unknown number of eagles, and has started an application for a federal permit that would legally allow it to kill the birds. The permit is a new strategy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the often-lethal conflict between birds and turbine blades. Only one other wind project has applied -- West Butte Power Project in Oregon -- but no permits have been granted.That "specified number" could get really high.
The decision to develop such permits is controversial among environmental and bird conservation groups. "The public cares deeply about bald eagles," Fuller said. "I've never met anyone who thinks it's a good idea to kill bald eagles. They are special birds."
Even the utilities commissioners expressed some discomfort with the idea at Thursday's hearing. Commissioner J. Dennis O'Brien called it "a license to kill."
"Every fall I apply for a duck hunting license," O'Brien said. "You will have a license to kill up to a specified number of eagles."
AfterAccording to a 2004 California Energy Commission report, spinning "windmill" blades at the Altamont Wind Resource Area in California kill several thousand (up to around 5,000) wild birds per year, especially golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, and burrowing owls, but also waterfowl and songbirds with formerly glorious voices. Any critter flying by.
There's nothing like getting sucked up by a wind turbine and then being chopped to bits with a dull blade to help reduce CO2. Greenies call these incidents "avian collisions."
Also in danger are the local bat population. Wind "farms" are B-A-D for eagles, but even worse for bats,
Who would be keeping track of the number of eagles, bats, and other winged critters destroyed by the (let's face it) least efficient of renewable energy sources? That's a little problem right there.useful little mammals that dine on mosquitoes and other bugs at night while you sleep and live otherwise peaceful, non-invasive lives for about 30 years, producing a couple of offspring a year, unless they wander into the turbulence of a wind turbine, where the changed air pressure does truly horrible and wicked things to their bodies that are definitely not in Nature's scheme. At two wind "farms" in Virginia, researchers estimated that about 3,000 bats suffered a terrible fate in a mere six weeks, the length of the study.
|Bald eagles for accurate nest counts|
From Climate Gate to Capn' Tax to Solindra and beyond, every day that goes by produces more evidence that the race for green energy is really a push for the old dough-re-me.
Addendum: Interested? Watch this video about the fast tracking of wind energy in Minnesota, and coming to a neighborhood near you (via blog commenter Rick Conrad @ Goodhue County Wind Energy).
Hat tip: Minnesotans for Global Warming