Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The Underbelly of Wind Turbine Energy

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:37 PM
  • 22 Replies
1 mom liked this

 I know this is a long post, but please take the time to read it.

Wind farms get pass on eagle deaths; 83,000 hunting birds killed each year

By Dina Cappiello

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, May 14 2013 6:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: May 14, 2013

CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. — It happens about once a month here, on the barren foothills of one of America's green-energy boomtowns: A soaring golden eagle slams into a wind farm's spinning turbine and falls, mangled and lifeless, to the ground.

Killing these iconic birds is not just an irreplaceable loss for a vulnerable species. It's also a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines.

But the administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind-energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly. Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret.

Wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's energy plan. His administration has championed a $1 billion-a-year tax break to the industry that has nearly doubled the amount of wind power in his first term.

But like the oil industry under President George W. Bush, lobbyists and executives have used their favored status to help steer U.S. energy policy.

The result is a green industry that's allowed to do not-so-green things. It kills protected species with impunity and conceals the environmental consequences of sprawling wind farms.

More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country's wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Getting precise figures is impossible because many companies aren't required to disclose how many birds they kill. And when they do, experts say, the data can be unreliable.

When companies voluntarily report deaths, the Obama administration in many cases refuses to make the information public, saying it belongs to the energy companies or that revealing it would expose trade secrets or implicate ongoing enforcement investigations.

Nearly all the birds being killed are protected under federal environmental laws, which prosecutors have used to generate tens of millions of dollars in fines and settlements from businesses, including oil and gas companies, over the past five years.

"We are all responsible for protecting our wildlife, even the largest of corporations," Colorado U.S. Attorney David M. Gaouette said in 2009 when announcing Exxon Mobil had pleaded guilty and would pay $600,000 for killing 85 birds in five states, including Wyoming.

The large death toll at wind farms shows how the renewable energy rush comes with its own environmental consequences, trade-offs the Obama administration is willing to make in the name of cleaner energy.

"It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this," said Tom Dougherty, a long-time environmentalist who worked for nearly 20 years for the National Wildlife Federation in the West, until his retirement in 2008. "But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high."

The Obama administration has refused to accept that cost when the fossil-fuel industry is to blame. The BP oil company was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf oil spill. And PacifiCorp, which operates coal plants in Wyoming, paid more than $10.5 million in 2009 for electrocuting 232 eagles along power lines and at its substations.

But PacifiCorp also operates wind farms in the state, where at least 20 eagles have been found dead in recent years, according to corporate surveys submitted to the federal government and obtained by The Associated Press. They've neither been fined nor prosecuted. A spokesman for PacifiCorp, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, said that's because its turbines may not be to blame.

"What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK," said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody, who helped prosecute the PacifiCorp power line case.

By not enforcing the law, the administration provides little incentive for companies to build wind farms where there are fewer birds. And while companies already operating turbines are supposed to avoid killing birds, in reality there's little they can do once the windmills are spinning.

Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors the size of jetliners. Though the blades appear to move slowly, they can reach speeds up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.

Flying eagles behave like drivers texting on their cellphones; they don't look up. As they scan for food, they don't notice the industrial turbine blades until it's too late.

The rehabilitation coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, Michael Tincher, said he euthanized two golden eagles found starving and near death near wind farms. Both had injuries he'd never seen before: One of their wings appeared to be twisted off.

"There is nothing in the evolution of eagles that would come near to describing a wind turbine. There has never been an opportunity to adapt to that sort of threat," said Grainger Hunt, an eagle expert who researches the U.S. wind-power industry's deadliest location, a northern California area known as Altamont Pass. Wind farms built there decades ago kill more than 60 per year.

Eagle deaths have forced the Obama administration into a difficult choice between its unbridled support for wind energy and enforcing environmental laws that could slow the industry's growth.

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in an interview with the AP before his departure, denied any preferential treatment for wind. Interior Department officials said that criminal prosecution, regardless of the industry, is always a "last resort."

"There's still additional work to be done with eagles and other avian species, but we are working on it very hard," Salazar said. "We will get to the right balance."

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has proposed a rule that would give wind-energy companies potentially decades of shelter from prosecution for killing eagles. The regulation is currently under review at the White House.

The proposal, made at the urging of the wind-energy industry, would allow companies to apply for 30-year permits to kill a set number of bald or golden eagles. Previously, companies were only eligible for five-year permits.

In exchange for the longer timetable, companies agree that if they kill more eagles than allowed, the government could require them to make changes. But the administration recently said it would cap how much a company could be forced to spend on finding ways to reduce the number of eagles its facility is killing.

The Obama administration said the longer permit was needed to "facilitate responsible development of renewable energy" while "continuing to protect eagles."

That's because without a long-term authorization to kill eagles, investors are less likely to finance an industry that's violating the law.

Typically, the government would be forced to study the environmental effects of such a regulation before implementing it. In this case, though, the Obama administration avoided a full review, saying the policy was nothing more than an "administrative change."

"It's basically guaranteeing a black box for 30 years, and they're saying 'trust us for oversight.' This is not the path forward," said Katie Umekubo, a renewable energy attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and a former lawyer for the Fish and Wildlife Service. In private meetings with industry and government leaders in recent months, environmental groups have argued that the 30-year permit needed an in-depth environmental review.

The tactics have created an unexpected rift between the administration and major environmental groups favoring green energy that, until the eagle rule, had often been on the same side as the wind industry.

Those conservation groups that have been critical of the administration's stance from the start, such as the American Bird Conservancy, have often been cut out of the behind-the-scenes discussions and struggled to obtain information on bird deaths at wind farms.

"There are no seats at the exclusive decision-making table for groups that want the wind industry to be held accountable for the birds it kills," said Kelly Fuller, who works on wind issues for the group.

The eagle rule is not the first time the administration has made concessions for the wind-energy industry.

Last year, over objections from some of its own wildlife investigators and biologists, the Interior Department updated its guidelines and provided more cover for wind companies that violate the law.

The administration and some environmentalists say that was the only way to exact some oversight over an industry that operates almost exclusively on private land and generates no pollution, and therefore is exposed to little environmental regulation.

Under both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the death of a single bird without a permit is illegal.

But under the Obama administration's new guidelines, wind-energy companies — and only wind-energy companies — are held to a different standard. Their facilities don't face additional scrutiny until they have a "significant adverse impact" on wildlife or habitat. But under both bird protection laws, any impact has to be addressed.

The rare exception for one industry substantially weakened the government's ability to enforce the law and ignited controversy inside the Interior Department.

"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not do this for the electric utility industry or other industries," Kevin Kritz, a government wildlife biologist in the Rocky Mountain region wrote in government records in September 2011. "Other industries will want to be judged on a similar standard."

Experts working for the agency in California and Nevada wrote in government records in June 2011 that the new federal guidelines should be considered as though they were put together by corporations, since they "accommodate the renewable energy industry's proposals, without due accountability."

The Obama administration, however, repeatedly overruled its experts at the Fish and Wildlife Service. In the end, the wind-energy industry, which was part of the committee that drafted and edited the guidelines, got almost everything it wanted.

"Clearly, there was a bias to wind energy in their favor because they are a renewable source of energy, and justifiably so," said Rob Manes, who runs the Kansas office for The Nature Conservancy and who served on the committee. "We need renewable energy in this country."

The government also declared that senior officials in Washington, many of whom are political appointees, must approve any wind-farm prosecution. Normally, law-enforcement agents in the field have the authority to file charges with federal attorneys.

While all big cases are typically cleared through headquarters, such a blanket policy has never been applied to an entire industry, former officials said.

"It's over," Eicher said. "You'll never see a prosecution now."

Not so, says the Fish and Wildlife Service. It said it is investigating 18 bird-death cases involving wind-power facilities, and seven have been referred to the Justice Department. A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to discuss the status of those cases.

Dan Ashe, the Fish and Wildlife Service's director, in an interview Monday with The Associated Press said his agency always made it clear to wind companies that if they kill birds they would still be liable.

The tactics have created an unexpected rift between the administration and major environmental groups favoring green energy that, until the eagle rule, had often been on the same side as the wind industry.

Those conservation groups that have been critical of the administration's stance from the start, such as the American Bird Conservancy, have often been cut out of the behind-the-scenes discussions and struggled to obtain information on bird deaths at wind farms.

"There are no seats at the exclusive decision-making table for groups that want the wind industry to be held accountable for the birds it kills," said Kelly Fuller, who works on wind issues for the group.

The eagle rule is not the first time the administration has made concessions for the wind-energy industry.

Last year, over objections from some of its own wildlife investigators and biologists, the Interior Department updated its guidelines and provided more cover for wind companies that violate the law.

The administration and some environmentalists say that was the only way to exact some oversight over an industry that operates almost exclusively on private land and generates no pollution, and therefore is exposed to little environmental regulation.

Under both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the death of a single bird without a permit is illegal.

But under the Obama administration's new guidelines, wind-energy companies — and only wind-energy companies — are held to a different standard. Their facilities don't face additional scrutiny until they have a "significant adverse impact" on wildlife or habitat. But under both bird protection laws, any impact has to be addressed.

The rare exception for one industry substantially weakened the government's ability to enforce the law and ignited controversy inside the Interior Department.

"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not do this for the electric utility industry or other industries," Kevin Kritz, a government wildlife biologist in the Rocky Mountain region wrote in government records in September 2011. "Other industries will want to be judged on a similar standard."

Experts working for the agency in California and Nevada wrote in government records in June 2011 that the new federal guidelines should be considered as though they were put together by corporations, since they "accommodate the renewable energy industry's proposals, without due accountability."

The Obama administration, however, repeatedly overruled its experts at the Fish and Wildlife Service. In the end, the wind-energy industry, which was part of the committee that drafted and edited the guidelines, got almost everything it wanted.

"Clearly, there was a bias to wind energy in their favor because they are a renewable source of energy, and justifiably so," said Rob Manes, who runs the Kansas office for The Nature Conservancy and who served on the committee. "We need renewable energy in this country."

The government also declared that senior officials in Washington, many of whom are political appointees, must approve any wind-farm prosecution. Normally, law-enforcement agents in the field have the authority to file charges with federal attorneys.

While all big cases are typically cleared through headquarters, such a blanket policy has never been applied to an entire industry, former officials said.

"It's over," Eicher said. "You'll never see a prosecution now."

Not so, says the Fish and Wildlife Service. It said it is investigating 18 bird-death cases involving wind-power facilities, and seven have been referred to the Justice Department. A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to discuss the status of those cases.

Dan Ashe, the Fish and Wildlife Service's director, in an interview Monday with The Associated Press said his agency always made it clear to wind companies that if they kill birds they would still be liable.

At Top of the World, Duke shut down 13 turbines for a week in March, often the deadliest time for eagles. The experiment, the company says, paid off. Not a single eagle was killed that month.

Hayes says the company has repeatedly sought a permit from the federal government to kill eagles legally, but was told it was killing too many to qualify.

When an eagle is killed, Duke employees are also prohibited by law from removing the carcass.

Each death is a tiny crime scene. So workers walk out underneath the spinning rotors and cover the dead bird with a tarp. It lies there, protected from scavengers but decaying underneath its shroud, until someone from the government comes to get it.

Follow Dina Cappiello at http://www.twitter.com/dinacappiello

Contact the Washington investigative team at DCinvestigations(at)ap.org

grandma B

by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:37 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
grandmab125
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:43 PM

 From the American Bird Conservatory site:

How many birds are killed by wind farms each year?

No one knows for sure. Recent estimates of the number of birds killed by wind turbines ranges from a low of 100,000 birds/year to 440,000 birds/year (calculated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). If 20% of the nation’s electricity comes from wind power by 2030, ABC estimates that at least one million birds per year will be killed by wind turbines, probably significantly more.

-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:56 PM

....compared to how much marine life and the enviroment from oil spills...

grandmab125
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:03 PM
2 moms liked this

 Why don't you do some legitimate research and let us know, including links.

Quoting -Celestial-:

....compared to how much marine life and the enviroment from oil spills...

 

grandma B

survivorinohio
by Rene on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM

I know you wont like wiki but this is what they say about the Gulf spill"


The greatest impact was on marine species.[citation needed] The spill area hosted 8,332 species, including more than 1,200 fish, 200 birds, 1,400 molluscs, 1,500 crustaceans, 4 sea turtles and 29 marine mammals.[168][169] In addition to the 14 species under federal protection, the spill threatened 39 more ranging from "whale sharks to seagrass".[170] Damage to the ocean floor especially endangered the Louisiana pancake batfish whose range is entirely contained within the spill-affected area.[171] The oil contained approximately 40% methane by weight, compared to about 5% found in typical oil deposits.[172] Methane can potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is depleted.[172] In March 2012, a definitive link was found between the death of a Gulf coral community and the spill.[173][174][175] During a January 2013 flyover, former NASA physicist Bonny Schumaker noted a "dearth of marine life" in a radius 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 km) around the well.[176]

Between May and June 2010, the spill waters contained 40 times more Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)'s than before the spill.[177][178] PAHs are often linked to oil spills and include carcinogens and chemicals that pose various health risks to humans and marine life. The PAHs were most concentrated near the Louisiana Coast, but levels also jumped 2-3 fold in areas off Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.[178] PAHs can harm marine species directly and microbes used to consume the oil would reduce marine oxygen levels.[179] Estimates state that only 2% of the carcasses of killed mammals were recovered.[180] In the first birthing season for dolphins after the spill, dead baby dolphins washed up along Mississippi and Alabama shorelines at about 10 times the normal number.[181] Fifteen of the 406 dolphins that washed ashore in the first 14 months had oil on their bodies; the oil found on eight was linked to the spill.[182] A NOAA/BP study in the summer of 2011 found that "many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems".[183] Other conditions included drastically low weight and low blood sugar.[184] By 2013, over 650 dolphins had been found stranded in the oil spill area, a four-fold increase over the historical average.[185] NWF senior scientist Doug Inkley noted the death rates are unprecedented, and occurring high in the food chain, strongly suggest there is "something amiss with the Gulf ecosystem".[186]

The oil and dispersant mixture, including PAHs, permeated the food chain through zooplankton.[178][187][188] Signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix were found under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae.[189] The use of dispersant made oil sink faster and more deeply into beaches, and possibly groundwater supplies. Corexit allowed the PAHs to permeate sand where, due to a lack of sunlight, degradation is slowed.[176][190] Some types of spiders and other insects became far less numerous.[183] Migratory birds carried chemicals from the spill as far as Minnesota. The vast majority of a small sample of Pelican eggs tested contained "petroleum compounds and Corexit".[120]

In the summer of 2010, scientists reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil[191] in addition to an 80-square-mile (210 km2) "kill zone" surrounding the blown well.[192] Fish with oozing sores and lesions were first noted by fishermen in November 2010.[193] Dispersant and PAHs from oil are believed to have caused "disturbing numbers" of mutated fish that scientists and commercial fishers began seeing in 2012, including 50% of shrimp found lacking eyes and eye sockets.[194][195] Prior to the spill, approximately 1/10 of 1% of Gulf fish had lesions or sores. A report from the University of Florida said that many locations showed 20% of fish with lesions, while later estimates reach 50%.[193] NOAA stated that dolphins and whales were dying at twice the normal rate in 2011.[196] Scientists in 2012 reported finding "alarming numbers" of mutated crab, shrimp and fish resulting from chemicals released during the spill.[193]

Environmental impacts continue, and research is ongoing. Two years after the spill began, tar balls continued to wash up along the Gulf coast.[197] After Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf in September 2012, about 565,000 pounds (256,000 kg) of oiled material traced to the spill was brought to land.[198] Huge tar mats were uncovered during the storm, prompting beach closures.[199][200] In 2013, researchers found that oil on the bottom of the seafloor does not seem to be degrading, and observed a phenomenon called "dirty blizzard": oil caused deep ocean sediments to clump together, falling to the ocean floor at ten times the normal rate in an "underwater rain of oily particles." The result could have long-term effects on both human and marine life because oil could remain in the food chain for generations.[201] The same research suggested that as much as one-third of the oil remains in the Gulf.[201]

Three years after the oil spill, the residual effects were still apparent, with tar balls still found on the Mississippi coast, as well as an oil sheen along a coastal marsh, and erosion on an island in Barataria Bay sped up by the death of mangrove trees and marsh grass.[16]

Quoting grandmab125:

 Why don't you do some legitimate research and let us know, including links.

Quoting -Celestial-:

....compared to how much marine life and the enviroment from oil spills...

 


How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


grandmab125
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:57 PM
1 mom liked this

 Now, why did you go and do Celeste's work for her?  I wanted to see if she would actually do some research for a change.

I'm not denying the Gulf Oil Spill was horrendous.  It was a once in a life time disaster, hopefully.   Windmills will continue to kill nearly 100,000  birds every year.  In fact that number is only going to escalate with the continued construction and use of additional windmills.

See my next comment on the effect of windmills on land and water.

 

Quoting survivorinohio:

I know you wont like wiki but this is what they say about the Gulf spill"

 

The greatest impact was on marine species.[citation needed] The spill area hosted 8,332 species, including more than 1,200 fish, 200 birds, 1,400 molluscs, 1,500 crustaceans, 4 sea turtles and 29 marine mammals.[168][169] In addition to the 14 species under federal protection, the spill threatened 39 more ranging from "whale sharks to seagrass".[170] Damage to the ocean floor especially endangered the Louisiana pancake batfish whose range is entirely contained within the spill-affected area.[171] The oil contained approximately 40% methane by weight, compared to about 5% found in typical oil deposits.[172] Methane can potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is depleted.[172] In March 2012, a definitive link was found between the death of a Gulf coral community and the spill.[173][174][175] During a January 2013 flyover, former NASA physicist Bonny Schumaker noted a "dearth of marine life" in a radius 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 km) around the well.[176]

Between May and June 2010, the spill waters contained 40 times more Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)'s than before the spill.[177][178] PAHs are often linked to oil spills and include carcinogens and chemicals that pose various health risks to humans and marine life. The PAHs were most concentrated near the Louisiana Coast, but levels also jumped 2-3 fold in areas off Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.[178] PAHs can harm marine species directly and microbes used to consume the oil would reduce marine oxygen levels.[179] Estimates state that only 2% of the carcasses of killed mammals were recovered.[180] In the first birthing season for dolphins after the spill, dead baby dolphins washed up along Mississippi and Alabama shorelines at about 10 times the normal number.[181] Fifteen of the 406 dolphins that washed ashore in the first 14 months had oil on their bodies; the oil found on eight was linked to the spill.[182] A NOAA/BP study in the summer of 2011 found that "many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems".[183] Other conditions included drastically low weight and low blood sugar.[184] By 2013, over 650 dolphins had been found stranded in the oil spill area, a four-fold increase over the historical average.[185] NWF senior scientist Doug Inkley noted the death rates are unprecedented, and occurring high in the food chain, strongly suggest there is "something amiss with the Gulf ecosystem".[186]

The oil and dispersant mixture, including PAHs, permeated the food chain through zooplankton.[178][187][188] Signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix were found under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae.[189] The use of dispersant made oil sink faster and more deeply into beaches, and possibly groundwater supplies. Corexit allowed the PAHs to permeate sand where, due to a lack of sunlight, degradation is slowed.[176][190] Some types of spiders and other insects became far less numerous.[183] Migratory birds carried chemicals from the spill as far as Minnesota. The vast majority of a small sample of Pelican eggs tested contained "petroleum compounds and Corexit".[120]

In the summer of 2010, scientists reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil[191] in addition to an 80-square-mile (210 km2) "kill zone" surrounding the blown well.[192] Fish with oozing sores and lesions were first noted by fishermen in November 2010.[193] Dispersant and PAHs from oil are believed to have caused "disturbing numbers" of mutated fish that scientists and commercial fishers began seeing in 2012, including 50% of shrimp found lacking eyes and eye sockets.[194][195] Prior to the spill, approximately 1/10 of 1% of Gulf fish had lesions or sores. A report from the University of Florida said that many locations showed 20% of fish with lesions, while later estimates reach 50%.[193] NOAA stated that dolphins and whales were dying at twice the normal rate in 2011.[196] Scientists in 2012 reported finding "alarming numbers" of mutated crab, shrimp and fish resulting from chemicals released during the spill.[193]

Environmental impacts continue, and research is ongoing. Two years after the spill began, tar balls continued to wash up along the Gulf coast.[197] After Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf in September 2012, about 565,000 pounds (256,000 kg) of oiled material traced to the spill was brought to land.[198] Huge tar mats were uncovered during the storm, prompting beach closures.[199][200] In 2013, researchers found that oil on the bottom of the seafloor does not seem to be degrading, and observed a phenomenon called "dirty blizzard": oil caused deep ocean sediments to clump together, falling to the ocean floor at ten times the normal rate in an "underwater rain of oily particles." The result could have long-term effects on both human and marine life because oil could remain in the food chain for generations.[201] The same research suggested that as much as one-third of the oil remains in the Gulf.[201]

Three years after the oil spill, the residual effects were still apparent, with tar balls still found on the Mississippi coast, as well as an oil sheen along a coastal marsh, and erosion on an island in Barataria Bay sped up by the death of mangrove trees and marsh grass.[16]

Quoting grandmab125:

 Why don't you do some legitimate research and let us know, including links.

Quoting -Celestial-:

....compared to how much marine life and the enviroment from oil spills...

 


 

grandma B

grandmab125
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:03 PM

 Not only do windmill farms raise the temp of the ground underneath them, they also raise water temperatures.  There is much concern that raising the water temp is going to affect the sea life around them.  You know, when the water temp is too high and kills off the fish at the top levels of water, then what do the fish next in line in the chain eat.  They will affect the food chain for fish.

From smartplanet.com:

Do wind farms have a negative effect on the environment?

By | April 29, 2012, 9:10 PM PDT

Wind farms have been touted as the technology of the future and a way to create sustainable energy. But new research shows that wind farms may have a negative effect on area surface temperature.

Researchers at SUNY New York looked at nearly 10 years of satellite data of areas around wind farms in Texas. Researchers chose Texas because it has four of the world’s largest wind farms. The results showed night-time surface temperatures around areas with high volumes of wind turbines were 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) higher than areas where no wind farms existed.

What caused the increase in surface temperature? During the evening, the earth cools and brings the air temperature down. But near wind turbines, turbulence from the blades keeps the air warmer.

Discovery News reports:

“Given the present installed capacity and the projected growth in installation of wind farms across the world, I feel that wind farms, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional meteorology,” Liming Zhou, associate professor at the State University of New York, Albany and author of the paper published April 29 in Nature Climate Change said in an e-mail to Discovery News.”

According to the research, the warming surface temperate increased from 2003 to 2011, which is consistent with an increase in the number of wind turbines in the Texas area used for this study.

Because this warming could impact crop yields of local farmers or have an even larger effect on the increase in global temperatures, the study authors say more research is needed.

“We need to better understand the system with observations and better describe and model the complex processes involved to predict how wind farms may affect future weather and climate,” Zhou said in a statement.

WIND FARMS WARMING TEXAS  [Discovery News] 

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM
So, what should they do? Totally not being sarcastic.

Quoting grandmab125:

 Now, why did you go and do Celeste's work for her?  I wanted to see if she would actually do some research for a change.


I'm not denying the Gulf Oil Spill was horrendous.  It was a once in a life time disaster, hopefully.   Windmills will continue to kill nearly 100,000  birds every year.  In fact that number is only going to escalate with the continued construction and use of additional windmills.


See my next comment on the effect of windmills on land and water.


 


Quoting survivorinohio:


I know you wont like wiki but this is what they say about the Gulf spill"


 


The greatest impact was on marine species.[citation needed] The spill area hosted 8,332 species, including more than 1,200 fish, 200 birds, 1,400 molluscs, 1,500 crustaceans, 4 sea turtles and 29 marine mammals.[168][169] In addition to the 14 species under federal protection, the spill threatened 39 more ranging from "whale sharks to seagrass".[170] Damage to the ocean floor especially endangered the Louisiana pancake batfish whose range is entirely contained within the spill-affected area.[171] The oil contained approximately 40% methane by weight, compared to about 5% found in typical oil deposits.[172] Methane can potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is depleted.[172] In March 2012, a definitive link was found between the death of a Gulf coral community and the spill.[173][174][175] During a January 2013 flyover, former NASA physicist Bonny Schumaker noted a "dearth of marine life" in a radius 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 km) around the well.[176]


Between May and June 2010, the spill waters contained 40 times more Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)'s than before the spill.[177][178] PAHs are often linked to oil spills and include carcinogens and chemicals that pose various health risks to humans and marine life. The PAHs were most concentrated near the Louisiana Coast, but levels also jumped 2-3 fold in areas off Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.[178] PAHs can harm marine species directly and microbes used to consume the oil would reduce marine oxygen levels.[179] Estimates state that only 2% of the carcasses of killed mammals were recovered.[180] In the first birthing season for dolphins after the spill, dead baby dolphins washed up along Mississippi and Alabama shorelines at about 10 times the normal number.[181] Fifteen of the 406 dolphins that washed ashore in the first 14 months had oil on their bodies; the oil found on eight was linked to the spill.[182] A NOAA/BP study in the summer of 2011 found that "many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems".[183] Other conditions included drastically low weight and low blood sugar.[184] By 2013, over 650 dolphins had been found stranded in the oil spill area, a four-fold increase over the historical average.[185] NWF senior scientist Doug Inkley noted the death rates are unprecedented, and occurring high in the food chain, strongly suggest there is "something amiss with the Gulf ecosystem".[186]


The oil and dispersant mixture, including PAHs, permeated the food chain through zooplankton.[178][187][188] Signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix were found under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae.[189] The use of dispersant made oil sink faster and more deeply into beaches, and possibly groundwater supplies. Corexit allowed the PAHs to permeate sand where, due to a lack of sunlight, degradation is slowed.[176][190] Some types of spiders and other insects became far less numerous.[183] Migratory birds carried chemicals from the spill as far as Minnesota. The vast majority of a small sample of Pelican eggs tested contained "petroleum compounds and Corexit".[120]


In the summer of 2010, scientists reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil[191] in addition to an 80-square-mile (210 km2) "kill zone" surrounding the blown well.[192] Fish with oozing sores and lesions were first noted by fishermen in November 2010.[193] Dispersant and PAHs from oil are believed to have caused "disturbing numbers" of mutated fish that scientists and commercial fishers began seeing in 2012, including 50% of shrimp found lacking eyes and eye sockets.[194][195] Prior to the spill, approximately 1/10 of 1% of Gulf fish had lesions or sores. A report from the University of Florida said that many locations showed 20% of fish with lesions, while later estimates reach 50%.[193] NOAA stated that dolphins and whales were dying at twice the normal rate in 2011.[196] Scientists in 2012 reported finding "alarming numbers" of mutated crab, shrimp and fish resulting from chemicals released during the spill.[193]


Environmental impacts continue, and research is ongoing. Two years after the spill began, tar balls continued to wash up along the Gulf coast.[197] After Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf in September 2012, about 565,000 pounds (256,000 kg) of oiled material traced to the spill was brought to land.[198] Huge tar mats were uncovered during the storm, prompting beach closures.[199][200] In 2013, researchers found that oil on the bottom of the seafloor does not seem to be degrading, and observed a phenomenon called "dirty blizzard": oil caused deep ocean sediments to clump together, falling to the ocean floor at ten times the normal rate in an "underwater rain of oily particles." The result could have long-term effects on both human and marine life because oil could remain in the food chain for generations.[201] The same research suggested that as much as one-third of the oil remains in the Gulf.[201]


Three years after the oil spill, the residual effects were still apparent, with tar balls still found on the Mississippi coast, as well as an oil sheen along a coastal marsh, and erosion on an island in Barataria Bay sped up by the death of mangrove trees and marsh grass.[16]


Quoting grandmab125:


 Why don't you do some legitimate research and let us know, including links.


Quoting -Celestial-:


....compared to how much marine life and the enviroment from oil spills...


 




 

grandmab125
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:26 PM

 What should 'who' do?  I don't understand your question.

Quoting kcangel63:

So, what should they do? Totally not being sarcastic.

Quoting grandmab125:

 Now, why did you go and do Celeste's work for her?  I wanted to see if she would actually do some research for a change.


I'm not denying the Gulf Oil Spill was horrendous.  It was a once in a life time disaster, hopefully.   Windmills will continue to kill nearly 100,000  birds every year.  In fact that number is only going to escalate with the continued construction and use of additional windmills.


See my next comment on the effect of windmills on land and water.


 


Quoting survivorinohio:


I know you wont like wiki but this is what they say about the Gulf spill"


 


The greatest impact was on marine species.[citation needed] The spill area hosted 8,332 species, including more than 1,200 fish, 200 birds, 1,400 molluscs, 1,500 crustaceans, 4 sea turtles and 29 marine mammals.[168][169] In addition to the 14 species under federal protection, the spill threatened 39 more ranging from "whale sharks to seagrass".[170] Damage to the ocean floor especially endangered the Louisiana pancake batfish whose range is entirely contained within the spill-affected area.[171] The oil contained approximately 40% methane by weight, compared to about 5% found in typical oil deposits.[172] Methane can potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is depleted.[172] In March 2012, a definitive link was found between the death of a Gulf coral community and the spill.[173][174][175] During a January 2013 flyover, former NASA physicist Bonny Schumaker noted a "dearth of marine life" in a radius 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 km) around the well.[176]


Between May and June 2010, the spill waters contained 40 times more Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)'s than before the spill.[177][178] PAHs are often linked to oil spills and include carcinogens and chemicals that pose various health risks to humans and marine life. The PAHs were most concentrated near the Louisiana Coast, but levels also jumped 2-3 fold in areas off Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.[178] PAHs can harm marine species directly and microbes used to consume the oil would reduce marine oxygen levels.[179] Estimates state that only 2% of the carcasses of killed mammals were recovered.[180] In the first birthing season for dolphins after the spill, dead baby dolphins washed up along Mississippi and Alabama shorelines at about 10 times the normal number.[181] Fifteen of the 406 dolphins that washed ashore in the first 14 months had oil on their bodies; the oil found on eight was linked to the spill.[182] A NOAA/BP study in the summer of 2011 found that "many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems".[183] Other conditions included drastically low weight and low blood sugar.[184] By 2013, over 650 dolphins had been found stranded in the oil spill area, a four-fold increase over the historical average.[185] NWF senior scientist Doug Inkley noted the death rates are unprecedented, and occurring high in the food chain, strongly suggest there is "something amiss with the Gulf ecosystem".[186]


The oil and dispersant mixture, including PAHs, permeated the food chain through zooplankton.[178][187][188] Signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix were found under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae.[189] The use of dispersant made oil sink faster and more deeply into beaches, and possibly groundwater supplies. Corexit allowed the PAHs to permeate sand where, due to a lack of sunlight, degradation is slowed.[176][190] Some types of spiders and other insects became far less numerous.[183] Migratory birds carried chemicals from the spill as far as Minnesota. The vast majority of a small sample of Pelican eggs tested contained "petroleum compounds and Corexit".[120]


In the summer of 2010, scientists reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil[191] in addition to an 80-square-mile (210 km2) "kill zone" surrounding the blown well.[192] Fish with oozing sores and lesions were first noted by fishermen in November 2010.[193] Dispersant and PAHs from oil are believed to have caused "disturbing numbers" of mutated fish that scientists and commercial fishers began seeing in 2012, including 50% of shrimp found lacking eyes and eye sockets.[194][195] Prior to the spill, approximately 1/10 of 1% of Gulf fish had lesions or sores. A report from the University of Florida said that many locations showed 20% of fish with lesions, while later estimates reach 50%.[193] NOAA stated that dolphins and whales were dying at twice the normal rate in 2011.[196] Scientists in 2012 reported finding "alarming numbers" of mutated crab, shrimp and fish resulting from chemicals released during the spill.[193]


Environmental impacts continue, and research is ongoing. Two years after the spill began, tar balls continued to wash up along the Gulf coast.[197] After Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf in September 2012, about 565,000 pounds (256,000 kg) of oiled material traced to the spill was brought to land.[198] Huge tar mats were uncovered during the storm, prompting beach closures.[199][200] In 2013, researchers found that oil on the bottom of the seafloor does not seem to be degrading, and observed a phenomenon called "dirty blizzard": oil caused deep ocean sediments to clump together, falling to the ocean floor at ten times the normal rate in an "underwater rain of oily particles." The result could have long-term effects on both human and marine life because oil could remain in the food chain for generations.[201] The same research suggested that as much as one-third of the oil remains in the Gulf.[201]


Three years after the oil spill, the residual effects were still apparent, with tar balls still found on the Mississippi coast, as well as an oil sheen along a coastal marsh, and erosion on an island in Barataria Bay sped up by the death of mangrove trees and marsh grass.[16]


Quoting grandmab125:


 Why don't you do some legitimate research and let us know, including links.


Quoting -Celestial-:


....compared to how much marine life and the enviroment from oil spills...


 




 

 

grandma B

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 5:15 AM
Quoting grandmab125:

 I know this is a long post, but please take the time to read it.

Wind farms get pass on eagle deaths; 83,000 hunting birds killed each year

Interesting subject, so I looked up what the bird charities have to say on it:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/windfarms/

http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/martinharper/archive/2013/04/07/facing-up-to-inconvenient-truths.aspx


It turns out that they don't have any objections to wind farms in general.   What they do object to is ones whose location was poorly planned.   Such as a few particular wind farms in California.

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jun. 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM
The government. The wind turbine companies.

Quoting grandmab125:

 What should 'who' do?  I don't understand your question.


Quoting kcangel63:

So, what should they do? Totally not being sarcastic.


Quoting grandmab125:


 Now, why did you go and do Celeste's work for her?  I wanted to see if she would actually do some research for a change.



I'm not denying the Gulf Oil Spill was horrendous.  It was a once in a life time disaster, hopefully.   Windmills will continue to kill nearly 100,000  birds every year.  In fact that number is only going to escalate with the continued construction and use of additional windmills.



See my next comment on the effect of windmills on land and water.



 



Quoting survivorinohio:



I know you wont like wiki but this is what they say about the Gulf spill"



 



The greatest impact was on marine species.[citation needed] The spill area hosted 8,332 species, including more than 1,200 fish, 200 birds, 1,400 molluscs, 1,500 crustaceans, 4 sea turtles and 29 marine mammals.[168][169] In addition to the 14 species under federal protection, the spill threatened 39 more ranging from "whale sharks to seagrass".[170] Damage to the ocean floor especially endangered the Louisiana pancake batfish whose range is entirely contained within the spill-affected area.[171] The oil contained approximately 40% methane by weight, compared to about 5% found in typical oil deposits.[172] Methane can potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is depleted.[172] In March 2012, a definitive link was found between the death of a Gulf coral community and the spill.[173][174][175] During a January 2013 flyover, former NASA physicist Bonny Schumaker noted a "dearth of marine life" in a radius 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 km) around the well.[176]



Between May and June 2010, the spill waters contained 40 times more Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)'s than before the spill.[177][178] PAHs are often linked to oil spills and include carcinogens and chemicals that pose various health risks to humans and marine life. The PAHs were most concentrated near the Louisiana Coast, but levels also jumped 2-3 fold in areas off Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.[178] PAHs can harm marine species directly and microbes used to consume the oil would reduce marine oxygen levels.[179] Estimates state that only 2% of the carcasses of killed mammals were recovered.[180] In the first birthing season for dolphins after the spill, dead baby dolphins washed up along Mississippi and Alabama shorelines at about 10 times the normal number.[181] Fifteen of the 406 dolphins that washed ashore in the first 14 months had oil on their bodies; the oil found on eight was linked to the spill.[182] A NOAA/BP study in the summer of 2011 found that "many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems".[183] Other conditions included drastically low weight and low blood sugar.[184] By 2013, over 650 dolphins had been found stranded in the oil spill area, a four-fold increase over the historical average.[185] NWF senior scientist Doug Inkley noted the death rates are unprecedented, and occurring high in the food chain, strongly suggest there is "something amiss with the Gulf ecosystem".[186]



The oil and dispersant mixture, including PAHs, permeated the food chain through zooplankton.[178][187][188] Signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix were found under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae.[189] The use of dispersant made oil sink faster and more deeply into beaches, and possibly groundwater supplies. Corexit allowed the PAHs to permeate sand where, due to a lack of sunlight, degradation is slowed.[176][190] Some types of spiders and other insects became far less numerous.[183] Migratory birds carried chemicals from the spill as far as Minnesota. The vast majority of a small sample of Pelican eggs tested contained "petroleum compounds and Corexit".[120]



In the summer of 2010, scientists reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil[191] in addition to an 80-square-mile (210 km2) "kill zone" surrounding the blown well.[192] Fish with oozing sores and lesions were first noted by fishermen in November 2010.[193] Dispersant and PAHs from oil are believed to have caused "disturbing numbers" of mutated fish that scientists and commercial fishers began seeing in 2012, including 50% of shrimp found lacking eyes and eye sockets.[194][195] Prior to the spill, approximately 1/10 of 1% of Gulf fish had lesions or sores. A report from the University of Florida said that many locations showed 20% of fish with lesions, while later estimates reach 50%.[193] NOAA stated that dolphins and whales were dying at twice the normal rate in 2011.[196] Scientists in 2012 reported finding "alarming numbers" of mutated crab, shrimp and fish resulting from chemicals released during the spill.[193]



Environmental impacts continue, and research is ongoing. Two years after the spill began, tar balls continued to wash up along the Gulf coast.[197] After Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf in September 2012, about 565,000 pounds (256,000 kg) of oiled material traced to the spill was brought to land.[198] Huge tar mats were uncovered during the storm, prompting beach closures.[199][200] In 2013, researchers found that oil on the bottom of the seafloor does not seem to be degrading, and observed a phenomenon called "dirty blizzard": oil caused deep ocean sediments to clump together, falling to the ocean floor at ten times the normal rate in an "underwater rain of oily particles." The result could have long-term effects on both human and marine life because oil could remain in the food chain for generations.[201] The same research suggested that as much as one-third of the oil remains in the Gulf.[201]



Three years after the oil spill, the residual effects were still apparent, with tar balls still found on the Mississippi coast, as well as an oil sheen along a coastal marsh, and erosion on an island in Barataria Bay sped up by the death of mangrove trees and marsh grass.[16]



Quoting grandmab125:



 Why don't you do some legitimate research and let us know, including links.



Quoting -Celestial-:



....compared to how much marine life and the enviroment from oil spills...



 






 


 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)