Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cats More Lethal to Birds Than Wind Turbines

Are wind turbines benign carbon-free power sources or avian death traps that blight the landscape? New numbers have been tossed into the fray, yet we're no closer to achieving common ground. (No surprise there.)

It takes 30-plus turbines to reach a kill rate of one bird per year, according to a recent report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences on the environmental impacts of wind-energy projects, based on 14 studies they felt superlative. A number of caveats were attached to the figure, however, including the acknowledgment that rates can vary by site and that endangered species such as the bald eagle are particularly worth avoiding.

However you look at it, though, birds in the United States seem to die in turbine blades at a rate no higher than 40,000 a year. Deaths by dastardly domestic felines, on the other hand, number in the "hundreds of millions."

No comments: