“Oil spills are bad, but wind turbines kill more birds than anything ever, so suck on that, hippy.” If you haven’t heard it before, then get ready, because it’s coming soon to one of those chain emails from the right-wing nutters in your family. The American Bird Conservancy doesn’t think much of it either, so here are some stats on annual bird deaths that you can cut-and-paste back:
Building strikes: 100 million to 1 billion
Car strikes: 200 to 300 million
Communication towers: 4 to 50 million
Power lines: around 75 million
Cats: 365 million (1 million per day)
Wind farms: 100,000 to 300,000
So there you have it. One outdoor cat kills as many birds as the wind energy to power about 600 houses. But what if wind power were to really take off? Wouldn’t more birds die?
The answer is no. According to a 2008 study on bird deaths:
The study estimates that wind farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fueled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh.
Translation: even without taking global warming and oil spills into account, fossil fuels kill 15 times more birds than wind. Add in all that other stuff (like climate-related mass extinctions), and it’s no surprise that even the Audubon Society supports wind power. So there you have it. Oil, not wind, kills birds. Tell your friends/annoying family members.
∞ posted at 08:07 by stevesimitzis