ABC calls for Public Debate on Wind Power
by Nate Swick
The American Bird Conservancy is the continent's premier bird conservation organization, and every member of the ABA should endeavor to support them in whatever way they can. Recently, the ABC has been calling for a closer look at the effects of wind energy on bird populations in the light of several disturbing studies that have found that wind energy, while offering real hope in the way of limiting impacts caused by conventional energy sources, can not only have significant repercussions on bird populations if poorly sited, but that wind energy advocates have been dishonest in acknowledging the true impact of turbines on bird populations. From the ABC:
“The wind industry is in danger of alienating its greatest environmental advocates by continuing to deny there is a problem with birds. What they should be doing is working constructively with groups like ABC to make the small siting and operational changes needed to minimize bird impacts. ABC is in favor of bird-smart wind, yet industry groups are opposed to even voluntary guidelines to help reduce bird impacts. This does not look like a green industry right now” [ABC Vice-President Mike Parr] added. “It is irresponsible of the wind industry to dismiss what is widely accepted to be in the millions of bird deaths by 2030 as insignificant.”
ABA blog contributor Ted Eubanks recently wrote on this subject as well.
What can we birders do? Informing ourselves is the first step. Making our voices heard is the second.
Please take some time to sign the ABC's petition here which advocates for smart wind policy including informed siting, use of technology and best practices, and mitigation measures. The wind energy industry should be subject to mandatory standards so that wind energy can be as good for birds as it can be for us.
Thanks to the American Bird Conservancy for keeping up the fight on this crucial issue.