Monday, May 28, 2007

Which kills more birds: Wind Turbines or Cats?

As a resident of a fairly windy area, I am always amazed at the level of resistance people offer to wind power. It's free, sustainable, clean, and cheap. There are usually two reasons that anyone actually offers against wind power. The first is noise (from the spinning turbine blades); that one is solved with moving the turbines to remote locations, like unpopulated hillsides or offshore. The second is the one that gets most people up in arms: birds cannot see the spinning blades, and are cut to pieces. This leaves most environmentalists at odds with their bleeding hearts, as clean power that is borne on the back of dead avians seems to be a real gut wrencher.

Luckily, along has come this article, which correctly points out that the United States' incredibly large feral cat problem easily eclipses the amount of bird deaths caused by wind power. Windmills? An estimated 40,000 birds each year meet their ends from these power producers. Feral cats? "Hundreds of millions" of birds killed every year. That means, annually, wind turbines kill less than 0.01% than feral cats. Let's say we double the amount of wind turbines in this country; cats would still kill over a million more birds a day than all the windmills in the country.

Now, no one seems to be advocating the death of all of these felines, and they don't even produce power. Sure, they are full of personality and provide excellent greeting cards, but let's dispel this bird-killing myth of wind turbines once and for all, and start harvesting one of our last natural resources, before it's too late.

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