On Wednesday, The Olympian opined that we are sacrificing eagles in our efforts to provide wind power and that our expansion must not be at the expense of “unsuspecting” raptors. Wind farms also kill small birds as well as raptors, but for every small bird killed by a rotor, more than 100 birds are killed by cats.
What The Olympian failed to mention is that our current policies on extracting energy from other sources is causing an even bigger impact on raptors and other wildlife. How many birds and raptors were killed when the Exxon Valdez spewed its cargo in Alaskan waters or when the well in the Gulf of Mexico blew up?
All of our energy comes with significant environmental costs. If The Olympian wants to take our government to task for placing the extraction of energy above the environment, why not also mention the unwillingness to 1) adequately protect against the impacts of oil exploration and transport, 2) limit the greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels that threaten the entire populations of many species through climate change, or 3) control the contamination of groundwater by fracking that is so bad that the water coming from taps in some homes will burn when lit with a match.
So, we need to be choosing energy sources with the lowest impacts. I think you will find that in this comparison wind will come out far ahead of the others.