Article

Wind turbines pose a gauntlet for birds

But the fast-moving blades of the wind turbines form a gauntlet, a potential death trap for night-flying creatures that cannot see the danger ahead.

In Western Maryland in early August, it was hot and humid and still. I know. I was there.

I also know that wind turbines do not produce electricity unless the winds are blowing. So I am glad that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has not yet approved the proposal for more wind power turbines on Western Maryland ridges ("Wind energy push loses power," July 31).

The industry tends to exaggerate the benefits of wind power and minimize the damage these turbines can do. But the benefits of this project would be infinitesimal.

The turbines that the developer proposes would produce less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the power used in Maryland. And this power will be available only when the wind blows.

But the potential damage from this project is dramatic.

In spring and fall, these same mountaintops are used at night by the migrating song birds and bats of North America.

They are flying to and from their nesting grounds all along the East Coast.

But the fast-moving blades of the wind turbines form a gauntlet, a potential death trap for night-flying creatures that cannot see the danger ahead.

And without the birds and bats of North America,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

In Western Maryland in early August, it was hot and humid and still. I know. I was there.

I also know that wind turbines do not produce electricity unless the winds are blowing. So I am glad that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has not yet approved the proposal for more wind power turbines on Western Maryland ridges ("Wind energy push loses power," July 31).

The industry tends to exaggerate the benefits of wind power and minimize the damage these turbines can do. But the benefits of this project would be infinitesimal.

The turbines that the developer proposes would produce less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the power used in Maryland. And this power will be available only when the wind blows.

But the potential damage from this project is dramatic.

In spring and fall, these same mountaintops are used at night by the migrating song birds and bats of North America.

They are flying to and from their nesting grounds all along the East Coast.

But the fast-moving blades of the wind turbines form a gauntlet, a potential death trap for night-flying creatures that cannot see the danger ahead.

And without the birds and bats of North America, insects would multiply, damaging agriculture, tourism and the life in our backyards.

I'm all for clean and green power. But is wind power green, at this location?

The PSC needs better information before approving more wind power projects in Western Maryland.

The writer is conservation chairwoman for the Baltimore Bird Club.


Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com...

AUG 14 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/3974-wind-turbines-pose-a-gauntlet-for-birds
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