Facts are indeed stubborn entities and cannot be morphed into something different than what they are. Despite this fact, proponents for wind turbines struggle mightily to do so. Their distortions are so patently transparent as to be an insult to one’s intelligence. They do this without any apparent sign of embarrassment. Proposals that support Highland New Wind Development are riddled with loopholes. Nature needs no enemies with friends like The Nature Conservancy, which supports the construction of wind turbines in Highland County.
HNWD states that there is no evidence that wind energy plants have killed protected species. It conveniently ignores that the Altamont Pass facility killed 500 eagles and other raptors annually. They also conveniently ignore that the migratory flyways of the endangered Indiana bat and the Virginia big-eared bat are within the projected HNWD site. HNWD chooses not to acknowledge the presence of bald and golden eagles in Highland County and their likelihood of becoming casualties of the windmills. Proponents of HNWD continue to blithely ignore Tucker County’s experience of the large bat and songbird kill by their wind turbines and fail to recognize that this is what will happen in Highland County. As expressed before, species do not recognize political borders. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
HNWD proposes establishing allowable takes (kills) per turbine per year. If 6.9 species “of greatest conservation need” are killed (no mention is made of lesser conservation need) HNWD will permanently preserve 50 acres of red spruce. What, pray tell, is the relevance of a species of greatest conservation need to 50 acres of red spruce- other than a possible outcome of a vast red spruce preserve and no species of greatest conservation need? Who determines conservation needs?
The monitor is the linchpin of any monitoring system and must have the capacity for dealing with a giant matrix of variables and adhering to robust scientific principles- without which, all is charade.
In keeping with state hearing examiner Alexander Skirpan’s admonition to know candidates’ positions, it might be useful to canvass each candidate in the forthcoming election as to whether he or she supports wind turbines in Highland County.
Orren L. Royal, M.D. M.S (Biology),
Capt. (MC) USN (Ret.)
27 September 2007
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