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Windfarm spin won’t help birds  

Chris Bunyan mentions that a recent windfarm tour to investigate bird deaths was at the invitation of Viking Energy. The big power companies seem to have done a good job of minimising the concerns of their chosen community councillors.

A couple of hundred miles east, the Smola Islands provide a less rosy picture – a decimated population of sea eagles. This is a bird which should be in its element here too if we hadn’t shot them all a hundred years ago of course. Any chance of their re-introduction now must be slim indeed.

There are numerous other examples from around the world and, I suspect, a great deal of convenient underreporting.

He mentions “extraordinary measures during construction” at Farr. Since the Wildlife and Countryside Act specifically outlaws disturbance to nests or nest sites of Schedule 1 protected birds, they could hardly do other than stop work at such sites during the breeding season.

Compliance with the law should not be regarded as extraordinary, or an opportunity to trumpet “green” credentials by this, or any other industry.

Mention of tourists and picnic sites [again] really gives the game away. The subtle breeze of propaganda turns into a gale in an industry where spin is all important.

It may well be a painful necessity to build some windmills in preference to Dounreays and golf resorts, but don’t forget that multinational corporations are the reality behind the Viking dress of this proposed development.

The only thing they can be trusted with is squeezing every last penny. I suggest that entering “wind farm bird strike”, or something similar in a search engine would act as a counterbalance to the selective experience of a corporate sponsored tour.

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5108666.stm

Alexander Grant

The Shetland News

13 December 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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