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Noise from wind farms killing marine life  

Credit:  Tony Elliott, The Cypress Times, www.thecypresstimes.com 2 July 2011 ~~

Aside from killing perhaps millions of endangered bird species per year, it seems that offshore wind farms are also responsible for the deaths of marine life.

Some of the largest incidents of whale and dolphin beaching have occurred on beaches that are in close proximity to either coastal or offshore wind farms. One of the largest incidents, where some 194 pilot whales and several bottlenose dolphins beached themselves on Naracoopa Beach on King Island Tasmania in 2009,is an area where several coastal and offshore wind farms are in operation. Many large beaching of whales and dolphins have occurred during the 1990s and since 2000, following the implementation of massive numbers of coastal and offshore wind farms.

Most incidents of whale and dolphin beaching and having them wash ashore dead are in areas of the world, where coastal and offshore wind farm development has exploded.

Wind turbines produce a low-pitched noise when in operation. This magnified by several thousand decibels in some cases such as Canada’s southeast coast, areas of Europe and Australia where thousands of wind turbines are operating producing noise vibrations both audible and above the level of human hearing.

Since dolphins and whales rely on their natural sonar ability to conduct every aspect of their daily life, this capability is essential to their survival. Being without it, would be similar to a human being without sight or sound comprehension. It is an absolute necessity to them.

The sound vibrations from wind farms disrupt this sonar ability and essentially, render these mammals helpless in both navigation and environmental comprehension, when in range of a wind turbine.

The time has come for a reevaluation of the necessity of wind farm operations. The environmental decimation in the killings of millions of endangered bird and bat species and the threat to endangered marine animals is too great an atrocity for the return benefits, wind farms provide in electricity.

It is admitted that wind farm electricity amounts to just 1% of the total amount used here in the United States. This number is about the same elsewhere, no matter how one cooks the numbers: In essence, we have an industry that is very damaging to wildlife, the beauty of the landscape, human health and marine life.

The proof is in with the destruction of millions of protected birds and the evidence connecting the deaths of perhaps thousands of endangered marine animals is too overwhelming to ignore.

The return benefits for wind farms in the face of the damage done by them just is not feasible.

If environmentalists are as concerned for the preservation of endangered species around the world as they claim they are, action must be taken to make sure that the killings of these animals by wind turbines be halted.

The death of just one eagle, one whale or dolphin is unacceptable in any terms when it comes to preserving animals on the verge of extinction.

Source:  Tony Elliott, The Cypress Times, www.thecypresstimes.com 2 July 2011

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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