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Ocean ecosystems threatened by industrial wind turbine technology  

Credit:  David Norman, Rogue Primate of Bloomfield countylive.ca 3 August 2012 ~~

It isn’t enough that mining companies are currently planning the destruction of thousands of hectares of sensitive tundra and boreal forest ecosystems here in Canada in pursuit of “rare earth metals”, particularly dysprosium and neodymium, for the construction of the permanent magnets necessary to the engineering of the now omnipresent 2 to 5 MW Industrial Wind Turbines (over 2 tons of these rare earth metals are required for a single 3 MW IWT)… and that China, that currently holds a virtual monopoly on the mining and production of these elements has in the process polluted/destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of land, polluted water tables and river systems, and exposed many of their rural population to the additional harm of toxic levels of thorium radiation from open tailing ponds (a by-product of rare earth metals production)… now Japan is preparing to mine the Pacific ocean floor for these rare earth metals.

In a recent article in Nature Journal, (http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110703/full/news.2011.393.html) Craig Smith, an oceanographer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has raised concerns about the environmental consequences of deep-sea mining, stated that “ecosystems on the cold ocean floor regenerate very slowly, he says, so any damage done by mining could take decades or centuries to heal.”

As well, it is only now being recognized that offshore IWT installations have necessarily caused damage to the ecosystems, particularly coastal ecosystems, where they are erected, and that the infra sound generated by their vibration may in fact be altering the ecosystems surrounding them by causing echo location species such as whales and dolphins and other mobile species to avoid them. No science was employed to investigate these possibilities prior to their erection and as yet, no science has been employed to explore these implications. I recommend you read the following study, “Offshore renewable energy: ecological implications of generating electricity in the coastal zone” published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, by Andrew B. Gill of the Institute of Water and Environment, Cranfield University, (http://www.vliz.be/imisdocs/publications/73257.pdf&sa=X&scisig=AAGBfm2IMg0lkhj49dv03OoCdW1iiH0J4Q&oi=scholarr&ei=yB0XUI2lC4ag6QHqsoHACQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFYQgAMoAjAA)

I’m amazed and dismayed that pro Industrial Wind Turbine pundits like David Suzuki continue to endorse and support this scientifically unproven, environmentally destructive IWT ideology. I suppose, as Jean Renoir poignantly stated, “the real hell of life is that everyone has their reasons”.

Source:  David Norman, Rogue Primate of Bloomfield countylive.ca 3 August 2012

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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