A letter was written to the Star-Tribune on eagle deaths and wind turbines. It said climate change caused by CO2 emissiosn are the single greatest threat to wildlife, thus implying we must cut back or stop using fossil fuels at all costs (even those used to manufacture turbines?). Never mind that temperatures have been virtually flat for over 15 years while CO2 concentrations continue to increase.
It does not mention that part of the opposition to the take permits includes several Native American tribes opposed to these take permits because tribes consider the birds culturally or spiritually significant. (The tribes share in the permits issued.)
Wind turbines cannot and do not decrease CO2 emissions. The wind industry carefully conceals the polluting side – mining in other countries, the amount of materials required, the constant need for maintenance, etc. Plus the backup natural gas plant. Also, rarely mentioned, is how often turbines are shut down because other power sources are cheaper at the moment (but wind operators are still paid).
Some wind plant developers, such as New Era Wind Farm in Minnesota, suggested they could turn off the turbines when there was a high concentration of eagles in the area. So to save the eagles from climate change, we turn off the turbines and fire up the fossil fuel plant?
The writer says the permits are not a license to kill. He is correct – it simply makes legal the now illegal killing of the birds by the wind industry. Turbines will continue to kill eagles just as they always have, but now wind companies avoid any possibility of fines or prosecution for the “permitted” ones.
We should just overlook the dead raptors, pay billions for a marginal, ineffective energy source to save the planet from a non-existent threat, right?
SHERI KIMBROUGH, Evansville
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