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US Issues 30-Year Eagle-Killing Permits To Wind Industry

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the plans-for-eagle-bbq-restaurant-already-underway dept.

Power 466

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Lindsay Abrams reports at Salon that the Obama administration is offering wind farms 30 years of leeway to kill and harm bald and golden eagles. The new regulations, which were requested by the wind industry, will provide companies that seek a permit with legal protection, preventing them from having to pay penalties for eagle deaths (PDF). An investigation by the Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration's reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America's wind power in his first term as a way to tackle global warming. Scientists say wind farms in 10 states have killed at least 85 eagles since 1997, with most deaths occurring between 2008 and 2012, as the industry was greatly expanding. Most deaths — 79 — were golden eagles that struck wind turbines. However the scientists said their figure is likely to be 'substantially' underestimated, since companies report eagle deaths voluntarily and only a fraction of those included in their total were discovered during searches for dead birds by wind-energy companies. The National Audubon Society said it would challenge the decision."

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466 comments

Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (5, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | about 4 months ago | (#45631189)

I'm as green as anyone, but lordy that was some one-sided summary Hugh.

Can I at least ask for some other numbers, such as the number of bird kills resulting from pollutants dumped out by the big coal fired plants in Ohio?

Something has to give, buddy (0, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45631217)

Can I at least ask for some other numbers, such as the number of bird kills resulting from pollutants dumped out by the big coal fired plants in Ohio?

Are you trying to argue that it's better to kill some birds using windmills than killing some birds via the smokestacks ?

When we burn fossil fuel, we increase the amount of C02 level in the atmosphere, triggering what is called by many "Global Warming".

When we don't want to burn fossil fuel, and turn to Nuke, we end up having radioactive waste that can last very very long time.

And when we turn to the wind, the birds (including the eagles) ending up having to pay.

A much more simple way is to cut down on our wasteful lifestyle.

Do we need to turn our home into a greenhouse every winter ?

Do we need to turn the same house into an igloo every summer ?

We don't, do we ? But I have been to people's office / home in winter / summertime and boy, they sure feel like greenhouse / igloo.

And to those "electric car" fanbois, listen up.

Do we really need electric "CAR" ?

I mean, do we need a VERY HEAVY VEHICLE, even if they are electrically driven, to get us from point A to point B ?

Look at the weight of the electric cars. They are NOT THAT MUCH DIFFERENT from the fossil-fuel cars, weighting more than 1 ton.

What is the average weight of a human being ? 50/60 kilo?

Why do we need something that weight A FUCKING TON to deliver something that weight 50/60 ton ?

If you ever talk to people in the packaging industry they would tell you that the concept of having the packaging material weighting MUCH HEAVIER than the goods in it is ridiculous.

But that is what we had been doing, ever since cars (the fossil type) started rolling out of the factories.

Isn't it time for us to demand the electric car vehicle manufacturer to TOTALLY RE-DESIGN the electric cars, so that it won't weight so much ?

Less weight means less need for energy to get it going, which translates to, longer lasting battery per charge.

If we are to change towards a new thing, why do we need to stick to the old concept of clumsy cars ??

Re:Something has to give, buddy (2)

khallow (566160) | about 4 months ago | (#45631235)

The simple rebuttal is that getting people from point A to point B is much more important than your frivolous sensibilities. Now it might be that CO2 is enough of a threat or oil becomes expensive enough to warrant some restructuring of transportation to reduce that.

But to complain because cars weigh only a few dozen times more than the precious cargoes they transport? I can't be bothered to care.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#45631553)

I'm as green as anyone, but lordy that was some one-sided summary Hugh. Can I at least ask for some other numbers, such as the number of bird kills resulting from pollutants dumped out by the big coal fired plants in Ohio?

I'd be fine with the number of deaths as a percentage.

Wikipedia says (with citations) that there's 100,000 Golden Eagles in north America [wikipedia.org] and that large raptorial birds suffer a 5% mortality rate per year [wikipedia.org] .

By my reckoning that's 5,000 dead birds per year, 75,000 since 1997.

85 of those were due to wind turbines? That's statistical noise.

(Just like all other reports of bird deaths due to wind turbines...)

Re:Something has to give, buddy (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#45631591)

So why bother with the exemption. If the number is so few, what possible difference can the equally small fine really amount to. If their is concern about wind turbines and bird deaths, couldn't the result of those fines, plus additional funds be put into vertical wind turbines which are far safer and quieter.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#45631687)

In general birds are more likely to fly into the window of a skyscraper than the blade on a large windmill. The most practical thing you can do to help birds is put a bell on your cat's collar.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (5, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#45631733)

So why bother with the exemption. If the number is so few, what possible difference can the equally small fine really amount to.

Because killing eagles is illegal and there's thousands of the lawyers who'll just see "free money" and make people's lives miserable.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (2, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#45631737)

... vertical wind turbines which are far safer and quieter.

Turbines aren't noisy. They're not motor-driven propellers, they move *with* the air.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (2)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 4 months ago | (#45631315)

When we don't want to burn fossil fuel, and turn to Nuke, we end up having radioactive waste that can last very very long time.

Yes, but that can be reprocessed and reduced down to almost nothing, and what is left can be placed in double sealed barrels, stored on 6 foot thick concrete platforms raised 20 feet in the air, monitored by video cameras 24/7 posted online so everyone in the world can see they aren't leaking (and scream very loudly if they are).

Stick the barrels out in the middle of the West Texas desert and no one will bother them for 10,000 years.

You can't do that with CO2 and other crap released from burning dead dinos.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (1, Informative)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 4 months ago | (#45631319)

I mean, do we need a VERY HEAVY VEHICLE, even if they are electrically driven, to get us from point A to point B ?

No, we don't "need" it, but frankly, we don't "need" almost anything in our modern world.

So we have to get past the "need" aspect and move on to "want".

My truck weighs 5,700lbs, or about 3 tons. You probably think that is insane. Maybe it is... but it is my right to own it because I like it...

Re:Something has to give, buddy (5, Insightful)

Urkki (668283) | about 4 months ago | (#45631489)

My truck weighs 5,700lbs, or about 3 tons. You probably think that is insane. Maybe it is... but it is my right to own it because I like it...

No, it's your right to own it, because you can afford it, and don't believe in taking any personal responsibility for common resources, even when it would not decrease your quality of life (a more sensible car would actually improve your quality of life, most likely).

Because you want.

Wrong Simplest Solution (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45631325)

The *real* simplest solution is to put the stuff that lasts a Very Long Time, into a Very Deep and Stable Place.

THAT is the simplest solution. Not your fantasy of getting a few billion people to live the backwards lifestyle you won't even accede to yourself (oh wait, that was supposed to apply to you and not just the peasants?).

Re:Something has to give, buddy (2, Insightful)

celle (906675) | about 4 months ago | (#45631401)

"Do we need to turn our home into a greenhouse every winter ?"

      As someone who just spent the last month with stiff joints, various other extremities issues, little sleep, etc., due to a 68 degree house in a 30 degree outside environment and now has no problems with the temperature at 78 F inside while it's minus 5 F with a blizzard going on outside I say YES!!!!!

"A much more simple way is to cut down on our wasteful lifestyle."

        When self-torture is in and being wasteful isn't comfortable and fun then maybe. Until then:
Fuck off you politically correct panty waist.

I learned long ago that it's not worth fucking yourself up if you don't have too.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631493)

As someone who just spent the last month with stiff joints, various other extremities issues, little sleep, etc., due to a 68 degree house in a 30 degree outside environment and now has no problems with the temperature at 78 F inside while it's minus 5 F with a blizzard going on outside I say YES!!!!!

You're defective.

When self-torture is in and being wasteful isn't comfortable and fun then maybe. Until then: Fuck off you politically correct panty waist.

You should move to a warmer city where you don't need to be so wasteful.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631579)

And the eagles that get killed are defective. They should not fly into windmills.

After a few generations, flying into windmills should be bred out of them if it really is a big issue.

Maybe they could paint the windmill blades a more visible colour to the birds.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#45631603)

So your solution is to point out that not everyone is the ideal person and they should uproot their entire lives, leave their friends and families behind and live somewhere else?

I mean that is so Hitler of you. You might as well go the extra mile and suggest he be sent to the t4 and be put out of his misery while you are at it.

I simply do not understand the Naziism in some of you people. You are seriously worse then those jingoist who say if you don't like it, get out of the country as if like it or leave it is the only option. Instead, you say you aren't as worthy as the rest and you need to torture yourself or leave because you are defective.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (0)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 4 months ago | (#45631679)

>You should move to a warmer city where you don't need to be so wasteful.

Typical liberal, tells everyone else how to live.

Tidal wave of presumption (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631427)

How many birds have been swatted from the sky by smokestacks? Increased CO2 actually increases vegitation (see: habitat) There's really no proof that human CO2 emissions are a net "bad" for birds...indeed most birds have short enough natural lifespans that many actual toxins (which CO2 is NOT) do not have the time needed to kill them. If "big oil" was killing birds by the thousands (and endangered birds by the hundreds) they'd be hit with massive fines, their people would face jail time, etc. This is proven.... the "experiment" was called Exxon Valdez and the environmentalists were screaming about it... if they fail to scream here then they are a bunch of phonies.

You want to live in an uncomfortably hot or cold home, that's fine... Do it. Shut up about anybody else. Some people have medical conditions, or are young or elderly and vulnerable to various side effects of sub-optimal temperatures. Neither you nor I know what the ideal temperature of planet Earth is or what temperature it's "supposed to be".... indeed if everything is just the result of a giant explosion that happened for no reason then there is no "supposed to".... we can do whatever we want to the Earth and if we destroy it, "so what?".... We're all just evolved animals and everything we do, including pollution, is every bit as natural as a squirrel pooping in the grass. There's no accountability and future generations that do not exist won't be there to know anything about it; nobody will care and it will not matter. Those people who are alive today should feel free to do what it takes to be comfortable.

Why do we need heavy cars? Who cares? We want them. We're natural and what we want is natural. Our natural desires for comfort and safety trump your irrational desire to "save the planet"... it does not matter what we do, this planet will happily continue circling the sun and might even prefer not to be infested with life. Those of us who are alive here and now like our cars to be big enough and heavy enough that we do not get killed in some minor fender-bender. Have you ever SEEN (first-hand) what's left when a Smart car encounters a pickup truck? I have and it was not good for the corpses in the Smart car.

Re:Tidal wave of presumption (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631503)

Why do we need heavy cars? Who cares? We want them. We're natural and what we want is natural. Our natural desires for comfort and safety trump your irrational desire to "save the planet"...

You, sir, are a complete and utter fucktard. Go eat a bowl of dicks.

Re:Tidal wave of presumption (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631535)

kill yourself you piece of human shit.

Re:Tidal wave of presumption (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631559)

Moron. Go kill yourself.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631449)

Ah a utilitarian efficiency argument. Problem is that we don't need anything - you're alive right now and hopefully get some kicks and giggles out of it. Facilitating the maximum amount of people possible at the lowest quality of life doesn't seem like a good tradeoff.

If you talk to people in the packaging industry they might not mention the fact that there is no weight at all that can be justified to package a birthday card.
Do we need to cut down a tree that grew for FIFTY YEARS simply so that you have a bed for TWENTY?

So what is your proposal? You define what is useful and/or good and acceptable efficiency levels?
That we live in a village but cannot travel? We can work remotely but not meet up with people? We should do what we are doing now a little more efficiently and tell the third world to fuck right off with their new fridges?

What exactly?

Re: Something has to give, buddy (1)

Rational (1990) | about 4 months ago | (#45631587)

"We don't, do we ? But I have been to people's office / home in winter / summertime and boy, they sure feel like greenhouse / igloo."

Obviously everybody needs to submit their temperature preferences to Taco Cowboy for approval before setting their thermostats.

Re:Something has to give, buddy (-1, Flamebait)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 4 months ago | (#45631669)

>When we burn fossil fuel, we increase the amount of C02 level in the atmosphere, triggering what is called by many "Global Warming".

Mythical. Hasn't been any "warming" for over 15 years.

>When we don't want to burn fossil fuel, and turn to Nuke, we end up having radioactive waste that can last very very long time.

Because we're too damn stupid to reprocess it and use it over again like the French.

>And when we turn to the wind, the birds (including the eagles) ending up having to pay.

Yep, and there's no practical way to prevent it. But because liberals are in love with "green" energy, this will continue.

>A much more simple way is to cut down on our wasteful lifestyle.

Here comes the "Sit home in the dark and freeze" solution.

>Do we need to turn our home into a greenhouse every winter ?

Naw, we can dial the heat down to just enough to keep the pipes from freezing, and see how many more people catch pneumonia.

>Do we need to turn the same house into an igloo every summer ?

Naw, nobody really _needs_ air conditioning, just ask all those old people that die of the heat every summer 'cuz they can't afford the electricity for it.

>And to those "electric car" fanbois, listen up. Do we really need electric "CAR" ? I mean, do we need a VERY HEAVY VEHICLE, even if they are electrically driven, to get us from point A to point B ? Look at the weight of the electric cars. They are NOT THAT MUCH DIFFERENT from the fossil-fuel cars, weighting more than 1 ton. What is the average weight of a human being ? 50/60 kilo? Why do we need something that weight A FUCKING TON to deliver something that weight 50/60 ton ?

Because the safety nazis, almost as bad as the envirowackos, have declared that cars have to be able to crash at the speed of light and nobody gets so much as a headache over it. That's why the Geo Metro of decades ago, with a 3 cylinder engine and a very light weight, was getting 49 mpg without any batteries, and cars today that weigh like Mt. Everest don't get that much. We should pair up an envirowacko with a safety nazi, and hang both with the same rope from a lightpole. Then repeat until the problems go away.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (4, Informative)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | about 4 months ago | (#45631219)

A not altogether unbiased source [eneweconomy.com.au] has a handy comparison of bird deaths between wind, nukes, and fossil fuels. This is the thing all this hoopla about bird deaths on wind farms conveniently overlooks: the number of wildlife deaths from other industries -- how many birds died in the Deepwater Horizon spill, by the way? -- vastly outpaces those from windmills.

Yes, it's sad, and I would like to see them mitigated. But it's the same idiocy that makes people compare three high-speed collisions in Tesla Model S fires to the tens of thousands of fires that happen every year in ICEs with nary a peep.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (1)

paulrausch (1788728) | about 4 months ago | (#45631297)

I completely agree, this title is completely ridiculous. There are a lot betters and less biased ways of presenting this information.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631299)

It's funny how blinded you are that you assume that just because the news is about how wind farms are killing rare birds that you somehow extrapolate that to mean the writer thinks non-renewable are somehow a better choice. Ironic that you call the piece biased. Look at yourself.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 4 months ago | (#45631459)

Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles are both rated "Least Concern" in terms of endangered species. They're not "rare birds".

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (1)

smoot123 (1027084) | about 4 months ago | (#45631309)

What cheeses me off is wind farms get a federal exemption from their provable environmental damage while fracking (which has cut carbon emissions way more than wind farms) has to prove it's 110% safe.

As others have observed, there's no totally benign energy source. Maybe killing birds and tortoises is the least damaging thing we can do. Fine. But how about we have a comprehensive, reasoned discussion of the costs and benefits of wind, coal, fracked natural gas, nuclear, oil, etc.?

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (4, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 4 months ago | (#45631335)

Maybe it's because fracking is accused of polluting rivers and water tables, leaking gas, damaging pristine areas, damaging country roads, using massive amounts of water, (encouraging consumption) and triggering earthquakes...
Windmills are accused of being ugly (not by me), being noisy, not always turning, and killings birds

Are these really equivalent?

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631389)

It might be accused of those things but none of those things have happened.

Does not need to be accused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631627)

They are pumping chemicals into the ground to release gas. Most of the gas gets harvested, the rest just goes everywhere.
That's not an accusation, that's how it works. So putting dangerous chemicals into the ground and spreading gas everywhere. That's a bad thing.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (3, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 4 months ago | (#45631347)

Can I get a thirty-year exemption on side-effects of killing birds with my windshield?

I don't often go over the 100+ mph that the tip of windmills can attain, but I still find that some birds do deserve it when natural selection happens to them. Like my car, a windmill isn't exactly quiet nor hard to spot.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (2)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 4 months ago | (#45631439)

All for wind power...but create a federal mandate where an eagle repellant has to be developed in a specific period.

They shouldn't just get a free pass to kill endangered species any more than big oil etc

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#45631655)

All they should have to do is paint the blades a color that significantly contrasts the background and place a few streamers on the tips. The spinning blades will appear as a wall when moving fast and a predator when moving slow. Perhaps stripes could make the slow moving blades appear to be more of a threat.

Eagles are off the endangered species lists now. But they are still protected under the migratory bird treaty or something like that.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 months ago | (#45631437)

Can I at least ask for some other numbers, such as the number of bird kills resulting from pollutants dumped out by the big coal fired plants in Ohio?

So, one wrong makes another OK? That there are other preventable sources of eagle kills, it's OK for wind?

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 4 months ago | (#45631505)

"Can I at least ask for some other numbers, such as the number of bird kills resulting from pollutants dumped out by the big coal fired plants in Ohio?"

Every cat kills as many birds as a handful of wind generators per year, albeit eagles are a minority among those killed.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631561)

Every cat kills as many birds as a handful of wind generators per year, albeit eagles are a minority among those killed.

I shoot cats that I see hunting wildlife.
Had more than a few unfit cat owners up in arms about that over the years.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 4 months ago | (#45631595)

Zero.

In this case we're talking about birds killed directly by the blades. So... how many bald eagles are running into coal buildings and killing themselves INSIDE generators... about none.

As to how many are killed by the soot released from the power plants?... Impossible to calculate.

Could be zero too... depending on density and intensity of emissions. In china... maybe they kill a lot of birds. In the US?... Probably not many if any.

be realistic and be rational or be treated as neither.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631667)

Can I at least ask for some other numbers, such as the number of bird kills resulting from pollutants dumped out by the big coal fired plants in Ohio?

Here's [climatecrocks.com] a somewhat biased response with numbers. But the comment down the thread a bit is right... it would be better to write it as GWh/bird -- some rough estimates seem to suggest that in the US, energy use is around 1.0 GWh/bird -- though that includes all birds, not just golden eagles.

Re:Holy Biased Presentation Batman! (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 months ago | (#45631747)

I'm as green as anyone, but lordy that was some one-sided summary Hugh.

Can I at least ask for some other numbers, such as the number of bird kills resulting from pollutants dumped out by the big coal fired plants in Ohio?

Your question makes your assertion incorrect: a typical "green" person doesn't think in terms of "best alternative", but simply opposes whatever is being done since it will inevitably have some consequences. Can't build coal plants, they pollute; can't build nuclear, it leaves radiactive waste; can't build dams, they drown habitats; can't built wind farms, they kill (blind) birds. Dunno what the excuse for solar will be, but I'd wager the sheer amount of land covered. Heck, Greenpeace has already declared they're going to be opposing fusion [greenpeace.org] , should it ever become viable, since it's still nuclear.

The green movement is all about reacting, and usually pretty irrationally at that. It's the worst enemy of actually protecting environment. Imagine, for example, if the anti-nuclear sentiment had never existed: we'd have Gen-IV reactors rather than fossil fuels powering the grid, and the resulting cheap reliable electricity would be simultaneously driving both an economic boom and adoption of electric cars, and the resulting investment in battery tech would in turn make renewables viable in areas too risky for nuclear. But it did, so we have the double-whammy of expensive energy and climate change hammering our economy at the same time instead, with the predictable result of failing to do much of anything about either. Thanks, Greenpeace.

No form of power generation is without costs. (5, Interesting)

Dputiger (561114) | about 4 months ago | (#45631191)

There is no perfect solution here. I'm not saying companies should erect wind turbines in the middle of nesting areas, but the truth is, there is no risk-free, cost-free, environmental-damage-free answer to the problem of power production. Coal mining is wretched for the environment and coal miners have a nasty habit of dying of black lung. Nuclear power has risks (and I'm a nuclear proponent). The long-term cleanup and environmental repair is very costly if something goes wrong. Solar power is expensive. Wind turbines kill birds.

At a certain point, the question is "What's an acceptable loss ratio?"

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (1)

wallsg (58203) | about 4 months ago | (#45631213)

Solar power is expensive. Wind turbines kill birds.

I read a recent article that sodium boiler/reflector solar generators are literally burning the feathers off of migratory birds.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (1, Troll)

Fishchip (1203964) | about 4 months ago | (#45631221)

How many eagle deaths power America? C'mon, you gotta phrase it like that, really put the boot to the feels. It's like you're not even trying.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631277)

I'd burn eagles in my furnace to heat my house if I could

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631227)

Keep in mind the amount of steel and concrete. And the fact that cheap energy is crucial to any kind of manufacturing economy.

The biggest problem is how costs are manipulated to make these pinwheels look good. They are given artificially low rates, and surcharges are added to others, and then it looks like wasting all that steel and concrete on pinwheels is a reasonable decision.

If the market is going to be manipulated to destroy price signals, it would be better if the decisions were honestly made in a smoke-filled room beyond the prying eyes of the public.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 months ago | (#45631231)

"What's an acceptable loss ratio?"

With the advent of the Patriot Act, NDAA, DHS buying billions of hollow point civilian killers ( if civilians were in possesion of these things, they would be labeled cop killers by the policy enforcers), the demise of the American people AND their symbol seems apropos.

Re: No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631361)

The police use hollow points to kill less people, not more. You don't want your bullets passing through the bad guy and hitting anyone else.

Re: No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631409)

Then these hypocrite ass holes should stop refer to them as cop-killer when possessed by mere peasants.

Re: No form of power generation is without costs. (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | about 4 months ago | (#45631521)

Aren't "cop killer" bullets armor piercing, not hollow point?

Re: No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631597)

Correct. Coated bullets meant to pierce armor are no where near being slightly the same as hollow points.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631447)

Civillians already are in possession of loads of hollow-point ammunition. Hollowpoints are regularly used by hunters to kill game more quickly, and by police to prevent overpenetration. Why shouldn't the DHS have access to this type of ammunition?

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (2)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#45631573)

Why shouldn't the DHS have access to this type of ammunition?

The DHS shouldn't have access to ANY ammunition of any kind. Nor should Fish and Game protection. There shouldn't BE a DHS. Is that plain enough for you?

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631613)

Why shouldn't the DHS have access to this type of ammunition?

The DHS shouldn't have access to ANY ammunition of any kind. Nor should Fish and Game protection.

THAT'S IT people... I'm tired of hunters shooting fish. From now on, on the weekends I'm going around and putting kevlar jackets on all the fish I find.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#45631431)

but the truth is, there is no risk-free, cost-free, environmental-damage-free answer to the problem of power production.

It's usually "pick two out of three" when you are given any three factors. In this case, one of the articles assigns a specific value ($600k/year) to the cost of not-killing bald eagles.

and coal miners have a nasty habit of dying of black lung.

This is purely a failure of regulatory oversight.
The laws regarding mining ventilation and dust reduction are effective.
They were so effective that black lung mostly disappeared as a cause of miners deaths.
Black lung has only had a resurgence because mining operations have been cutting costs and intentionally lying to &/or deceiving the inspectors.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631479)

There is no perfect solution here. I'm not saying companies should erect wind turbines in the middle of nesting areas, but the truth is, there is no risk-free, cost-free, environmental-damage-free answer to the problem of power production. Coal mining is wretched for the environment and coal miners have a nasty habit of dying of black lung.

Can't we get the eagles to do the coal mining? That would be, like, hitting one bird with two stones.

There's an easy fix to this wind problem. (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 4 months ago | (#45631497)

The U.S. should invade Afghanistan to make homes for nesting eagles.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (3, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | about 4 months ago | (#45631533)

I think, in this whole debate there is a lot of confused issues.

Yes, eagles are important in the eco-system as top-level predators, but they are not the only important thing; they are just "iconic", whatever that means (it probably just means they sell better ). But all part of the environment are important - including conckroaches, rats and intestinal parasites; they are just not so "iconic". It is the balance that is important, the totality.

Humans are also part of the environment, and we are not always harmful. Quite a lot of the landscapes we try to preserve are man-made; humans keep cattle; cattle eat everything over a certain height, opening op the landscape for a large number of small species that would not otherwise survive there, etc.

Also, we are not the only species with a potentially negative impact on the environment; but we do seem to be the only species with the ability to understand the impact we have. And with that understanding comes, of course, the opportunity to make an informed choice. Some would say we have a moral obligation to make the best choice, according to our undestanding.

Re:No form of power generation is without costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631557)

Another interesting question is, can you reduce the number of birds killed by windmills without reducing the number of windmills.

PC (3, Insightful)

wallsg (58203) | about 4 months ago | (#45631193)

Windmills: The Politically Correct way to kill eagles.

Re:PC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631239)

KILL THE WINDMILLS! Where's Don Quixote when we need him?

Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631201)

I always knew this green non-sense was anti-American.

It figures that they'd be killing eagles. And that Obama would go along with it.

license to kill (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631233)

King Osama has given big industry a license to kill! And yet if you or I built a few windmills in our backyards, loyal feds would plant dead birds on our properties. There is no hope for the small business owner in the American Obamanation! No HOPE or CHANGE.

capcha : sustain

You Only Fly Twice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631341)

It's not just a license. It's a not-so-subtle symbol of what Obama wants to do with America, have it fly right into the spinning Obama Turbine of Destruction and fall right onto the Hard Ground of Failure.

If he could build wind turbines that spit on the dead eagles at the foot of the tower he would.

"Every time an eagle screams, a liberal gets his wings!". That's right honey, they sure do.

Re:You Only Fly Twice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631391)

gr8 b8s m8s

Nom nom nom, that's some good Eagle! (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 4 months ago | (#45631245)

If they need a way to dispose of them after their unfortunate turbine encounter, I suggest to serve them up fried [youtube.com] .

Re:Nom nom nom, that's some good Eagle! (3, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | about 4 months ago | (#45631367)

"The luxurious seats are stuffed with eagle down and the dashboard inlaid with the beaks of a thousand eagles. Also, there are some eagles under the floorboards."

Money Talks (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 4 months ago | (#45631249)

You have no idea how illegal it is to even posses an eagle feather you happen to find while hiking. The only people who get a pass are Native Americans.

Priorities.... (0)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#45631287)

The eagles are an issue, but the wind-farms are a question of survival of the human civilization. Nobody sane can put these two issues even remotely on the same level.

Re:Priorities.... (1, Flamebait)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 4 months ago | (#45631321)

If you took down every single wind mill in the world tomorrow, humanity would not really even notice for most part. At worst, we may have to start using some of the mothballed coal/oil/gas plants to compensate.

And even "I'm so high I think I can walk across oceans" level of babbling would probably not try to claim that wind power is a "question of survival of human civilization".

Re:Priorities.... (1, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#45631355)

but the wind-farms are a question of survival of the human civilization.

Hardly. If windfarms dropped off the face of the earth, you might need to find 1-3% from somewhere else, like hydro plants sitting idle, or from nuclear reactors which have been shutdown or furloughed for maintenance. Hell, in Ontario we produce so much electricity that we sell it at a 75% loss to the US, and we're not even at peak generating capacity. In fact, these "green energy" programs [ctvnews.ca] are going to drive up our electricity prices by 42% in the next 5 years. [canadiancontent.net]

Do you hear that sounds? It's the death of manufacturing and industry where I live.

Clean, efficient nuclear power ends all this (2, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | about 4 months ago | (#45631289)

It's crazy.

The environmentalists don't appear to have anyone on their team who understand the amount (or even the magnitude) of the energy consumed globally to make it all work. That, or their desire for renewables is biased by an anti-capitalist desire to collapse the economy. I don't know.

Brass tacks: We need -massive- amounts of energy, we will need even more, and there are two options - hydrocarbons and nuclear.

The governments of the world should all have Manhattan-style projects to solve nuclear fusion, alternative fission reactors, and solve the battery storage problem - be it super-cap technology or something else.

Instead we waste time dicking about with windmill foolishness. Sigh.

Keep it up. Go team.

Re:Clean, efficient nuclear power ends all this (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 months ago | (#45631323)

hydrocarbons

Provide much less energy than fusion energy from the sun because there is a finite amout of the stuff in the ground. Same for uranium.

Re:Clean, efficient nuclear power ends all this (2, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 4 months ago | (#45631331)

Brass tacks: We need -massive- amounts of energy, we will need even more, and there are two options - hydrocarbons and nuclear.

There's a third option for massive amounts of energy. The gigantic nuclear furnace floating 90 million miles away. It provides more than enough energy for all our needs. It's just a matter of collection. Wind farms are one way of collecting that energy.

Re:Clean, efficient nuclear power ends all this (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#45631575)

Don't forget that massive nuclear fission reactor that is underneath our feet. (Geothermal energy)

Actual numbers for energy issues (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 4 months ago | (#45631397)

Energy policy for nerds:
http://www.withouthotair.com/ [withouthotair.com]

As xtal points out, the important thing most people don't get about the numbers is the sheer size.

It is, it turns out, actually possible to get usefully large contributions from what are considered green sources. But you need nation-sized installations.

So simplistic (3, Interesting)

surfdaddy (930829) | about 4 months ago | (#45631291)

So you want to reduce use of fossil fuels? No technology is foolproof. Nuclear has its dangers. Solar energy would occupy acres of animal habitats. EVERYTHING is a tradeoff. The best solution of all is fewer humans. Do you care to sacrifice your ability to reproduce to help those eagles? I didn't think so.

How about a more balanced view? How many eagles would really die? How does that compare to the dangers from CO2, from other technologies? What about the habitat ruined by oil wells, natural gas wells, fracking, etc.? It's really not at all as simplistic as this posting implies.

Re:So simplistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631305)

Do you care to sacrifice your ability to reproduce to help those eagles?

This is Slashdot. Slashdotters have no hope of reproducing.

Re:So simplistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631551)

The best solution of all is fewer humans. Do you care to sacrifice your ability to reproduce to help those eagles?

No, but we should start putting human traps in our major cities to weed out the stupid. Thin the herd through environmental IQ tests.

birds fly into everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631343)

If you work at an airport, you know that birds are stupid and will fly into anything. If there is any metric to use for determining if wind turbines are a real threat, they should be compared to high-rise buildings. An estimated 1 in 10 birds are killed by flying into buildings every year. I doubt the birds killed vs number of structures ratio is much worse for turbines.

Re:birds fly into everything (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631455)

I doubt the birds killed vs number of structures ratio is much worse for turbines.

Also the bird kill on structure rate is about the same for human kill driving. The cause is also the same, they where both tweeting while moving at high speed.

Posting as Anonymous Coward for obvious reason.

enjoying your (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631365)

'hope and change' yet? fools!

Alternatives (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631415)

With exactly 10 seconds of thought on this, couldn't you just put giant wire cages around the turbines? It would certainly reduce efficiency but would prevent direct strikes on the blades.

Re:Alternatives (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 4 months ago | (#45631707)

Duh... then the dumba$$ birds would fly into the wire and be killed, like they do with buildings...

Wind farms kill Golden Eagles? (1, Interesting)

codeusirae (3036835) | about 4 months ago | (#45631421)

Was this whole slashdot article typed-up by the (Global warming isn't happening) lobby?

Re:Wind farms kill Golden Eagles? (1)

DamonHD (794830) | about 4 months ago | (#45631471)

In conjunction with the "it's my damn right to have whatever I want whatever it costs other people" lobby.

Wow, I saw some ugly narcissism and self-entitlement in above comments: nuance hasn't had a look in.

Rgds

Damon

I used to think of myself as an environmentalist (1)

Sowelu (713889) | about 4 months ago | (#45631485)

Now I see why, as a political group, those people are so annoying. Bullshit headlines like this make me a lot less interested in whatever asshole cause they are championing.

Re:I used to think of myself as an environmentalis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631625)

I think the best I've heard Greenpeace described was something like "assholes who always get in the way... but every once in a while do something useful too."

Can we just send Obama to gitmo already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631519)

Sick of this shit. What a fucking fraud.

The real problem: NIMBYs (3, Interesting)

jphamlore (1996436) | about 4 months ago | (#45631599)

The encouragement of NIMBYism to block projects such as nuclear power has only created blowback that basically blocks everything, including projects vital to wind power. Let's take the example of Europe and powerlines [spiegel.de] :

Many projects can't make any headway because numerous citizens' initiatives are blocking things like high-voltage transmission lines ... "It took over 30 years before a power line between France and Spain could be built," recalls an expert on the EU Commission ... In Germany there are also protests against virtually every major project of the Energiewende

The article offers a ray of hope that Europe might establish a process where permits are granted in three and a half years with only one court about to stop the process:

The EU has also taken a brash course on this front: The proposal would make it possible for the 200 top projects in Europe to receive a construction permit within three and a half years -- with only one court that would hear the objections of project opponents.

Of course imagine the outrage if this short-circuiting of the right of protest and judicial review were granted for other types of energy projects ...

Eh? (2)

anne on E. mouse cow (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#45631671)

The wind industry is just making itself look bad by attempting to indemnify itself, but considering the completely nuts figures jurys come up with in America, not entirely surprising.

Bald eagle pop' est 200,000, conservation status is 'least concern'.
Golden eagle pop' est 170,000 to 250,000 conservation status is 'least concern'.

Farmers, game keepers, egg collectors and tourists disturbing feeding areas are the biggest causes of bird death or nest failure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Eagle#Threats [wikipedia.org]

'the Obama administration's reluctance to prosecute' Perhaps because without intent, there is actually little to prosecute for?

Bald Eagles Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45631677)

This law, originally passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit Bald Eagle sitting in tree (16 U.S.C. 668(a); 50 CFR 22). "Take" includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment. The fine doubles for an organization. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction for violation of the Act.

In other news (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3033412/posts), an Indiana man was charged this week with the unlawful possession of a bald eagle, which the man says he cared for and rescued from the mud pit in which it was trapped. The former Department of Natural Resources employee, Jeffrey Henry, could face up to 60 days of jail time and a $500 fine as part of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Law is the will of the powerful.

Have you ever seen a video of this happening? (5, Interesting)

Snard (61584) | about 4 months ago | (#45631703)

Okay, I will probably be modded down for this, but it's worth saying. And for the record, I'm opposed to needlessly killing animals.

The first time I heard about eagles being killed by windmills, I imagined one being cut down while flying from point A to point B, not noticing that there was this lethal windmill in its path. Then, I saw a video on a website of an actual eagle death by windmill (and I apologize for not being able to find & post the link here) and was very surprised bu what I saw. Basically, the eagle was "dancing" with the windmill, repeatedly flying around it over and over. Like a moth flying around a flame. Eventually, the two paths intercepted, and the eagle was hit by the blade.

So part of me wanted to scream "stupid eagle!" and make the natural selection comment. But maybe there is something hypnotic going on that makes the bird want to investigate this strange whirling object?

Maybe a solution to the problem isn't to grant power companies "permits" to kill eagles, but to find a way to repel them rather than attract them.

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