Covering up bird mortality at wind farms. Mark Duchamp

PRESS RELEASE
12 September 2016

Hiding evidence of the massacre

 


News of bird and bat deaths at wind farms have reduced to a trickle. Does that mean that a solution has been found? Yes, it has, but it’s not what you think. Wind turbines are every year more numerous and the massacre they cause is ever increasing. What has changed is that the cover up is now effective at 100%, or just about.

The following news sheds light on the latest technique for making mortality data unavailable to the public (and the media):

Wind farm sues to block bird death data


Yes, you read correctly: “releasing (the wind farm’s) bird and bat kill reports would provide “trade secrets” to its competitors”. Surrealist, isn’t it? But that’s only one of the many lies we must deal with when investigating that hugely subsidized industry. Below, we present the “trade secrets” they are trying to hide:

trade secrets
courtesy of Ontario Wind Resistance


Indeed, in present day United States, mortality data legally belong to wind farm owners, and the public has no right to see the numbers without their permission. This is the “solution” that has been found for covering up the butchery of eagles, cranes, pelicans, condors, swans, swallows, bats, owls, falcons, hawks, geese, gamebirds, songbirds etc.

Throughout the world, ever since shocking mortality statistics at wind farms made the news 15-20 years ago, efforts have been made by the wind industry and complicit governments to hide the numbers. In the UK for instance, wind farms have long stopped being monitored for mortality; in Spain, the monitoring has been done, but the reports were filed away without publishing; elsewhere, whenever a wind farm had to be checked for mortality, its owner would select ornithology consultants based on their reputation for “cooperation” – i.e. whose reports always showed “manageable” numbers. This is still the preferred method for covering up in some countries, e.g. Canada or Australia.

To make it even safer for European wind developers, and regardless of the proclaimed right of the public to be informed on environmental matters (Aarhus Convention), reports concerning wind farms’ impact on birds and bats were soon stamped “property of the developer”, meaning that he may edit them before publication. “The wind companies rewrite all ecological work themselves“, said to me a UK ornithologist who had worked for wind developers. But a non-disclosure clause in the contract kept him from revealing publicly what he knew and what he saw. This is now standard practice in wind farm monitoring contracts.

Thanks to these various methods to hide the evidence, high mortality numbers soon disappeared from the headlines, and the public lost interest, trusting large ecology NGOs and bird societies to watch over protected wildlife. However, conflicts of interests oblige (i.e. $$$), these organizations keep denying that significant harm is being done to biodiversity. For instance, none of them has published the report by the Spanish ornithological societyrevealing millions of deaths a year in Spain. Yet it is based on 136 monitoring reports obtained from the Spanish government under Freedom of Information legislation.

Granted, the particularly deadly Altamont Pass wind turbines kept coming back in the news now and then, but the media has become so gullible (or complicit) that even their repowering for another 25 years didn’t make waves.

The issuing by the US administration of “incidental take permits”, allowing wind farm operators to kill a number of eagles accidentally, did cause anger among bona fide conservationists, especially as wind farm operators can easily hide the real number of eagles they kill. But this scandal didn’t make the evening news on television. Most NGOs don’t really mind: there is no money in protesting, but plenty of it to be reaped from Big Wind, awash as it is in subsidies.

In Scotland, an issue that could become a hot potatoe is the census of golden eagles. Originally due in 2013, this politically-sensitive 10-year survey was postponed to 2015, and to date we are still waiting for its publication. Cynics are suggesting that it takes time to edit the text and doctor the figures, which would otherwise reveal a sharp drop in the Scottish golden eagle population, coinciding with the period when the moorlands were invaded by wind farms.

Coincidence or not, a report just surfaced in Edinburgh, reassuring the Scots on the fate of their beloved eagles. Wind turbines may be installed near eagle nests, it claims, provided ornithologists are paid, during the life of the wind farm, to feed the eagles and monitor their behavior. It’s pure rubbish, but it keeps ornithologists and bird societies happy. Officially, they are the ones who “know” about birds, and their opinion is taken into consideration by the authorities; so it’s important for the wind lobby to keep them cheery. In reality, we know that wind turbines attract (and kill) eagles, as they do other raptors, swallows and bats: read Biodiversity Alert. In short, the new report is just another one of many biased, misleading studies financed by wind interests. If you read the press article till the end, it actually claims thatBeinn an Tuirc wind farm helps Scottish eagles survive. Yes indeed, the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.

The population survival issue was tackled differently in the western United States: the golden eagle census was carried out from a plane. Obviously, scientific rigor was lacking: seen from an aircraft, it is easy to mistake a juvenile bald eagle for an adult golden eagle. The wind coalition used this worthless census to report a “stable golden eagle population” in the western States. Different methods, same misleading result.

One of the countries where the cover up wasn’t achieved at 100% is Australia. Mortality at the infamous Woolnorth wind farm apparently ceased being reported to the public, but a few months ago, that of the Macarthur wind farm hit the news, causing concern worldwide.

More recently, another Australian wind farm discreetly announced (you have to search their newsletter thoroughly – page 2, paragraph 3) that it was killing many eagles: Bald Hills wind farm – 7 eagles killed in 4 months. Seven in four months is the official figure, so the reality could be even worse. It’s also a good indication that, as revealed by Save the Eagles International, raptors are attracted to wind turbines (and then killed). But don’t be surprised that, in spite of the evidence provided in STEI’s article, bird societies completely ignore this lethal attraction exerted by wind turbines: it would hurt the wind industry if they recognized it. Here you can, again, appreciate the hypocrisy surrounding the whole issue.

Finally, the cover up is naturally helped by scavengers, which become rapidly aware that wind turbines provide easy food in the form of dead or injured birds and bats. So they make the rounds daily, mostly at night or at dawn when their chances are best. Searchers employed by consultants rarely start their work as early as foxes and crows, so they miss most carcasses. In addition, they visit the site once every week at best, leaving plenty of time for scavengers to clean up the grounds.

That is how the company operating Bald Hills WF, above, can claim they only found 19 bird carcasses (assuming the figure wasn’t simply doctored). You’ll note that there were 7 eagles among them: typically, small carcasses disappear whole, while larger ones often leave some remains behind. Some wind farm operators instruct their employees to bury the evidence , but some carcasses can escape their vigilance, given the very large surface to be searched, and the vegetation.

At Altamont Pass, California, Dr Smallwood estimated in 2004 that 116 golden eagles were being killed yearly by the 5,000 (small) wind turbines (1). These mostly young, wandering eagles, were from California, the western United States, and even Canada. The massacre will continue as new, bigger turbines replace the old ones. The “green” NGOs don’t really care – do we hear them protest? The killing is now legal (incidental take permits), and that keeps the operators out of trouble if some eagle carcass happened to be discovered by a member of the public. The wind industry wins. The extermination of eagles, hawks, falcons, cranes, swallows, owls, bats and other highly valued species may continue unabated.

Mark Duchamp
President

(1) – Altamont Pass wind farm, 116 golden eagles killed yearly: see Page 73, Table 3-11: Species/Taxonomic group: Golden eagle
Mortality per year:
– adjusted for search detection: 75.6
– adjusted for search detection and scavenging: 116.5
DEVELOPING METHODS TO REDUCE BIRD MORTALITY IN THE ALTAMONT
PASS WIND RESOURCE AREA – Shawn Smallwood & Carl Thelander (2004) – for the California Energy Commission. http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/500-04-052/500-04-052_00_EXEC_SUM.PDF

Wind Turbines Near Great Lakes….Hazardous to Birds!

Study calls for 18-km turbine setback

By John Miner, The London Free Press

It’s a standard that would eliminate almost all of Ontario’s current wind farms and the ones recently approved.

In the wake of the release of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service migratory bird study, the American Bird Conservancy is calling for an 18-kilometre buffer around the Great Lakes for wind farms.

“It is highly problematic to build anywhere near the Great Lakes,” Michael Hutchins, director of the American Bird Conservancy’s bird-smart wind energy program, said Monday. “These losses are just not sustainable.”

Using radar designed to detect birds and bats, the Fish and Wildlife Service monitored four sites along the south shore of Lake Ontario in 2013. The results were released last month.

Hutchins called the findings of a high level of bird and bat activity in the zone swept by wind turbine blades “a smoking gun” that proves the turbines should not be located close to the lakeshore.

The results from the U.S. study would apply to the Canadian side of the Great Lakes as well, Hutchins said.

“There is no reason to assume it wouldn’t be as bad on the (other) side as well because these birds are making their way up to the boreal forest in Canada to breed.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a standard that wind farms not be located within five kilometres of the shoreline. The Nature Conservancy recommends eight kilometres. The new evidence points to an 18-kilometre zone as appropriate, Hutchins said.

“These birds don’t just belong to Canada and the United States, they are a shared resource and they are worth billions of dollars,” Hutchins said, pointing to their role in controlling pests, pollinating crops and dispersing seed. “We can’t afford to lose these animals,” he said.

Ontario doesn’t restrict the proximity of wind turbines in relation to the Great Lakes, but does require wind farm developers to monitor bird and bat deaths for three years. For bats the acceptable mortality level is 10 per wind turbine each year, while the limit for birds is 14 birds annually per turbine.

Beyond those levels, the wind farm company may be required to take mitigating action.

Data released last month indicated wind turbines in Ontario in 2015 killed 14,140 birds, mainly songbirds, and 42,656 bats, including several species on Ontario’s endangered species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife radar study found that migrating birds concentrate along the shorelines to refuel and rest before crossing the lakes. The researchers also found the birds make broad-scale flights along the shorelines to explore wind conditions and orient themselves for migration.

Brandy Giannetta, Ontario regional director for the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said wind farm developers are attracted to the areas close to the Great Lakes because they provide the most consistent winds.

The industry recognizes bird mortalities from wind farms can be a problem and is committed to the proper siting of turbines, she said. But Giannetta said the issue has to be looked at in context.

Wind energy is designed to respond to global warming, the biggest threat to birds and other wildlife. Far more birds are killed by cats and collisions with buildings and cars, she said.

Hutchins agreed cats are bigger bird killers than wind turbines, along with pesticides and building and vehicle collisions. But that isn’t a reason not to deal with the turbine issue.

“They all need to be addressed,” he said.

Despite that, the Ontario government just approved another project a few kilometres away on Amherst Island.

jminer@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JohnatLFPress 

Esther Wrightman Obtains Wind Company Info on Bird Mortality!

The Right to Know: Releasing Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Death Data

dead-bird-1024x560Yesterday I expected to hear of an “Appeal” (we all detest that word now, don’t we) of the Freedom of Information (FOI) request I filed for the Bird and Bat Mortality Reports for three of NextEra Energy’s wind projects several months ago. NextEra had asked the FOI office for extra time to file this appeal, and it had been granted, the deadline being yesterday. But instead, and to my great surprise, a letter came from the FOI office and I could distinctly feel a CD case in it – Oh ya! If it was a “mid-summer-everyones-on-vacation” mistake to send these to me, I don’t want to know about it.

Google Drive Bird Bat Mortality ReportsHere they are: Bird Bat Mortality Reports for NextEra’s Bornish, Adelaide andSummerhaven (more on what they contain in upcoming posts).

I’ve uploaded these documents (and 45 more!) to a public Google Drive folder that anyone can access, view and download. This was the whole point – to make these documents public because our government and the wind companies won’t! Bring some transparency to the bird and bat deaths in Canada! Hold these bloody wind companies accountable for the wildlife slaughter they getting away with! [Keep in mind that this is only partial transparency because the collections and reports are NOT conducted by a third party and are designed to miss a very large portion of the actual deaths. It’s a start, but it’s not the full story by a long shot]

Bird Bat Mortality Monitoring

Google Drive Bird Bat Mortality Reports icons

Recently we filed FOI’s for the rest of the wind turbine Bird/Bat Mortality Reports in Ontario, and Nova Scotia. Some companies in Nova Scotia actually post their reports on their company websites, but those tend to be the smaller co-ops, never the Big Wind companies. New Brunswick, by the way, just sent them to us without us needing to do an FOI. I like that process much better.

Get your reading glasses out and start ripping through these reports. If you are a lawyer, or a reporter, or a biologist, or a birder – we all need your insight and expertise. And if anyone comes across more reports, send them along and I’ll post them.

The other day a helpful contact wrote this to me:

“These are public trust resources being killed. And the public has a right to know.”

I’ll add that it is also our duty to protect them from our own destructive kind in whatever way we can.

~Esther Wrightman

Leena from Finland Writes to W.H.O. to ask for Help!

“I live about 10 kilometres from the windmills. I thought I would be safe. I was wrong.”

“Please take the infrasound fact seriously when reviewing the Environmental Noise Pollution Guidelines for Europe.”

Wooden house in Finland
Wooden house in Finland

On July 18, 2016, Leena from Finland wrote to the members of the panel developing the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region:

Dear Mrs Héroux and whom else this may concern,

Here in Western Finland already couple hundred people has moved from their homes because of the infrasound caused by windmills. They have gotten sick because of the infrasound.
I thought I would be safe. I live about 10 kilometres from the Santavuori windmills situated in Ilmajoki.
I was wrong.

Soon after the 17 3.5 MW windmills started this spring my life has changed. I cannot sleep at home at my rural horse ranch, I have constant headache, I feel pressure changes in my ears, my heart beats in odd rhythm and my blood pressure is high when the windmills are working. If they are stopped or I drive about 20-30 kilometres from them, I feel fine.
I could not imagine the effects of the wind power plants would come this far!
Please take the infrasound fact seriously when reviewing the Environmental Noise Pollution Guidelines for Europe.

I am making a research about how the infrasounds effects on animals here in Finland.
I have gotten calls from farmers and it seems that the windmills cause a lot of miscarrying and abortions in cows and minks. There are increased number of sudden deaths in pigs. Foals that born have malformations. Cows, dogs and minks don’t get in heat anymore, they lack the interest for sexual behaving which means that there are less animals born at farms in the near future.

If there is anything you can do to end or minimize this madness, please do so. I don’t want to move from my home. And where could I go with 10 horses?

Sincerely

Leena
Finland

More on the Nightmare…. Wind Turbines

Wind turbines = animal deaths and deformities?

Credit:  By Lindsey Harrison | The New Falcon Herald | Volume No. 13, Issue No. 5, May 2016 www.newfalconherald.com
The Golden West Wind Energy Center in Calhan, Colorado, which consists of 145 453-foot tall industrial wind turbines, has been fully operational since October 2015. Residents living within the wind farm project’s footprint have reported negative physical and psychological effects from the turbines. Concern has now shifted to the suspected effects the turbines are having on the animals in the area.
According to the September 2015 issue of “The New Falcon Herald,” the effects on humans range from dizziness and nausea to concerns about dirty electricity and the potential for the electromagnetic waves to cause an irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation.
Domestic animals are in grave danger, too, based on worldwide accounts.
According to an article published on the World Council for Nature’s website June 7, 2014, a mink farm in Denmark suffered a huge hit when 1,600 mink cubs were born prematurely following the installation of four industrial wind turbines less than 1,600 feet away. “Many had deformities, and most were dead on arrival,” the article states. “The lack of eyeballs was the most common malformation. Veterinarians ruled out food and viruses as possible causes. The only thing different at the farm since last year has been the installation of four large wind turbines only 328 meters away.”
C.C. (she requested the NFH use only her initials), a resident within the wind farm project’s footprint, said the aforementioned incident does not surprise her. Since Sept. 17, 2015, she and her family have lost 12 animals. Most recently, her horse gave birth to a stillborn foal.
She knew her horse was going to give birth soon but was not expecting it so suddenly, C.C. said. “I went out there to see that the mama had lost weight, and then I saw the baby out there on the ground,” she said. “The placenta and the baby were both lying there. Usually, with any animal like that, the placenta stays connected internally (to the mother) for about 30 minutes or so after the baby is born.”
Her vet examined the foal and determined that the baby had never taken a breath, she said. The baby was fully developed and just a bit premature, but what was notable was the unusual thickness of the placenta, C.C. said. “The vet’s notes say that she was stillborn and premature, due to placental thickening, but the cause is undetermined,” she said.
Aside from the stillborn foal, C.C. said she has noted multiple animals with various deformities or abnormalities. “We have one goat that is six weeks old and has four teats instead of two,” she said. “The gestational period for a goat is only five months so she was developing in her mother’s womb while the turbines have been going. We had a duck go totally blind. We had a rooster that was healthy one day and then dead the next. Our dog ended up with mastitis but she has not had puppies in eight years so the vet said there was no reason for that. The same dog developed a swollen liver and fluid around her heart so she was in congestive heart failure. Seventy-nine days after they turned these turbines on, she died.”
Sandy Wolfe, another resident living within the wind farm project’s footprint, said she has experienced many physical ailments since the turbines became operational, and noticed that her animals were experiencing some of the same ones. “My dog Hank was so strong, and everybody was amazed at how strong and agile and competent he still was,” she said. “When I started having nosebleeds in September, he did, too. Mine subsided because I started sleeping in my truck, but his never really stopped. When my ears started hurting, his ears starting hurting.”
Wolfe said Hank died this past winter. He was one of three dogs that has died since September, she said.
Psychological effects of wind turbines on animals have also been documented. In an open letter to the Australian Medical Association that was posted on the World Council for Nature’s website on March 31, 2014, the WCFN wrote about an episode at another mink farm in Denmark that occurred three months prior to the other mink farm incident. “The animals became aggressive, attacking one another, and resulting in many deaths,” the letter states.
Pam Phillips, another resident living within the Calhan wind farm’s footprint, said she has a turbine about 502 yards outside her front door and has noticed a marked change in the demeanor and behavior of some of her animals. “Our huge 135-pound Newfoundland dog will not go outside anymore unless we literally drag him out,” she said.
Phillips said she has a bull that she puts into the pasture with her cows, and he no longer seems to have any interest in interacting with them, which is unusual. He was always very active when the turbines were not around, she said.
Most disturbing is the sudden change in her 19-year-old mare, which she has had since the mare was 6 years old, Phillips said. “She is calm one minute and then, out of nowhere, she will blow up and take off, or buck or duck her head and dump me off the side,” she said.
Phillips said she used to let kids ride the horse but cannot any longer because it is not safe. “I have never had issues with her before,” she said. “It is not like I just bought her and she is trying to get used to me. It is completely out of character for her.”
Wolfe and C.C. both said it feels like their lives are falling apart around them. “I have lost all these pets since these things (the turbines) have turned on,” C.C. said. “Prior to that, we lost maybe one pet per year, if that.”
Gavin Wince, another Calhan resident who lives within the wind farm project’s footprint, said,”Several acoustic and medical studies are being conducted. Infrasound pulses emanating from the Golden West wind turbine array have been confirmed by measurements made in several neighboring homes and along public roads. The soon-to-be-released infrasound health study findings are expected to vindicate many Calhan residents’ claims about health impacts.”
Source:  By Lindsey Harrison | The New Falcon Herald | Volume No. 13, Issue No. 5, May 2016 | The New Falcon Herald

Environmentalists Finally Catching on to the Windscam!

German Greens Turn Against Wind Power Too

Protest poster against the construction of wind turbines in Hamburg, Germany, Europe

****

German opposition to these things grows by the day. And, just like everywhere else, criminals, shysters and chancers cloak themselves in groovy ‘green’ credentials and help themselves to $billions in subsidies filched from power consumers and/or taxpayers: all for the ‘good of the planet’ –  or, perhaps, not.

Corruption, lies treachery and deceit are the benchmark for the wind industry and Germany is no different.

Now, the less gullible among Germany’s Greens have worked out that wind power is the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time.

Spiegel Puts Spotlight On Germany’s “Green Sleaze” … Wind Industry’s “Corruption Of Greens, Environmental Groups, Local Pols…”
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
7 April 2016

The latest hardcopy issue of flagship news magazine Der Spiegel reports how Germany’s green energy revolution has bitterly divided the country’s environmental movement.

Enoch zu Guttenberg, one of Germany’s most prolific environmentalists has become an outspoken critic of wind energy in Germany, and believes children in the future will be able to see Germany’s idyllic landscape only in paintings as developers clear hill-top forests to make way for skyscraper-size industrial wind turbines.

Guttenberg, a symphony conductor, told Spiegel the movement against wind turbines has exploded over the past months and years and that his speeches against wind turbines are attracting ever larger crowds: “When I started 60 or 70 would come, now there are more than 1000.”

Moreover Guttenberg talks of “hundreds of local citizens’ initiatives” that are now mobilizing against wind projects. Spiegel writes of a whole “new quality” of resistance that governments now need to confront as many traditional environmentalists now rail against what they view as a “corruption of green party members, environmental groups, local politicians and city councils“.

So divided the environmentalists have become that Germany’s powerful BUND (Friends of the Erath Germany) launched a slander lawsuit against Guttenberg after he accused the organization of having “merged” with the Wind Lobby. BUND later dropped the suit.

Since then Guttenberg has compared the BUND directors to Judas and accused them of having sold out the environmental philosophy for a “dish of lentil”. Leading environmental activists today are now saying: “The color of sleaze is no longer black, rather it is green.”

The environmental movement has become so disunified, Spiegel writes, that once diehard nuclear energy opponents have now switched to protesting wind turbines, as many planning boards ignore concerns of the citizens and attempt to steamroll projects through against the public will.

Often the projects are politically explosive, involving a good old boys network. A typical pattern, Spiegel writes:

Town mayor, local pols, city directors, who at the same time happen to be the managing directors of wind parks and whoPROFIT from them. A dubious mesh of community and electricity interests.”

This is how it works at many communities, Spiegel describes. Often the nearby residents and citizens pay heftily through lost property values, health issues from infrasound, and high electricity prices. Invariably only very fewBENEFIT at all.

Planners often shoot back and claim nothing is illegal about the business deals. But the public is not having it. Spiegel adds:

Indeed in the meantime resistance is growing. ‘The mood has flipped because people are noticing that it is all about business,’ says anti-wind activist [Manfred] Knake”

At the end of the article Guttenberg, Spiegel writes, calls it the “capitialistic injustice of the Energiewende“.

TheMONEY of the little guy, who has to pay billions for renewables, is diverted into the pockets of some large property owners.”

No Tricks Zone

dirtyrottenscoundrelsoriginal

Are Birding Societies Finally Waking Up???

National bird advocacy group targets Niagara County wind turbine project

Geese
FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, file photo, migratory birds fly over Mad Island, Texas. Energy companies blamed for the deaths of migratory birds may be harder to prosecute under a century-old law that a federal court in September 2015 ruled applies only to intentional killings. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

SOMERSET, N.Y. (WIVB) — A project by Apex Clean Energy to erect wind turbines in Niagara County has fallen under the radar of the American Bird Conservancy.

According to the group, a vast number of migratory songbirds and raptors rely on the area to breed and find food. The group says putting up 570-foot-tall structures will see many birds die when they collide with the new turbines.

The group suggests it’s one of the top 10 worst locations for a planned turbine site in the nation currently, and has urged Apex Clean Energy to look elsewhere.

It’s not yet clear if their voices have been heard, or if the allure of the breeze off Lake Ontario is simply overwhelming it.

The American Bird Conservancy says Apex continues to move forward with its studies as it makes a case to build.