Wind turbines effect of birds Essay

Submitted By destinylongoria
Words: 1342
Pages: 6

Destiny-Amanda Longoria
Jonathan T. Jones
1302 V05
September 18, 2014
Wind Turbines Are Not a Birds Biggest Concern
After the realization of how damaging fossil fuels are for the atmosphere and ecosystems, the effort to find alternative ways to produce much needed energy began. Throughout history, man has harnessed wind energy. From sails on ships to wind mills on farm lands, wind turbines are continuing this tradition. Not without its fair share of repercussions, wind turbines are a product of this effort and is less damaging to ecosystems then other methods of generating energy. The concern for different species of birds has arisen due to the placement of wind farms in the Rio Grande Valley. This concern stems from the Rio Grande Valley being a major stop for many species of birds on their migratory journeys South and birds fatally colliding with wind turbines placed in the Valley. Wind turbines are not as big of a threat as thought to bird populations as other man made and erected mechanisms may benefit them in the future. Economically, wind turbines offer benefits to the Valley in areas such as jobs and revenue. Technological advances on design and conscious location of future turbines are currently in process to further protect the birds. Wind turbines may not be the only solution to cleaner energy production, but it is a viable start.
Greenhouse gases and dependency on foreign countries have led to desperately needed alternative ways to generate energy. Coal and gas generated energy has impacted the environment in negative ways, such as acute climate change. This climate change poses a serious threat to birds and though wind turbines are not a perfect solution, they do not emit the poisonous greenhouse gases. If the construction of wind turbines are being protested due to avian casualties, there are bigger threats to the bird population that should be addressed first. Power lines can be found along almost every street, windows are placed in every building due to safety codes, cars driven by people on daily commutes, and pesticides applied not knowing the effects on birds it may have are all threats to birds and claim more lives than wind turbines. In findings published in Julia Layton’s article “Do Wind Turbines Kill Birds?”, it is painfully demonstrated in estimated numbers how wind turbines account for avian deaths compared to six other common place and widely used mechanisms that are not being so actively protested. (Layton, while These numbers are staggering compared to the number of casualties by wind turbines, which is an estimated 25 thousand. While
Man-made structure/technology
Associated bird deaths per year (U.S.)
Feral and domestic cats
Hundreds of millions
Power lines
130 million -- 174 millions
Windows (residential and commercial)
100 million -- 1 billion
70 million
60 million -- 80 million
Lighted communication towers
40 million -- 50 million
Wind turbines
10,000 -- 40,000
(Cite) In short term, the bodies of birds can be counted and used against the construction of wind turbines. In the long run, with the continued use of coal and natural gas that are causing climate changes, there will be an even bigger threat to birds then collisions looming ahead. Wind turbines can even be beneficial economically. Texas State Technical College has a Wind Energy technology program since these machines will need maintenance and design improvement. With wind turbines being placed in The Valley, with more in the process of being built, there is now a job market to be filled. The wind turbine, Los Vientos, is currently being offered for use research and training purposes to the college, demonstrating how one company, Duke Energy, works to aid Texas State Technical College students in their education. Eladio Jaimez, Texas State Technical College staff, collected a comment from Wind Energy Technology Program’s Chairman David Gomez in his article in the Valley Morning Star about the allowed