“We ask that you deny any permit to LEEDCo for siting of 6-9 turbines in Lake Erie…. Sadly, it is extremely easy to refute and challenge the environmental guidance this project is putting before you. It is disappointing that this project has progressed even thus far.”
Many groups and individuals from OHIO and Canada and Europe, who care deeply about wildlife, birds, bats and habitat, have been communicating their concerns with the LEEDCo “Incubator” project proposed for 6-9 industrial wind turbines off the shores of Cleveland.
The signatories to this letter represent only a fraction of the sentiment about this proposed improper placement and immature concept of industrializing what is part of 20% of the world’s remaining fresh water reserves.
International Perspective: Ontario, Canada, has in place a precautionary PROVINCIAL offshore moratorium, and four others from Ajax, Pickering, Council of Scarborough, and the largest Conservation body in the province, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). These moratoria were the result of observations that the fresh waters of the Lakes deserve special caution and study.
To date, there is no information leading to a reversal of those decisions. The Lakes continue to be regarded both sides of the border as unique, having special problems of toxic waste filtered to the lakebed, unique patterns of wildlife and birds/bats, unique basin fragilities, unique intensive bird capital, and unique billions of dollars in birding and boating activities.
Ohio has one of the largest concentrations of birding activities in and around the Great Lakes, tens if not hundreds of millions, and as such deserves to be free of any industrialization that may confound this unique geography, habitat, and economy.
Dr. Paul Kerlinger and Associates has been engaged to comment on any possible effect of the 6-9 incubator turbine proposal, and we are concerned that his testimony is possibly an environmental grounding point for the project. We strongly object to acceptance of any commentary on this project proposal by Dr. Kerlinger, and Associates.
Please see Dr. Paul Kerlinger’s biography here.
Kerlinger’s proximity to wind developers is obvious given his continued bias and collusion with the industry. His engagement as an “expert” in any capacity to preserve birds or to comment on fatalities is highly suspect. In fact, his history of biased testimony on behalf of wind developers is becoming well known. Renowned Wildlife Biologist Jim Wiegand has exposed Dr. Kerlinger’s studies, and found they could be possibly construed as “fraudulent” due to omissions and their flawed methodology.
These defective studies have obviously given Dr. Kerlinger a tainted perspective that must not only be exposed but taken into serious consideration by everyone involved with this project. In addition his viewpoint should be understood in the context of his pattern of using other flawed wind industry studies to support the approval of wind projects, while turning a blind eye to fact that these same studies have very little scientific merit.
“In essence Dr. Kerlinger and wind industry developers should be seen as one and the same because of their lengthy history of doing business together,” writes Weigand. Dr. Kerlinger has been paid very handsomely through this association from wind projects that have been approved across this country (i.e., taking consulting funds to promote wind projects, conducting mortality studies and affirming those impacts as “biologically insignificant” that ultimately become killing fields for birds and bats).
Sadly, wind industry protocols change from wind project to project, depending upon the amount of mortality to protected species that needs to be hidden. It appears that they (wind developers) are making it up as they go along, and there is no standardized research methodology. According to Wildlife Biologist and wind energy analyst Mr. Wiegand, “They claim to have standardized searches, but this means about as much as the word of a three-time felon facing life in prison.”
The mortality cover-up has become systemic, using expert advice to promote projects and deny wildlife impacts. If one needed more information concerning the erroneous statements of Dr. Kerlinger, one might find a superlative example in his “mass fatality event” denial.
On May 24, 2003, a mass fatality event took place at the Mountaineer Wind Project in West Virginia.To people’s amazement, wind turbine fatalities from that event were not INCLUDED IN THE MORTALITY STUDY. (We can only surmise that over 25 years in windy Texas, with thousands of wind turbines in eagle habitat, that there may have been 50 major mortality events involving birds or bats at wind farms, but no one would have reported it. Mr. Wiegand believes, as do others, that thousands of eagles have been killed in Texas on private land over the last 25 years.)
But, astonishingly, Dr. Kerlinger states in 2014:
The literature also shows that there have not been (our emphases) mass bird fatality events of the sort that are known to occur periodically at lighthouses and communication towers….
This statement is redolent of the misinformation used by Kerlinger to assess and promote the LEEDCo project. Would YOU put OHIO’s birds and bats in his care?
We expressly in this letter anticipate that you will discount any testimony by Kerlinger and Associates in the consideration of permits for the LEEDCo project. Kerlinger’s bias is so patently obvious that a legal letter is currently being drafted expressing intent to sue, if any currently considered project is funded and developed, based on his testimony and obviously biased materials. Kerlinger has testified on behalf of developers in: China, Canada, widely in the USA, as well as Europe.
Direct Testimony of some of the expansiveness of his influence are contained in this court document: (On behalf of Clipper Windpower, 2002)
A: “Yes. With respect to development of windpower facilities, I have provided testimony in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, and Illinois. I have also provided information for the permitting of windpower facilities in several other states, as well as in Canada and Europe.”
It is disheartening to imagine how Dr. Kerlinger’s testimonies have cumulatively affected our wildlife.
In a media release of January 29, 2014, we are advised by American Bird Conservancy (ABC), that “one of the greatest bird migration corridors in the Western Hemisphere” planned for the shores of Lake Erie, was halted. ABC had joined with Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) to vigorously oppose the Camp Perry turbine project “due to its exceptionally high risk to federally protected wildlife.”
The uniqueness of the Great Lakes and Basin and its unsuitability for wind power is commonly understood.
Bird study organizations both sides of the border have expressed concern about the impacts on bird life and recognize that these impacts can be cumulative. They further articulate conditions under which IWTs (Industrial Wind Turbines) should be banned. However, these concerns are facile and short lived in view of the extensive shorelines of the Lakes that need to be protected and preserved. IWTs will most certainly disrupt all areas, even areas of intensive agriculture or urbanization, areas of intensive wildlife, or pristine. There will be 1) barrier and displacement from preferred habitat, 2) physical habitat loss, and 3) a direct demographic element from physical collision.
Additionally, Dr. Keith Stelling in his Executive Summary to support protection of the Aaran Lake Wetlands says:
But biologists have discovered growing evidence of harm to migratory birds and long-term degrading effects on the quality of sensitive wildlife habitats. Increasing concerns include collision mortality for migratory birds (especially songbirds, and raptors, as well as bats); habitat disturbance (especially for waterfowl); and habitat fragmentation, (causing barriers to movement between feeding and breeding areas), with potentially disastrous effect upon threatened and endangered species.
So while the imprint of 6-9 turbines may appear small for the LEEDCo proposal, Dr. Stelling implies that fragmentation and barriers to movement and feeding areas will of course be impacted with other ecological impacts.
It has been pointed out that the risk of collision at sea needs to be investigated as well, “because long-lived water bird populations are especially sensitive to additional mortality” (Sæther & Bakke 2000). It is well-known that ducks and geese use the shores of the Lakes and that they winter 2-4 km close to shore. This wintering habitat would be in direct fire. The regular use of shorelines and water as habitat does not support the idea of IWTs at the Cleveland location. Despite the assertions of Kerlinger, there is bird life at 4-7 km offshore.
The bucolic images painted by Kerlinger are of waterfowl “detouring,” or flying around or under the turbines. “Some European studies,” he states, have shown that ducks can see the turbines at night, at a safe distance of about 500 metres, and hence can manoeuver avoidance tactics. He suggests that small numbers of migrants, like songbirds, actually cruise under the height of the blades, so they are likely “safe.” This misrepresentation of patterns of flight, avoidance, collision, and habitat loss, are unacceptable and misleading in favor of developer strategy.
A piercing look at offshore mortality compared with onshore, shows glaring similarities.
· Clive Hambler, an expert in species extinctions, writes this in the Spectator in January 2013:
“I’ve heard it suggested that birds will soon adapt to avoid turbine blades. But your ability to learn something when you’ve been whacked on the head by an object travelling at 200 mph is limited. And besides, this comes from a complete misconception of how long it takes species to evolve. Birds have been flying, unimpeded, through the skies for millions of years. They’re hardly going to alter their habits in a few months. You hear similar nonsense from environmentalists about so-called habitat ‘mitigation’. There has been talk, for example, during proposals to build a Severn barrage that all the waders displaced by the destruction of the mud flats can have their inter-tidal habitat replaced elsewhere. It may be what developers and governments want to hear, but recreating such habitats would take centuries not years — even if space were available. The birds wouldn’t move on somewhere else. They’d just starve to death.”
Mr. Hambler goes on to suggest the damages to migrating species would be huge were industrial wind to be placed in the Great Lakes.
Additionally, in a study by Desholm and Khalert (2005), it was deemed that birds will avoid turbines and that their normal habitat will be compromised in the Carolinian Band as well as the Rouge Valley wetlands, and the shores of Lake Erie, as well as the other lake fringes. This habitat “fragmentation” is a potential threat to the safe harbour and protection of populations, already in serious decline.
As one example, the American Black Duck prefers to winter nest in the same area, and often will starve rather than migrate. It lives in wetlands, freshwater and marine, and returns to the same location each fall. Apparently this pattern of return to the same wintering ground is similar to many species of ducks, a common characteristic, but with the American Black Duck, the behaviour of preferring the same habitat is pronounced.
· The School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham has these conclusions:
Available evidence suggests that windfarms reduce the abundance of many bird species at the windfarm site. There is some evidence that Anseriformes (ducks) experience greater declines in abundance than other bird groups suggesting that a precautionary approach should be adopted to windfarm developments near aggregations of Anseriformes and to a lesser extent Charadriformes particularly in offshore and coastal locations. There is also some evidence that impact of windfarms on bird abundance becomes more pronounced with time, suggesting that short term bird abundance studies do not provide robust indicators of the potentially deleterious impacts of windfarms on bird abundance.
These results should be interpreted with caution given the small sample sizes and variable quality data. More high quality research and monitoring is required, in particular, long term studies with independent controls and variance data. Pending further research, if impacts on bird abundance are to be avoided, the available evidence suggests that windfarms should not be sited near populations of birds of conservation importance, particularly Anseriformes.
The Great Lakes are host to several species of Anseriformes. Thousands or even tens of thousands of ducks, geese and swans can easily be witnessed in late February, early March, as they migrate back for spring/summer, or wintering 4-6 km off the shoreline.
· Larsen and Guillemette of Denmark’s National Environmental Research Institute have studied the flight behaviour of wintering common eiders and turbines, with implications for habitat use and collision risk. The result of this in-depth study is that habitat reduction and fragmentation is clear and evident.
This behaviour may result in a reduction in habitat availability within and around wind parks, and raises concerns about the possible impact of the extensive development of large-scale wind parks in shallow offshore waters, which are the main feeding areas for sea ducks and other Marine birds. Our results indicate that the disturbance effect of revolving rotor blades is negligible during daylight hours but highlights the need for studies to be carried out during hours of darkness and conditions of poor visibility (e.g. fog and snow). Until more insight is gained, we recommend caution when planning wind parks in areas of high sea duck densities.
Bats are especially vulnerable to habitat loss and migration path diversion. We know that bats are in serious decline as well, and are hugely responsible (95%) for seeding the rainforests. Our knowledge about migration and native bat species and populations is fiercely lacking.
Further studies indicate that there is behavioural toxicology of ELF, electric, and magnetic fields. Insufficient study has been conducted to ascertain the ecological effect on aquatic life.
Yet another study pertains to the offshore effects of electromagnetic fields on fish.
Again, this and other studies point to possible impacts on aquatic life that are significant and with no long range prognosis for recovery. Aquatic environments that are disturbed will necessarily impact bird species as well.
With the proposed project at Cleveland, the precipitous decline of many more species and habitats, disruption of migration corridors, will most certainly take place. Additionally, the lake and shore line must be declared a BLUE ZONE as the possible disruption to the lakebed, aquatic species, land animals as well as the loss of bird life and general habitat, will be substantial with IWTs.
· Scientists for Species wrote that there are two categories of environmental problems: the first is likely reversible: depletion of arable land, toxic pollution, damage of aquifers, etc.; the second is the loss of biodiversity and species extinctions (paraphrasing sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson).
This is irreparable damage. …. Even if the physical environment is brought back to optimal conditions for human welfare we cannot call back species which have been lost. Every species on this planet has a genetic history stretching back to the origins of life on earth. Their genetic make-up is the result of more than 3,500 million years2 of evolution (primarily by natural selection). One could imagine each species’ genetic heritage as a book, present in only a certain number of copies: if we lose the copies, we’ve lost the book, and all of its fascinating and potentially useful information, permanently.
There are already reports along the north and west shores of Huron that banding stations are recording shockingly fewer birds of various descriptions. Experts are attributing this to the already invasive quantity of industrial wind along those shores.
“Habitat protection: Habitat loss is the major agent of species loss and endangerment. To be on firm scientific ground, the new legislation should require habitat protection, including the areas, conditions and resources necessary for the survival, reproduction and recovery of a species. For the recovery of many species, this will entail protecting not only habitat that is currently occupied, but also that which can be potentially occupied.”
· Dr. Scott Petrie, Executive Director of Long Point Waterfowl writes:
The Great Lakes provide internationally important wintering and staging habitat for dozens of species of waterfowl and there has been insufficient study of the movement patterns and habitat use of these species. As waterfowl are known to avoid IWTs, it is imperative that appropriate data is collected, analyzed and interpreted before turbines are placed in the Great Lakes.
· Dr. Barrie Gilbert (Kingston Field Naturalists) comments that airspace is essential passage for survival of migrating birds. It is easy to extrapolate from his study of Main Duck Island and the possible impacts for that area, that airspace over the Lakes IS migration habitat, used twice each year by “millions of birds, including waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds.”
Also: indications are that birds migrating WILL be at risk. There are tens or hundreds of millions of birds that move through areas around the Lakes each year, with moderating flows of traffic according to feeding and breeding possibilities and weather. It is obvious that birds/bats will be at risk from any proposed wind turbine projects.
He concludes that: Further studies are needed.
The sins of omission: actual mortalities vs “designated” search areas
· Wildlife specialist and wind power analyst, Jim Weigand:
When developers use the comments of Dr. Kerlinger as valid, that the wildlife impacts from the Cleveland project will be not significant, we must strongly consider the now well-known study of bird mortality experts, such as Jim Wiegand, who points out that the public might not grasp an essential fact: studies are “rigged” to not find carcasses. And they are conducted entirely by the wind industry itself.
In order to comprehend the vastness of the deception, it is worth quoting Mr. Wiegand at length:
The wind industry only uses carcasses found in their “designated” search areas to estimate mortality. I happen to have evidence that shows over 90% of bird and bats smashed by turbine blades fall past the outer reach of turbine blade tips. In other word if a turbine blade is 50 meters then over 90% of the carcasses will be found beyond 50 meters from towers. Carcasses are primarily not looked beyond the blade tips and the industry pretends they do not even exist.
The truth is that the construction of six or up to nine 3MW Siemens wind turbines in Lake Erie should not even be considered until reliable information is obtained and the full impacts are disclosed to the public.
Problems with the environmental support documents provided by LEEDCo (analysis by Jim Wiegand):
1. All the current studies for this project need to be put in the dumpster and new studies be conducted with real science by ethical experts. For anyone that is interested, the radar studies conducted on Lake Erie by Tera Tech were created with very selective data. First they avoided a large portion of the bird migration period.
2. “The MERLIN Avian Radar System operated offshore at the Crib (see Figure 1.1) during the 2010 sampling period, from May 1 to May 26, 2010, and again from August 16 to October 12, 2010.”
3. The study is riddled with exclusionary factors which make the study useless. “No State, federally listed rare, threatened species, or endangered species were observed ……….”during boat Surveys”.
4. “Individual radar echo is referred to a biological target and when counted together they represent an index of bird/bat activity or exposure level for any given period of time period, and not necessarily represent a count of individuals. In other words a group of 10,000 birds could have flown by and it would be a biological target calculated into an index of activity or exposure.
5. “Incidental observations of birds in the vicinity of the study area were not included in the results of the standardized surveys.”
The word “incidental” is trump card exclusion for wind industry studies. For example, at Altamont Pass dozens of golden eagles killed by turbines are excluded from mortality estimates because they have been placed in the incidental category. How do these dead eagles get placed in the incidental category? Wind personnel go around and pick them up ahead of the people doing standardized surveys.
Additionally, adds Mr. Wiegand,
The industry has many other tricks that are used to hide or not report mortality. Some studies I have looked have likely concealed tens of thousands of fatalities. I recently looked over a 7 month study that I believe concealed over 25,000 bat fatalities and over 5000 bird fatalities. This was just 28 2.5 MW turbines and searches for carcasses amounted to about 56% of a 50 meter distance from towers. These turbines had blades 50 meters in length. These turbines are also located in the known habitat of the endangered Indiana bat. How many of the unreported 25,000 bats were of this species? We will never know.
So when any paid wind industry expert or spokesmen says that “significant” impacts are “highly unlikely” remember they are relying on data taken from unscientific wind industry studies designed to not find carcasses. In the case for offshore wind farms, instead of passing judgment when so little is actually known they should be demanding reliable data.
While there is little known about the mortality impacts from offshore wind farms I will point out some obvious impacts that are known.
(1) Land based wind turbines are prolific killers of birds and bats.
(2) The mortality footprint of every wind turbine extends several thousand miles because of the migration patterns of birds and bats.
(3) Any footings or exposed edges on the bases of off shore turbines towers will create perching opportunities and attract birds.
(4) Wind turbine footings will attract fish and these fish will attract fish eating bird species.
(5) Fog and mist collect over bodies of water and this will reduce visibility for birds making blade collisions more likely. (6) Bad weather conditions can force birds to fly at considerably lower altitudes and coupled with bad visibility, potential perching opportunities, and the attraction or disorientation from lights will increase turbine blade collisions. (7) If these turbines actually do act as icebreakers then the open water around the turbines will attract concentrations of waterfowl leading to higher mortality. (8) At a wind farm shortly after being constructed off the coast of Spain (Port of Bilbao) workers found two peregrine falcons cut in half.”
Mr. Wiegand’s research and knowledge of wind turbine mortality is essential to mitigate the possible “confusion” or misrepresentation created by the LEEDCo proposal and its so-called environmental assurances.
Tourism and Birding
Ohio in particular is known for its bird abundance and tourism, local and out of state.
Ohio Sea Grant Research recently reported that “bird watching along Ohio’s Lake Erie coast contributes more than $26 million and 283 jobs to northern Ohio’s economy,” (Dr. Philip Xie, Director of Bowling Green State University’s College of Education and Human Development).
State wide, there are nearly 2.4 million birders, and this accounts for a large section of Ohio’s $39 billion in tourist dollars.
“After surveying more than 1,100 birders at six of northern Ohio’s most popular birding sites (Oak Openings Preserve, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve, Old Woman Creek, Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve, and Conneaut Harbor), Xie found that most bird watchers who visit sites along the Lake Erie coast live in Ohio, but many birders also travel from neighboring states. Birders’ spending supports salaries, local products, and taxes; when local people receive that money, they turn around and spend it again. This turnover of money has a multiplying effect for the entire region, generating $1.48 for every dollar that birders spend in northern Ohio.”
Point Pelee National Park (Leamington) receives and hosts many Lake Erie migrants.
“Two situations will cause the birds to descend. One is when the two fronts meet at ground level. The other is when a warm front in which migrating birds are flying overrides a cold front. The rising warm air becomes cooler with the increasing altitude until it is finally too cold for the birds and they descend.
If these nocturnal (night-time) migrants find themselves over Lake Erie near sunrise they must continue onwards or drown. After flying perhaps hundreds of kilometres in one night, it is this extra 30 to 40 kilometres across the lake that really demands their last strength. This explains why exhausted birds are sometimes found at the tip of the Point. A similar situation, but on a larger scale, occurs when migrants cross the 800 to 1000 kilometres of the Gulf of Mexico. If the weather is good they continue inland in one continuous flight without stopping, but with a north wind and rain they descend on the coast in great numbers, often in an exhausted state.”
The sheer volume and diversity of bird species (372 species) across Lake Erie can be understood here.
Other “bird numbers”: DID YOU KNOW?
|According to a 2011 survey published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, roughly one in five Americans—about 47 million people—are birdwatchers. They are huge revenue generators for the U.S. economy, spending over $40 billion on equipment and activities related to bird watching. Birding expenditures also created 666,000 jobs and $31 billion in employment income. About $6 billion in state tax revenue and $7 billion in federal tax revenue were derived from birding-related recreational spending.|
We ask that you deny any permit to LEEDCo for siting of 6-9 turbines in Lake Erie, and we solicit Senator Seitz, and Governor Kasich, as well as all legislators, and any other permitting agency, including the DOE, OHIO Power Siting Board, and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Buffalo) to reach the inevitable and informed conclusion that this project is not environmentally sound. Sadly, it is extremely easy to refute and challenge the environmental guidance this project is putting before you. It is disappointing that this project has progressed even thus far.
The developer (LEEDCo) is either without adequate information, or purposely attempting to mislead the granting authorities, the community, and all other stakeholders with obvious misrepresentations by biased parties who are being paid for same. We further request that LEEDCo immediately withdraw from this project in view of the obvious evidence of impending environmental damages.
Thanking you in advance, and respectfully requesting a reply at your earliest convenience, we remain,
Suzanne Albright, Founding Member, and Principal, Great Lakes Wind Truth [email protected]
Al Isselhard, Founding Member, and Principal, Great Lakes Wind Truth Great Lakes Concerned Citizens
Coalition On Article X
Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance (Wolcott, New York) [email protected]
Sherri Lange, Executive Director, Canada, Great Lakes Wind Truth; VP Canada, Save the Eagles International; Founding Director, Toronto Wind Action; CEO NA-PAW (North American Platform Against Wind Power, over 350 member groups) www.na-paw.org [email protected]
Captain Tom Marks
Tom Marks is a past president of the Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY, Inc., the largest Walleye club in North America. Marks is a past President of the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers Federation. Marks fills many other roles promoting and protecting the Great Lakes Fishery. He is the New York Director for the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, and a member on Buffalo’s Niagara Sport Advisory Commission. He is a graduate of the Sea Grant Great Lakes Leadership Institute. Marks is the only non-scientist member of the Lake Erie Botulism Task Force, a member of the Buffalo River Walleye Restoration Program, and is a member of the NYS Conservation Council, to mention just a few associations.
7004 Waring Circle, Derby, New York 14047 NY Director *Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council; Director, Great Lakes Wind Truth, US [email protected]
*The Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council represents thousands of boaters and fishermen throughout the Great Lakes to various government organizations. We are a bi-national organization. Rick Unger, Advisor, Past President
Lake Erie Charter Boat Association (LECBA)
Tom Wasilewski, Great Lakes Wind Truth, Coordinator of the Northwestern PA Eagle Conservation Association in Edinboro, PA; Long-time hawk, eagle, and other bird watcher in Conneaut, Ohio [email protected]
Jim Wiegand, Wildlife Biologist, Wind Industry Research Analyst [email protected]
Charlie Wright, Deputy Mayor, Leamington, Ontario, Canada; (Leamington, home to Point Pelee, site of tens if not hundreds of millions of migrating birds), Leamington, Ontario [email protected] [email protected]
|“I have never heard of anything so entirely crazy as putting wind turbines in Lake Erie. You have heard me say I would lay across a road in front of trucks bringing them to the Western Basin of Lake Erie. I am saying now that a blatant environmental catastrophe is about to happen. Do not allow the LEEDCo project to proceed. “Incubator!” That means birthing more? You have to be kidding. Not One.”Charlie Wright, Deputy Mayor, Leamington, Ontario|
Documents and references:
OTHER HAZARDS TO WIND TURBINES IN LAKE ERIE
· Boaters may be restricted, off limits areas: possible danger to boaters in high winds
· Disruption of noise, mechanical and infrasound (ILFN), physically damaging: there is no safe place for shoreline communities around Lake Erie due to the propagation of sound over water; reported and accepted health effects on land up to 32 km (France and AU)
· Shadow flicker disturbing to boaters
· Solvents used to clear the blades of bugs (which reduces efficiency up to 30%) will put toxins in the Lake
· Night time boaters would be at risk of collision
· Cable excavation poses even more hazards
· Turbines will affect radar communications
· Decommissioning will be invasive and expensive and likely not even done, leaving industrial eco junk in the Lake. Turbines usually require mechanical repairs within five years, and only last 10-15 years, not 20-25 as developers suggest
· Who will recover the highly toxic rare earth elements used in the magnets when the turbines are decommissioned?
· Where will the non-recyclable carbon fibre blades be hosted at the end of the life cycle? Who will pay the costs?
· Effects to marine and aquatic life from installation and electromagnetic fields
OTHER IMPORTANT SITES
Excerpts from the last link:
“There are….staggering environmental damages. From illegal bird deaths to radioactive waste, wind energy poses serious environmental risks that the wind lobby would prefer you never know about. This makes it easier for them when arguing for more subsidies, tax credits, mandates and government supports.”
“Another environmental trade-off concerns the materials necessary to construct wind turbines. Modern wind turbines depend on rare earth minerals mined primarily from China. Unfortunately, given federal regulations in the U.S. that restrict rare earth mineral development and China’s poor record of environmental stewardship, the process of extracting these minerals imposes wretched environmental and public health impacts on local communities. It’s a story Big Wind doesn’t want you to hear.”
“As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming.
‘It turned into a mountain that towered over us,’ says Mr Su. ‘Anything we planted just withered, and then our animals started to sicken and die.’
People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.
Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake’s radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found.
As the wind industry grows, these horrors will likely only get worse. Growth in the wind industry could raise demand for neodymium by as much as 700 percent over the next 25 years, while demand for dysprosium could increase by 2,600 percent, according to a recent MIT study. The more wind turbines pop up in America, the more people in China are likely to suffer due to China’s policies. Or as the Daily Mail put it, every turbine we erect contributes to “a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China.”