Wind Energy Gets Away With Murder

A paper published in the Journal of Raptor Research by Fish and Wildlife researchers really hit a nerve when it reported that wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years. Because companies report eagle deaths voluntarily, the scientists said their figure is greatly underestimated.

“It is not an isolated event that is restricted to one place…it is pretty widespread,” said Brian Millsap, the national raptor coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and one of the study’s authors.

Rarely discussed is the impact of wind farms on habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, and the large area of roads serving the farms (Wildlife Society). The physical footprint of human systems is one of the fundamental measures of environmental harm. We use it to assess the impact of roads, pipelines, airports and shopping centers. While we focus on the low carbon footprint of wind energy, we need to appreciate its enormous physical footprint.

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