OpEd

Story published: 02-25-2014 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

New energy may not be all that ‘green’


While we are experiencing one of the coldest winters on record and global temperatures have not changed for over a decade, we still “need to do something” about climate change. The solution is du jour “green energy.” However, these “solutions” are damaging critical ecological systems.  

The Endangered Species Act was designed to protect living things; bald eagles,  California condors, etc.  But that was then.  

This is now. Huge windmill farms totaling over 40,000 windmills reaching the height of a 30-story building and with blades as long as the wingspan of a airliner have become “bird blenders,” indiscriminately killing bald eagles, cranes, and others, including endangered species.  

Government has taken action, giving wind energy companies permission to kill or injure bald eagles for up to 30 years without penalty and with few restrictions.  

Likewise, CBS News reported 600,000 bats were killed in 2012. Since bats eat approximately 1,000 insects each day, this is altering our ecosystem in favor of insects, which leads to crop failures, and more spraying. None are good for the environment.

Similarly, solar farms require up to 3,500 acres of formerly “delicate tundra.” This destroys the ecosystem of the land on which they are built, turning it sterile, baron, and useless. Birds die as they dive towards solar panels, possibly mistaking them for water sources.  

A new solar plant uses 350,000 garage door sized mirrors, reflecting temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees into the atmosphere to heat boilers sitting on towers.

These have become “bird broilers,” resulting in numerous dead birds with singed wings being found around the site.

One has to ask, “Isn’t this also heating the atmosphere, causing more global warming?”  

Ethanol lets us run our cars on grass and corn. However, it has caused more fertilizing and spraying, increased food costs, and some engine problems with reduced MPG. Dead zones in the Gulf, resulting from fertilizer runoff from over-fertilized fields in Mexico growing ethanol crops, are destroying this ecosystem.  The USDA noted that ethanol “cannot be justified on economic grounds” and “had no long-term prospect for survival without massive new government assistance.” A recent Swiss study found “ethanol from corn or sugarcane . . . do more environmental damage overall than do fossil fuels.”

A few decades ago, killing bald eagles, protected birds, or 600,000 of any animal in a year was unacceptable.

But green energy is the new trump card. Collateral damage matters little. Climate change is more destructive than WMDs, according to our Secretary of State.  

These birds and bats regulate insects, varmints, etc. and pollinate plants. I submit the government’s green energy solutions are a WMD for birds, bats, and our overall ecological balance of our country’s resources.    

No energy production process is pristine, without risk. None operate without the possibility of accidental events impacting the surrounding environment. Each of these are resolved through clean-up efforts and process or equipment improvements.  

But the introduction of part-time green energy systems which, as part of their normal day-to-day operations, kill vital elements of our ecosystem should be re-evaluated and restricted until a solution is found.

Let’s protect all of our environment.