Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Politics: Birds and Wind Energy

Once again partisan politics rears it's ugly head in Australia. We have a perculiar position right now of a Liberal fedaral government with all (I think) states being Labor. The current issue stems from the Victorian government's desire for a wind farm in Bald Hill, South Gippsland.

Wind farms appear to be the next battleground between the Bracks Government and Canberra, after the federal Environment Minister promised to use his power to stand up for aggrieved rural communities and protect birds from turbines.

It seems the local community are up in arms about it's location and have resorted to the claim of "what about the birds?" to see that it is not built in their back yard.

The reality of bird deaths may be real, but the extent of these deaths, compared to the benefits to the community at large, is negligible. Birds? even the (British) Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have stated that wind farms are a good idea, and that the deaths of birds (which they acknowledge does happen on occasion) is negligible compared to the deaths of birds from other sources.

Millions of birds are eaten by domestic cats each, year, more fly in to houses (windows) or cars to their deaths. Surely a slowly spinning turbine (these things aren't exactly propellers) can easily be avoided by a bird on route.

I think that the federal government should be doing everything it can to reduce our Coal burning requirements, and should forget about politics for the sake of the country. Is it that difficult?

After all, what is more important? Birds in the sky, or clean air in which to breath (for all of us, including the birds!)

Read the article here

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