The CEO of EXXON said the following, as dead and dying oil-covered birds littered the Alaskan coast:
We would like to have no bird deaths and no bird injuries. But, once again, we have to balance all the needs of society. All the people who want to flip their switch and have electricity in their homes.
Except he didn’t, and neither did anyone else from the world of Big Oil. Those words were stated by Lorelei Oviatt, the “planning commissioner” of Kern County, California, where they are looking to greatly expand their reliance on wind farms, despite the already-heavy toll being exacted on endangered Golden Eagles and other birds of prey and migratory birds (to say nothing of all the less glamorous little birdies who must get whacked to death by the spinning turbine blades). Yet, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which can seek heavy fines and even jail time for the killing of endangered species, continues to give Green Eco-Friendly Power a complete pass.
Certainly, there is always going to be some trade-off between our need for energy and the impact that our energy-producing industries are going to have on the environment. But distorting the playing-field by giving free rein to wind farms or other fashionable “green” energy industries will not in the end help anyone make the best energy decisions.
The modern environmentalist movement was sparked to a considerable extent by the book “Silent Spring,” by Rachel Carson, which painted a bleak picture of the impact of pesticides on the environment, especially on birds, and especially DDT. Hence the title, suggesting a time when spring could arrive and no birds would be singing. The book was published in 1962. It is rather ironic that wind power, which has been encouraged, fostered and subsidized based on environmental concerns, is now emerging as a real threat to our feathered friends.