Birds, noise vs. wind power

Letters to the Portland Phoenix editors, January 4, 2013
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  December 31, 2012

I was very disappointed that the Phoenix chose to endorse subsidizing the wind power industry (see "What You Missed," December 21, 2012). While I agree that the fossil fuel industry is environmentally destructive, using wind is little or no improvement, for a few main reasons — and I owe Robert Bryce credit for his extensive research and writing on the issue. First, those turbines slaughter huge numbers of birds, with an annual toll in the US estimated at 440,000 (according to the federal Fish and Wildlife Service). And, even if you don't care about birds, you may care about the ill human health effects of turbine noise, which research on the Mars Hill and Vinalhaven sites (published in the journal Noise and Health) has established. Finally, even if you don't care about birds or people who live near wind farms, you still may not want public funds wasted on such an inefficient means of power generation.


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