This article appears in the June issue of The American Spectator. To subscribe, click here.
“IN RECENT YEARS WIND POWER has become a national fad,” Howard Hayden writes in his new edition of The Solar Fraud: Why Solar Energy Won’t Run the World. (The energy from wind usually comes under the rubric of solar.) Wind power doesn’t pollute, doesn’t contribute to global warming, doesn’t quit, doesn’t cost, doesn’t run out, and so on. In short, it’s virtuous.
So I was interested to see that the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group in San Francisco, recently sued a number of wind power companies in California. If you have ever flown to San Francisco, you may have seen the target of the lawsuit. In the East Bay, south of Oakland, you will see rows of wind turbines perched on bare, usually brown hills. The area is known as Altamont Pass.p>The first paragraph of the lawsuit is amazing: br> /p>
This is a complaint to recover restitution from defendants for their past wanton killing of many thousands of protected birds, including thousands of raptors such as Golden Eagles, Red-Tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, falcons and owls. These killings are in flagrant violation of the criminal prohibitions of numerous provisions of the California Fish and Game code, the federal Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Defendants have killed these magnificent raptors and other birds as a regular and continuing part of the process of generating electricity using thousands of small, obsolete wind turbine generators owned and/or operated by the defendants or entities they control at Altamont Pass in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, California.br> Cited in the suit are private corporations with names like Windworks Inc., Altamont Winds, Pacific Winds, and so on. Over 5,000 wind turbines are operating in the Altamont Pass, and, according to the complaint, “they have killed tens of thousands of birds, including between 17,000 and 26,000 raptors — more than a thousand Golden Eagles, thousands of hawks, and thousands of other raptors.”
More than a thousand Golden Eagles! Thousands of hawks! Remember what happened in Manhattan when that cruel co-op removed the nest of just one hawk, Pale Male? And these magnificent birds in California are being killed in the thousands, by private, profit-seeking corporations who take the electricity and sell it to public utilities! Why aren’t the guilty parties in San Quentin already?
The suit includes the following warning: “The thousands of eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and other birds killed by defendants are owned in common by the citizens of California. Defendants have never been granted any permit, license or other authorization to kill these birds by any state or federal agency, nor do state or federal law provide for the possibility of such a permit.”
SO HERE WE HAVE A SALVO FIRED in a little noted “green” civil war — a conflict between groups whom one imagined were allies: environmentalists and the lovers of “renewable” sources of energy. Normally counted as renewable are solar, wind, “biomass” (firewood, for you and me), and hydropower. (Well, we already knew the enviros hate hydroelectricity, which involves damming rivers, flooding scenic areas, and obstructing the passage of salmon.)
Howard Hayden puts out a newsletter called the Energy Advocate, and he has been predicting for decades that environmentalists will prove to be the fiercest opponents of renewable energy. The lawsuit is a straw in that wind.p>No one seems quite sure why these birds fly into the wind turbines, incidentally. We do know that eagles and other raptors have terrific eyesight. Wouldn’t last long if they didn’t. Hayden says that the seemingly slow rotation rate of the turbine blades is deceptive. br> /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online