That is the conservative estimate and the reason eludes people. So, enter the consultants to tap into fear, uncertainty, and doubt, their favorite formula which many of us call FUD. Years ago Susan and I were traveling with a group of energy consultants doing regional daylong seminars on energy efficiency and one of them told me about WASTE … the Welfare Act for Scientists, Technologists, and Engineers. This is what he called the endless studies conducted by the DOE after the second energy embargo.
Don’t get me wrong. I do believe we need to study why birds are being killed by these large solar arrays. As you read this article you will hear several very credible theories.
However, my Kepner and Tregoe training kicks in here and wants to know if we have any idea how birds see and comprehend what they think they see. Our house is constantly being attacked by male cardinals who see their reflection in our windows and try to scare off the intruder … many of these dumb birds kill themselves in their efforts. Perhaps that is eventually improving the gene pool for future generations, but I hate to see them kill themselves this way.
Our office is right next to a large pond which freezes over most winters. It is hilarious to watch the geese attempt to land on it when it does because the black ice looks so much like open water. Even the Keystone Cops would have thought this was funny. You would think they would watch the first one or two make the landing attempt before all following along, but they don’t. Every one of them skids and skates, rolling across the ice like bowling pins scattering.
Recent research has suggested that wind turbine blades should be black rather than white so birds can see them better. Once again, are we sure we know what they are seeing? I don’t think so … with their viewing angle they don’t see the blades coming from their side at speeds of 120-180 mph as they get close to them. The older, smaller wind turbines did not have these speeds and can be painted black to make them more visible.
Once again, where is the critical thinking? Oh, I forgot … the key to consulting is to find FUD and capitalize on it. That is pretty easy to do these days. FUD is everywhere.