To the Editor:
In response to the person with concerns about wind turbines and bird kills: I share your concern. 250,000 dead birds per year in the US is a significant amount of birds and is very sad.
If it makes you feel any better, I did some research that might help put that number into perspective. I have noticed a lot of dead birds on my bike rides around St. Lawrence county, so I looked at how many birds are killed each year by collisions with cars in the US: 350 million.
I also researched how many are killed by cats, both feral and pet, and that number is astonishing: 1.4 to as many as 3.7 billion. That’s 370,000,000,000 birds. Even the Audobon Society, from which the 250K number is sourced, is in favor of wind turbines; they point out that protections are added every year, such as shutting down the turbines during migrations, changing the shape of the towers, luring birds closer to the ground, etc., and that as time goes by, these and other strategies are helping to lower the number of kills per turbine.
The loss of 250,000 birds per year, while upsetting, is not a good reason to stop the removal of thousands of tons of pollutants from the atmosphere, which also constitute a threat to birds (and humans).
As for the argument that the wind turbines will not be owned locally, and that the profits for our wind energy will go somewhere else, I think it is important to remember that we all benefit from reduced pollution levels.
I’m glad for our cartwheeling giants and hope to see many, many more. Each one represents to me a future that will be cleaner and safer for everyone, and although it would be nice if they were locally owned, I still think they are pretty great.
Also, please put a bell on your cat if you have one. 3.7 billion birds per year is astonishing.