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A Bridge too Far






PART 2 of 2

by Steven Neill

March 1, 2015

Ivanpah officials dispute the source of the so-called streamers, saying at least some of the puffs of smoke mark insects and bits of airborne trash being ignited by the solar rays. But Wildlife officials who witnessed the phenomena were quick to point out that many of the clouds of smoke were too big to come from anything but a bird, and they add that they saw "birds entering the solar flux[32] and igniting, consequently become a streamer."

Garry George of the Audubon Society states; “Given the apparent scale of bird deaths at Ivanpah, authorities should thoroughly track bird kills there for a year before granting any more permits for that kind of solar technology.”

The toll on birds has been surprising, said Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission. "We didn't see a lot of impact" on birds at the first, smaller power towers in the U.S. and Europe, Weisenmiller said.

The commission is now considering the application from Oakland-based BrightSource to build a mirror field and a 75-story power tower that would reach above the sand dunes and creek washes between Joshua Tree National Park and the California-Arizona border.

The proposed plant is on a flight path for birds between the Colorado River and California's largest lake, the Salton Sea — an area, experts say, is richer in avian life than the Ivanpah plant, with protected golden eagles and peregrine falcons and more than 100 other species of birds recorded there.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials warned California this month that the power-tower style of solar technology holds "the highest lethality potential" of the many solar projects burgeoning in the deserts of California. The proposed new tower would be almost four times as dangerous to birds as the Ivanpah plant. The agency was expected to decide on the proposal this autumn.

While biologists say there is no known feasible way to curb the number of birds killed, the companies behind the projects say they are hoping to find one — studying whether lights, sounds or some other technology would scare them away, said Joseph Desmond, senior vice president at BrightSource Energy. BrightSource also is offering $1.8 million to programs that spay and neuter domestic cats in compensation for anticipated bird deaths at Palen, Desmond said. Opponents say that would do nothing to help the desert birds at the proposed site.

The discovery of the corpse of a federally protected and ultra-endangered Yuma clapper rail[33] at one of the solar energy plants has created a maelstrom for the solar industry. With fewer than 1,000[34] Yuma’s left in the world, several groups have banded together to put a stop to at least a half dozen additional solar plants planned in California and Arizona. Conservationists say they’re also worried about yellow-billed cuckoos,[35] which might be added to the federal government’s list of threatened species, and endangered southwestern willow flycatchers,[36] though none of those birds have been found dead at any of the solar sites. Monarch butterflies are another offering on the altar of green energy as they often ignite[37] in the highly concentrated sunbeams.

The endangered desert tortoises[38] native to that area have also become casualties[39] to this development as animals have been crushed under vehicle tires, army ants attacked the hatchlings in a makeshift nursery and one small tortoise was carried off to an eagle nest, its embedded microchip pinging faintly as it receded.

Another victim of the green energy monster is the extremely rare desert kit Fox. In an effort to drive away the resident foxes on another previously undisturbed site a few miles away from Ivanpah, company employees used coyote urine[40] to frighten the foxes into leaving. This had the affect of introducing canine distemper into a species that had never had it before with extremely lethal results.

Eight of the cat sized foxes have died[41] since State biologists diagnosed the disease in 10/12 at the at the $1-billion Genesis[42] Solar Energy Project site, about 25 miles west of Blythe. Since then, distemper has been detected in living kit foxes and two dead ones up to 11 miles south of Genesis, said Deana Clifford, wildlife veterinarian for the California Department of Fish and Game. Although 11 miles isn't far in the Mojave Desert, spread of the disease even a few miles shows that efforts to stop it failed and it is now free to spread among the region's large population of kit foxes causing biologists to almost give up hope of containing the deadly virus.

"I am hopeful that a certain number of kit foxes will survive and develop a resistance," Clifford said. "We are trying to figure out if the disease will calm down or trigger a new cycle among the next vulnerable group of animals: newborn pups that will wean in May or June." In a worst-case scenario, kit foxes could suffer an epidemic similar to one that nearly wiped out the island fox population on Santa Catalina Island in 1999. Who needs Kit Foxes[43] anyway as long as we get green energy?

Meanwhile, green energy promoters call wind power as benign as a summer breeze. In fact, wind farms have become avian killing fields. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports[44] that “wind turbines may kill a half a million birds a year.” The urgent political quest for clean energy brings with it environmental harm including bird and bat deaths from solar and wind power that federal regulators seem to ignore.

USF&WS explains also that “eagles appear to be particularly susceptible. Large numbers of golden eagles have been killed by wind turbines in the western states,” as have smaller numbers of bald eagles. Bob Johns,[45] director of public relations at the American Bird Conservancy, says, “The numbers don’t lie — and those numbers say that the wind- and the solar-energy industries have not been held to the same standards that other industries have.”

Johns noted that the Altamont Energy wind farms in California, for example, kill between 70 and 80 golden eagles a year — and have never been prosecuted. He adds that he’s not aware [46] of any prosecutions against solar companies.

Team Obama, almost never prosecutes[47] wind companies for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Even worse, Obama is granting wind-farm operators 30-year federal [48] eagle-killing permits, to continue their mayhem — all in the name of “clean” energy.

“The development and expansion of wind energy facilities is a key threat to bat populations in North America,” Mark Hayes, Ph.D[49]

Wind farms also blow away another 600,000[50] bats annually, primarily through lung hemorrhaging.[51] While many people may be scared of these “flying vampires,” these little flying mammals value to humans is astonishing. In 2011, Gary McCracken, head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, analyzed the economic impact of the loss of bats in North America in agriculture and found it to be around $22.9 billion a year. According to the researchers, a single colony of 150 big brown bats[52] in Indiana eats nearly 1.3 million insects a year -- insects that could potentially be damaging to crops.[53] Bats also prey upon mosquitoes and one study showed a Florida colony of 30,000 southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius) bats eats 50 tons of insects annually, including more than 15 tons of mosquitoes which are the most effective host for numerous diseases including malaria,[54] yellow fever and dog heartworm. Bats are also incredibly important pollinators[55] with over 500 species of plants requiring bats to pollinate them including the world’s most important food: chocolate.

But between the wholesale slaughter of bats by wind mills and Pseudogymnoascus destructans, more commonly called white-nose syndrome,[56] bats are a vanishing animal in the world today which will be devastating for food production and even worse for the prevention of spreading diseases. While white-nose syndrome is the main culprit for the decline in bat population, windmills are a close second and the results of this rush for green energy may be the final nail in their coffin.

Long before windmills are installed — which itself consumes open fields — they abuse the Earth.

To evaluate any energy technology, “we must remember that it’s a process, starting with mining the materials necessary for the machines,” Alex Epstein notes in his Penguin book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.[57] Epstein observes that manufacturing wind turbines requires “hazardous substances like hydrofluoric acid in order to get usable rare earth elements.”

The Daily Mail’s Simon Parry toured Baotou, China,[58] a source of neodymium, the main ingredient in wind turbines’ electromagnets. He discovered[59] “a five-mile wide ‘tailing’ lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill, and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy.”

Parry added:

“This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth[60] after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.

The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs.

For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr. Yan’s village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day.”

“Withholding the information is in the public’s interest, because that will ensure “open communication” between such companies and the government.” PacifiCorp[61] -lawsuit to stop the release of eagle mortalities at their wind mill farms

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Environmentalists and green energy zealots need to stop hallucinating about “sustainable” power sources that do not damage air, water, habitat, and wildlife. “Clean energy” hurts nature and is on pace to put many animals on the extinct list, From introducing canine distemper in kit foxes to the massive killing of raptors,[62] “green energy” could not be more dangerous to animals. Species extinction is a serious issue: around the world we’re losing up to 40 a day. Yet environmentalists are urging us to adopt technologies that are hastening this process.

On top of the crops bats[63] pollinate, with the massive killing of bats worldwide, it is creating a scenario in which many deadly diseases will flourish as mosquitos multiply due to the dwindling bat population. We are slowly bringing about an Aral Sea event on a global scale and one has to wonder what we will do when they are gone?

Ever occur to you why some of us can be this much concerned with animals suffering? Because government is not. Why not? Animals don't vote. Paul Harvey[64] For part one click below.

Click here for part -----> 1, 2,


1- UK Ecologist: 'Wind Farms Driving Birds, Bats to Extinction'
2- The Disappearing Sea
3- The Aral Sea
4- The Virgin Lands Program
5- The Aral Sea
6- What the Disappearing Aral Sea Tells Us about the Value of Water
7- Aral Sea's Eastern Basin Is Dry for First Time in 600 Years
8- The Aral Sea Catastrophe Timeline
9- And it's good night from the Aral Sea
10- The Aral Sea Crisis
11- Aral Sea-Videos
12- The Aral Sea
13- Aral Sea “One of the Planet’s Worst Environmental Disasters”
14- The Aral Sea environmental health crisis
15- The Aral Sea Disaster
16- The Disappearance of the Aral Sea
17- Environmental Quotes
18- Aral Sea
19- Wind Power Cuts CO2 Emissions On Close To 1:1 Basis
20- Analysis: Solar & wind power costs are huge compared to natural gas fired generation
21- California solar projects plan undergoing major overhaul
22- Ivanpah
23- Ivanpah Project Facts
24- Where Tortoises and Solar Power Don't Mix
25- Biological Assessment for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System
26- Solar Power in the Desert
27- Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air
28- New Solar Power Plants are Incinerating Birds
29- Does the Ivanpah solar facility toast 642 or 28,000 birds a year?
30- How birds are being scorched to death MID-AIR in the quest for clean energy
31- California weighing bird deaths from concentrated solar plants
32- Avian Mortality at Ivanpah Solar Plant
33- Yuma Clapper Rail
34- Solar Farm Threaten Birds
35- Yellow Billed Cuckoo
36- Southwestern Willow Flycatchers
37- The Environmental Movement Becomes a Bird-Killing Machine
38- Saving desert tortoises is a costly hurdle for solar projects
39- Ivanpah Solar Power is Incinerating Birds
40- Kit Fox Distemper Outbreak: How did the Deadly Disease Reach the Desert?
41- Canine distemper in kit foxes spreads in Mojave Desert
42- Problems Cast Shadow of Doubt on Solar Projects
43- Petition Filed to Protect Desert Kit Fox Under California Endangered Species Act
44-Wildlife Concerns Associated with Wind Energy Development
45- Bye, Bye Birdie
46- Republican: EPA 'rewards its friends and punishes its opponents'
47- First wind power generation company prosecuted for killing birds
48- Obama Looks the Other Way When Wind & Solar Power Kill Birds & Bats
49- Wind turbines kill 600,000 bats a year in the US
50- Study shows wind turbines killed 600,000 bats last year
51- Why wind turbines endanger bats
52- Economic importance of bats in the 'billions a year' range
53- Ecological and Economic Importance of Bats (Order Chiroptera)
54- Mosquito-Borne Diseases
55- Why Bats Matter
56- Disease that killed millions of insect-eating bats has now hit Wisconsin
57- The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
58- Rare-earth mining in China comes at a heavy cost for local villages
59- In China, the true cost of Britain's clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale
60- Big Wind’s Dirty Little Secret: Toxic Lakes and Radioactive Waste
61- Dead Eagle Data: Buffet/Berkshire/PacifiCorp Don’t Want You to Know
62- Wind Farms vs. Wildlife
63- Study shows wind turbines killed 600,000 bats last year
64- Animal Rights Quotes

© 2014 - Steven Neill - All Rights Reserve

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Realizing several years ago that the United States is heading straight off a cliff, Steve Neill became active in the local Republican Party and is a current member of the City of Spokane Valley Planning Commission. He was selected to be on the 2008 and 2012 Republican Party Platform, became the Chair of the 2010 Platform Committee and a State Platform Delegate in the same year.

He has had numerous letters to the editors, has been published in local news letters and compendiums. He has been a speaker at workshops, organizational meetings, and on radio, programs giving lectures on effective forms of communications.





When did the wholesale slaughter of birds and bats become acceptable to those sworn to save the earth? There is mounting evidence that many of these birds and bats are in danger of becoming extinct. Yet the western governments and the green energy zealots continue to ignore the body count and push for more wind mills and solar farms.