12 July 2010

Bird-killing wind turbine

A school in Dorset has terminated a wind turbine which was terminating local birds:
Southwell Primary on Portland saw 14 birds killed in six months after it was installed 18 months ago.

Head teacher Stuart McLeod said he has been coming to school early to clear up the dead birds to minimise the distress to pupils...

The turbine was installed with a grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

It was providing 6kW - about 40% of the school's electricity...


  1. Just about any form of energy production is going to have a negative impact on nature and the environment. How many animals are killed by strip mining? By moving the coal from the mine to the power plant? How many animals are killed by oil/natural gas extraction (think Gulf of Mexico).

    The only real difference here is that those who use the energy actually witness the damage first-hand. And that's a bad thing?

  2. Well I don't think our solar panels have killed anything yet.

  3. Actually...


  4. I don't see why acoustic whistles can't be attached to the tips of the blades to frighten birds and bats away.


  5. 14 deaths in 6 months? I think the neighborhood cats have done more than that in less time, and they don't produce enough electricity to power nearly half a school.

    Don't get me wrong-- we should try to minimize the deaths as much as possible, but I hardly think 2 birds a month is enough to stop use of the turbine.

  6. I'm considering a career in wind turbine maintenance. What Anon said about whistles is on the right track, but we really have to focus ourselves on the positive aspects. There might be wind leaks and wind spills, but only bugs will suffer, and briefly at that. Moar wind power!

  7. Great. Stop the wind turbine and switch back to coal, that's a lot less harmful to birds and the environment.

    Why not put a wire cage around the turbine, like on a household fan?

  8. "Why not put a wire cage around the turbine, like on a household fan?" Quote inti.

    That sounds reasonable to me.

  9. Here's a link to the relevant page on the school's web site: http://www.southwell.dorset.sch.uk/recent_news.html

    For reasons that I can't entirely explain, this story really irritates me. This is a primary school: the sites says for children aged 4-11. I am not one who usually gets vitriolic, especially when it seems people are erring on the side of protecting kids.

    But, anthropogenic global warming or not, the world needs to move more toward renewable energy sources like these. And at this age, attitudes are formed. What does it say that we (as a society) are more concerned about a few bird deaths than the real issues from other sources of power?

    I wonder, how many birds/squirrels/other critters are killed each month by the autos driven by the families of the "nearly 200 pupils". Is this an attempt to protect the pupils from realities of life that they are already being exposed to elsewhere?

  10. Darwin insists that evolution by natural selection improves the species. In this case we're gonna swat only the dumb birds leaving an improved gene pool for future generations which is probably more than can be said for the school. Kids need to be taught that if you're gonna make energy then the sacrifice of a few of God's creatures is not an altogether terrible price to pay especially when it means that you're gonna be able to charge your iPhones and video games. We should look to BP for guidance. Or not!


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