Earlier this month I participated in climate interview in which I mentioned peer-reviewed research finding that wind turbines kill more than 1 million birds and bats each year in the United States.

The host of the program did not seem to care much, dismissively asserting that buildings kill more birds than that. This is a common claim made by climate extremists when defending the massive animal death toll of wind turbines. It also reveals an utter lack of concern about animal deaths and other real environmental devastation caused by wind turbines. This begs the question, are climate extremists truly concerned about the environment or is their primary motivation simply to shut down conventional energy?

Wind turbines are explicitly permitted to kill without penalty. Bald eagles and other iconic, protected American birds are killed in staggering numbers. While environmental activists cry outrage every time a few birds accidentally die as a result of conventional energy production. They don’t care in the least about the million-plus birds and bats killed every year by wind and solar power. Meanwhile, bird and bat numbers are in precipitous decline, due in no small part to increasing numbers of wind turbines.

With climate extremists demanding more and more turbines every year, it seems highly unlikely that bird and bat populations will ever recover to anything approaching their prior, normal levels.

Healthy bird and bat populations are crucial to the entire ecosystem. We have a moral obligation to not callously and deliberately kill them by the millions. Even if birds flying into buildings is a significant cause of bird deaths, that doesn’t mean we should unnecessarily kill millions more by other means. And it shouldn’t give the wind power industry a free pass to kill as many birds and bats as they please.


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  • James Taylor

    James M. Taylor is an American lawyer, senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute and a CFACT contributor. James Taylor is a keen analyst of science and public policy and a competition level poker player.