Within the environmental lobby in the U.S. there is disagreement as to whether newer technologies are inadvertently harming certain species or ecosystems.

The Green Party in the U.S. as well as, the Green Parties in Europe do mostly agree that solar and wind power are among the cleanest sources of electricity available.  Ornithology groups have been warning that birds do end up getting killed when they fly too close to concentrated solar arrays as well as when they fly into wind turbines.  While this is true, in this article, I will discuss how solar and wind power are still far more beneficial to the preservation of ecosystems than most other options.  

Wind Turbines And Concentrated Solar Power Stations

Within the environmental lobby in the U.S. as well as in Europe there is disagreement as to whether some of these newer technologies are also inadvertently harming certain species or ecosystems.  For example, each year, a number of birds die when they fly too close to concentrated solar power stations. The air between heliostat reflectors and solar power towers becomes very hot, and birds end up getting killed when they fly too close to concentrated solar power stations.  A number of birds also end up dying each year from colliding with the blades in wind turbines

As I was researching this article, I was only able to find information about birds which end up getting killed as a result of colliding with wind turbines or from flying into concentrated solar arrays, but I suspect that if birds are getting killed, it is probably safe to assume that some bats and insects, possibly including rare species of butterflies end up getting killed each year too.

Balanced Ecosystems

Yes, we need to do everything possible to preserve all species of birds, bats and insects.  These are all parts of balanced ecosystems, and a number of species have become extinct throughout the world due to a combination of factors including overhunting, industrial pollution and habitat loss.

However, we also need to balance the needs of the human species, and our population is expected to continue to grow throughout the 21st, the 22nd and the 23rd centuries. Photovoltaic technologies and wind turbines are among the cleanest known sources of electricity in the world today, and these technologies will likely continue to be the least destructive to all ecosystems throughout the world. 

As long as people have been operating trains, automobiles, trucks, buses and airplanes, we’ve been inadvertently colliding with animals.  It is inevitable that there will be a handful of deaths of some birds, bats, butterflies, etc. as more and more wind farms and concentrated solar power stations are built throughout the world, but these are doing far more to preserve balanced ecosystems than any other known technologies.

No ornithology groups have objected to constructing more wind farms and concentrated solar power stations, and the concerns about the impact on species of birds (or bats, bees, butterflies, mantis, etc.) are legitimate.  

We need to remember that yes, as more wind farms and concentrated solar power stations are likely to be built in the future, we will likely see an inevitable rise in accidental deaths of birds and other winged species at power stations.  

If legislation is passed which would require the companies who operate wind farms and concentrated solar power stations to install auditory scarers, that would likely reduce the numbers of deaths of birds at power stations, but we’ll still see some inevitable deaths of birds at power stations- just as birds sometimes get entangled in overhead power lines.  Although there will be inevitable deaths of some birds, we’ll also likely see a number of species recovering because wind farms and concentrated solar power stations cause almost no damage at all to air and water, whereas fossil fuels have been contributing to the deterioration of air and water quality for more than a century now. 

I’m opting not to describe every instance in which I feel that the environmental lobby in the U.S., or in any other countries has succeeded in blocking a proposed project which I feel posed no threat to ecosystems or to any species, and I’m also not listing every instance in which I feel that the environmental lobby’s concerns are alarmist or their expectations are unrealistic.  

I’ve purposely selected four very different examples: I’ve discussed how I feel that the environmental lobby’s proposed timetable for phasing out the use of fossil fuels worldwide is unrealistic, I’ve discussed an advancement in aerospace technology which was not allowed develop, I’ve discussed a proposed urban infrastructure improvement project which would have involved constructing numerous mixed- use residential and commercial properties and also would have created several acres of urban parkland, and I’ve discussed that despite a number of deaths of birds at wind farms and concentrated solar arrays, these technologies are going to benefit the preservation of ecosystems throughout the 21st, the 22nd and the 23rd centuries.  

For those readers of The Pavlovic Today who like to read a lot of articles in various publications which are written by various environmental and conservation groups, I wish to remind you that when we go to the polls to elect our next politicians, we need to remember to be realistic about balancing the needs of the growing population of the human species with the need to do everything possible to preserve ecosystems throughout the U.S. as well as throughout the rest of the world.  

Scott Benowitz

Scott Benowitz is a staff writer for Afterimage Review. He holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from The London School of Economics & Political Science and a B.A. in International Studies from Reed...