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Now that Australia had another mass shooting, will they finally get off their high horse about how gun control worked so well?
First of all, Australia doesn't care about your guns. So they are not on a high horse. They are in the garden, doing BBQ.Secondly, no. Because of the list of the notable mass shootings in the USA since only 2005…March 12, 2005 —Brookefield, WisconsinTerry Ratzmann, 44, shot and killed seven members of the Living Church of God at a Sheraton hotel with a 9mm handgun before committing suicide.March 21, 2005 —Red Lake, MinnesotaJeffrey Weise, 16, shot and killed 10 people before turning the gun on himself, including his grandfather and a police officer, using several weapons, including a 12 gauge shotgun.Jan. 30, 2006 —Goleta, CaliforniaFormer postal worker Jennifer San Marco, 44, shot and killed seven people, including several former coworkers, and herself.Oct. 2, 2006 —Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaCharles Carl Roberts IV shot and killed five female students inside an Amish schoolhouse using several weapons before committing suicide.Feb. 12, 2007 —Salt Lake City, UtahSulejman Talovic, 18, killed five people at Trolley Square Mall with two weapons before he was shot and killed by police.April 16, 2007 —Blacksburg, VirginiaCollege student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people on the campus of Virgina Tech with two weapons before taking his own life.Oct. 7, 2007 —Crandon, WisconsinSheriff's deputy Tyler Peterson, 20, shot and killed six people at a post-Homecoming party in an apartment before committing suicide. He used a semiautomatic rifle.Dec. 5, 2007 —Omaha, NebraskaRobert A. Hawkins killed eight people and himself using a semiautomatic rifle after entering the Westroads Mall.Feb. 2, 2008 —Kirkwood, MissouriCharles Lee Thornton, 52, entered a public city council meeting and shot and killed five people with two handguns before he was shot and killed by police.Feb. 14, 2008 —Dekalb, IlinoisSteven Kazmierczak, 27, shot and killed five people on the campus of Northern Illinois University with several semiautomatic weapons before killing himself.June 25, 2008 —Henderson, KentuckyWesley Neal Higdon, 25, killed five people at Atlantis Plastics Factory with a semiautomatic weapon before taking his own life.April 3, 2009 —Binghamton, New YorkJiverly Antares Wong, a 41-year-old naturalized American citizen from Vietnam, shot and killed 14 people at the American Civic Association with two weapons before killing himself.August 3, 2010 — Manchester, ConnecticutOmar Thorton, 34, entered a warehouse owned by his former employer, Hartford Distributors, and shot and killed eight people with two semiautomatic weapons before committing suicide.Sept. 6, 2011 —Carson City, NevadaEduardo Sencion, 32, opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle in an IHOP restaurant, killing four people and himself.July 20, 2012 —Aurora, ColoradoJames Holmes, 25, shot and killed 12 people in a movie theater during the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" using several weapons, including a semiautomatic rifle.Aug. 5, 2012 —Oak Creek, WisconsinWade Michael Page, 40, killed four people with a semiautomatic weapon inside a Sikh temple before turning the gun on himself.Dec. 14, 2012 —Newtown, ConnecticutAdam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother and 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary School before turning the gun on himself.March 13, 2013 —Herkimer, New YorkKurt Meyers, 64, killed four people at a carwash and barber shop with a shotgun before he was shot and killed by police.Sept. 16, 2013 —Washington, D.C.Aaron Alexis, 34, shot and killed 12 people inside the Washington Navy Yard with a 12-gauge shotgun before he was shot and killed by police.June 7, 2013 —Santa Monica, CaliforniaJohn Zawahri, 23, opened fire in a home and later on the campus of Santa Monica College, killing five people with a semiautomatic rifle. He was killed during a shootout with police.July 26, 2013 —Hialeah, FloridaPedro Alberto Vargas, 42, shot and killed six people with a semiautomatic weapon in his apartment complex before setting fire to his own apartment. He was shot and killed by a SWAT team.September 14, 2014— Bell, FloridaDon C. Spirit, 51, shot and killed his granddaughter and six grandchildren before turning the gun on himself.May 17, 2015— Waco, TexasRival motorcycle gangs kill nine at a restaurant in Waco, Texas. There were over 170 arrests made after the incident.June 17, 2015 — Charleston, S.C.Dylann Roof, 21, walks into a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina and kills nine people.Oct. 1, 2015—Roseburg, OR.Christopher Harper-Mercerenters Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon opens fire and kills nine, wounding seven others before police shot him to death.November 27, 2015— Colorado Springs, ColoradoRobert Lewis Dear storms in a Planned Parenthood health clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado and kills three people and wounding nine.December 2, 2015— San Bernardino, CaliforniaA man and a woman walk into a holiday party both armed with assault weapons and kill 14 people and wounding 17 others.June 12, 2016 — Orlando, FloridaOmar Mir SeddiqueMateen, 29, killed 49 people and injured 53 at Pulse – a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. President Barack Obama described the horrific event as an "act of terror and hate."October 1, 2017 — Las Vegas, NevadaStephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel during a country music concert located at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing more than 50 people and injuring about 200 others.November 5, 2017 — Sutherland Springs, TexasDevin Patrick Kelley, 26 entered First Baptist Church during in Sutherland Springs, Texas during service, killing at least 26 people and wounding at least 20.February 14, 2018 — Parkland, FloridaNikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida walked into the school, and killed 17 students, according to federal officials before taken into police custody.April 22, 2018 — Nashville, TennesseeTravis Reinking, a 29 year-old man opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant in Antioch, Nashville, killing four people and wounding two. An AR-15 rifle was found at the scene.
Which are the best trade shows?
The highest 100 Trade Shows in the usa can be based on square footage, show attendance, exhibitor contribution, and both community and private inductiries. Good clients Absolute Exhibits (cache) has built custom exhibit rentalsfor not too long ago, and some undercover private eye work – listed here is a list of shows everyone need to be looking at these days. This is Utter Exhibits' 2014-2015 Trade Show Calendar.January· Consumer Electronic Show - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention Center· North American Music Merchants - Anaheim 2015 - Anaheim Convention Center· Surfaces - Las Vegas 2015 - Mandalay Bay Convention Center· Distributech - San Diego 2015 - San Diego Convention Center· Shot Show - Las Vegas 2015 - Sands Expo Center and Venetian Congress· Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Expo - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - Chicago· Outdoor Retailer - Winter Market - Salt Lake City 2015 - Salt Palace· International Production and Processing Expo - Atlanta 2015 - Georgia World Congress· PGA Merchandise Show - Orlando 2015 - Orange County Convention Center· World of Concrete - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention Center· International Builders Show - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention Center· National Automobile Dealers Association - San Francisco 2015 - Moscone Convention CenterFebruary· MAGIC - Winter - Las Vegas 2015 - Mandalay Bay Convention Center· RSA Conference - San Francisco 2015 - Moscone Convention Center· Graphics of the Americas Trade Show - Miami 2015 - Miami Beach Convention Center· Photonics West - San Francisco 2015 - Moscone Convention Center· Medical Design & Manufacturing West - Anaheim 2015 - Anaheim Convention Center· Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - Chicago· IPC APEX Expo - San Diego 2015 - San Diego Convention CenterMarch· International Plastics Showcase - Orlando 2015 - Orange County Convention Center - Orlando· Global Pet Expo - Orlando 2015 - Orange County Convention Center· Tech Advantage - Nashville 2014 - Music City Center - Nashville· American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention Center· International Housewares - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - Chicago· Game Developers - San Francisco 2015 - Moscone Convention Center· International Wireless Communications Expo - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention Center· OFC-NFOEC - Los Angeles 2015 - Los Angeles Convention Center· International Pizza Expo - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention Center· Natural Products Expo West - Anaheim 2015 - Anaheim Convention Center· International Boston Seafood Show - Boston 2015 - Boston Convention Center· ConExpo Con/Agg - Las Vegas 2017 - Las Vegas Convention CenterApril· American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery - San Diego 2015 - San Diego Convention Center· Networld Interop Las Vegas 2014 - Las Vegas 2015 - Mandalay Bay Convention Center· International Engineered Fabrics Conference and Expo - Miami Beach 2016 - Miami Beach Convention Center· Fire Department Instructors Conference - Indianapolis 2015 - Indiana Convention Center· International Security Conference - Las Vegas 2015 - Sands Expo Center and Venetian Congress· Electronic Transactions Association - Las Vegas 2015 - Mandalay Bay Convention Center· Specialty Coffee Association of America -Seattle 2015 - Washington Convention Center· NAB - North American Broadcasters - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention Center· Coverings - Orlando 2015 - Orange County Convention CenterMay· National Hardware Show - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention CenterTransmission & Distribution Conference & Exposition - Dallas 2016 - Dallas Convention CenterOffshore Technology Conference - Houston 2015 - Reliant Center - HoustonNational Restaurant Show - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoJCK - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention CenterGlobal Retail Real Estate Convention - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention CenterSAMPE - Baltimore 2015 - Baltimore Convention CenterLightfair International - New York City 2015 - Jacob Javits Convention CenterSociety for Information Display - San Jose 2015 - San Jose Mc Enery Convention CenterWindpower - Orlando 2015 - Orange County Convention CenterJune:· United Fresh Produce Association Show - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoWaste Expo - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention CenterFood Marketing Institute - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals - Austin 2015 - Austin Convention Center - AustinInfoComm - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention CenterSummer Fancy Food Show - New York City 2015 - Jacob Javits Convention CenterInternational Dairy Deli Bake Association - Atlanta 2015 - Georgia World CongressLicensing International Expo - Las Vegas 2015 - Mandalay Bay Convention CenterE3 Expo - Los Angeles 2015 - Los Angeles Convention CenterInstitute of Food Technologists - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoBio International Convention - Philadelphia 2015 - Philadelphia Pennsylvania Convention CenterJulyIntersolar North America - San Francisco 2015 - Moscone Convention CenterInternational Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association - - Las Vegas 2015 - Las Vegas Convention CenterSemicon West - San Francisco 2015 - Moscone Convention CenterComic Con International - San Diego 2015 - San Diego Convention CenterSwim Wear Association of Florida - Miami 2015 - Miami Beach Convention CenterClinical Lab Expo - Chicago 2015 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoAugustOutdoor Retailer - Summer Market - Salt Lake City 2014 - Salt PalaceMAGIC - Las Vegas 2014 - Mandalay Bay Convention CenterInternational Woodworking Fair - Atlanta 2014 - Georgia World CongressSeptemberGlassbuild America - Las Vegas 2014 - Las Vegas Convention CenterCTIA Wireless - Las Vegas 2014 - Sands Expo Center and Venetian CongressInternational Manufacturing Technology Show - Chicago 2014 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoInterbike - Las Vegas 2014 - Mandalay Bay Convention CenterMINExpo - Las Vegas 2016 - Las Vegas Convention CenterGlobal Gaming - Las Vegas 2014 - Sands Expo Center and Venetian CongressPrint Expo - Chicago 2014 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoASIS - Atlanta 2013 - Georgia World CongressOctoberWater Environment Federation - New Orleans 2014 - Ernest Morial Convention CenterCABLE-TEC Expo - Denver 2014 - Colorado Convention CenterInternational Baking Industry Expo - Las Vegas 2016 - Las Vegas Convention CenterNational Association of Convenience Stores - Las Vegas 2014 - Las Vegas Convention CenterIMEX America - Las Vegas 2014 - Sands Expo Center and Venetian CongressABC Kids Expo - Las Vegas 2014 - Las Vegas Convention CenterProduce Marketing Association - Anaheim 2014 - Anaheim Convention CenterSolar Power International - Las Vegas 2014 - Las Vegas Convention CenterNational Business Aviation Association - Orlando 2014 - Orange County Convention CenterAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology - Chicago 2014 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoInternational Vision Expo West - Las Vegas 2014 - Sands Expo Center and Venetian CongressNovemberPack Expo - Chicago 2014 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoInterclean - Orlando 2014 - Orange County Convention CenterSuper Computing - New Orleans 2014 - Ernest Morial Convention CenterSupply Side West - Las Vegas 2014 - Mandalay Bay Convention CenterPrivate Label Manufacturers Association - Chicago 2014 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoAutomotive Aftermarket Products Expo - Las Vegas 2014 - Sands Expo Center and Venetian CongressFabtech - Atlanta 2014 - Georgia World CongressInternational Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions - Orlando 2014 - Orange County Convention CenterSpecialty Equipment Marketing Association - Las Vegas 2014 - Las Vegas Convention CenterRSNA - Chicago 2014 - Mc Cormick Place - ChicagoDecemberPower-Gen International - Orlando 2014 - Orange County Convention CenterInterservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference - Orlando 2014 -Orange County Convention Center
What are the down sides to wind energy?
"An Yll Wynde That Blowth No Man To Good"“America has the best wind resources in the world. Not harvesting America’s wind would be like going to Saudi Arabia and not drilling for oil.” Ditlev Engel, Chief Executive of Vestas Wind SystemsOf all renewable energy, the most contentious is wind. Wind stirs most passion and documentaries are made of suffering communities at war with each other lying in the shadow of the big blades. ‘Big wind’ companies are made to sound as evil as ‘big oil’ in their calculated pursuit of profits. I know people living north of London in the UK, who are actively moving to cancel wind farm installations on the grounds of fears of wind turbine syndrome (WTS)[i] a serious health problem described by people who live close to the towering structures.The Caithness Windfarm Information Forum (CWIF)[ii] produces a list of the frequency of all wind turbine related accidents globally confirmed by press reports. Renewable UK[iii] also follow such data with reports on such topics as:Radar and aviation securityScenery despoliationProperty pricesHealth Impacts from aerodynamic noise and shadow flickerThe CWIF reports find that blade failure is the most common problem that causes accidents with fire a close second and poor maintenance coming third. They found that globally, total accidents since the 1970’s numbered 1,549, a level that is growing each year along with the number of installed wind turbines. Fatal accidents also are rising but at a much lower level with a total of 146 deaths in 108 accidents since 1970, with 14 in 2011 but more in 2012.Blade Failure – Up to 2012 there are 289 incidents with some cases of parts of blades being thrown up to a mile away from the turbine hub. In Germany, parts of blades have penetrated roofs and walls of nearby buildings. ‘Renewable UK’ reported 1,500 accidents in the UK alone over the five years up to 2011 with some deaths and serious injuries. Unless there is an injury, there is no requirement for an incident to be reported. The Wind industry plays down the incidents. In 2006 part of a wind turbine blade snapped off its hub and crashed into a field in high winds. The operator, Cumbria Wind Farms said, “Nothing like this has happened there before”, but they forgot to mention that in fact one month after the park opened in 1993, a similar accident had occurred. A similar situation occurred with Scottish Power with a blade separation event in Whitelee. Three bladed wind turbine blades are secured only on one end, unlike many vertical and arguably safer VAWT wind turbine designs. The Risø National Laboratory[iv] in Denmark reported 15 turbine collapses in the three years from 2005 to 2008.Fire – can occur due to gearbox lubrication failure or friction within the nacelle or when bearings fail. 231 incidents of fire have been reported. Most fire is restricted to the turbine nacelle but out of reach of firemen on the ground. In dry weather there is a danger of wildfire. Wind turbines are also a magnet for lightning strikes which can ignite flammable blade resins. In October 2013 a crew of 4 mechanics were working for a service company that was charged with maintaining the 13 turbines at Deltawind’s Piet de Wit wind farm in the Netherlands. They were in a gondola next to the nacelle of a Vestas V-66, 1.75 MW turbine, when a fire likely caused by a short circuit blocked the only escape to the stairs in the shaft. Two men jumped through flames to reach the stairs and saved themselves, while the two remaining men, only 19 and 21 years of age were trapped and died. One jumped from the tower and the other was burned.[v]Structural failure – 148 instances mainly of collapsing turbines in storms but also including component failure. This is a very expensive form of failure but mostly at arm’s length from human beings.Ice Throw – In icing conditions, wind turbines can fling a loose piece of ice a considerable distance, but as with aircraft wings, the performance of the turbine blade deteriorates as ice builds up. Turbines are equipped to detect imbalances caused by ice and normally shut down. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) agency, established by President Nixon in 1970, detailed requirements for wind turbine workers to observe when in icing conditions. Complaints about ice are common and the fear is that rotating blades in melting conditions will fling heavy chunks of damaging and lethal ice long distances. This is alleged to have happened in Whittlesey in England, where lumps of ice two feet long were flung from a 410 foot wind turbine, through the air, finally colliding with a carpet showroom and car park. Residents had the offending turbine shut down. A report by GE’s wind turbine division[vi] did alert users that ice chunks can indeed be flung several hundred yards. A Swiss study[vii] made in a ski resort in 2007 showed that up to 5% of the ice on a turbine was able to travel 260 feet from the turbine. As experience grows with wind farms the ability to protect the community that lives near them improves. Ice is thrown a maximum of 400 feet and this is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. A 2003 report cited 880 events between 1990 and 2003 alone and another report published in 2005 described 94 incidents. Further reports in 2006 reported 27 further incidents.Transportation of wind turbine components to the installation site – 147 incidents since 1970 including a house being rammed through by a turbine tower section in Germany, a utility pole being knocked through a restaurant and a turbine section falling off in a tunnel. In one case a $75 million barge was lost at sea with expensive turbine sections. Transportation is the largest cause of public fatalities including the Brazilian bus disaster mentioned above. In a single incident in Brazil in March of 2012, a bus driver was behind a slow truck, hoping to overtake. He was indicating and thought the truck ahead of him was moving over to let him pass. He gunned the accelerator to overtake only to suddenly find himself faced with a 40 ton wind tower section being transported in the oncoming lane. It sheared off the left side of the bus, driver included. 14 passengers and the driver died on the spot and two more died later[viii].Bird Deaths –"When you look at a wind turbine, you can find the bird carcasses and count them. With a coal-fired power plant, you can't count the carcasses, but it's going to kill a lot more birds." - John Flicker, National Audubon Society, president.Sibley and Monroe estimated that there are about 9,703 species of birds[ix]. They are found on all major land masses and over the oceans. Total populations are difficult to estimate due to seasonal fluctuations in populations but Sibley & Monroe accepted that there are between 100 and 200 billion adult birds in the world. Kevin Gaston and Tim Blackburn[x] doubled that estimate with 200 to 400 billion. Birds are killed by wind turbines and solar installations, but it turns out that the numbers of birds already killed by buildings, high tension lines, vehicles, cats and pesticides are so much greater that there is clearly a perception twist, which is likely deliberate, going on here. This is not to say that we should be complacent about bird deaths. It’s a universally accepted fact that all parties are against any kind of animal mortality as a result of our energy activities. The presentation of it though, ought to be based on the factual wider context of bird deaths from other causes. The Altamont pass was one of the first locations in the US preserved for wind power due to the excellent winds funneled by the hills there. At the time bird deaths were not on the minds of the responsible individuals who created this wind resource.Even institutions who are protective of birds, the National Audubon Society, the US Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wildlife Society all have commissioned studies that result in the same conclusions afforded by the following chart. Bird deaths by wind turbines do not remotely compare with the impact of cats, cars, power lines or buildings. As wind power increases its penetration however, its currently small impact on birds will grow less than proportionately as operators learn how to avoid avian mortality by siting, colors on blades, kick in speeds and other methods.BIRD DEATHS FROM DIFFERENT CAUSESFigure 9: Bird deaths from different causes, showing that wind turbines are the least of threats among many. Source Bloomberg New Energy Finance, US Forestry Service.Perception of bird deaths can halt wind turbine installations during the public planning phase and then effective resistance can scuttle installation plans. It turns out though, that wind turbines are responsible for only 1 in every 10,000 causes of bird deaths.Small birds are killed in the billions by housecats while wind turbine casualties tend to be relatively larger bird species. Bigger birds, normally not the direct target of a housecat, like the protected Bald Eagles and other birds of prey, are more likely to be killed by a wind turbine than by a cat. Balanced against this has to be the effect of coal and oil on birds mentioned in the earlier solar report. Many energy technologies apparently are bad for birds, but wind and solar are far from being the worst culprits. In 2013 a study by Smallwood indicated that the estimates of wind turbine bird deaths may be understated for three reasons. Estimates of bird deaths by wind turbines depended on counting carcasses found under the turbines. It was entirely possible that searches were done in less than efficient ways and in inadequate search radiuses. Additionally carcasses could easily be removed by predators and his bird death estimate was 573,000, slightly higher than others.[xi]A 2005 study by the USDA Forest Service, was an early indication that wind turbines were a very small impact on overall bird populations.[xii] Then the National Audubon Society produced a study[xiii], funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in September, 2014 which took seven years to finish and which looked closely at 588 of the total 800 species of bird found in North America. 314 of these species are threatened in some way with a loss of environment by the end of the century. Climate change (therefore CONG) is blamed for effectively potentially destroying the ecosystem for 28 species. This data is not included in the chart above in Figure 9. The Bald Eagle and state mascots are at serious risk due to climate change which reduces the bird’s range and alters the lifecycle of their food sources. Bird mortality from fossil fuel pollution and climate change represents a far higher risk than wind turbines as far as the Audubon Society is concerned.In 1918, the US Congress passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), a legislation aimed at protecting populations of over 1,000 species of birds from hunting or other forms of harm. It put in place penalties for causing damage to this part of the US environment. This may have been partly in response to the extinction by humans of the passenger pigeon, which had been the commonest bird in America, ranging in flocks of billions of individuals, but which had become completely extinct by 1914 after being exhaustively hunted for its meat and feathers. Martha, the world’s last passenger pigeon died at the age of 29, on September 1, 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo. She had been there all her life. She was named after President Washington’s wife and within minutes of her death she was on the way to the Smithsonian museum in Washington inside a 300lb block of ice, where Nelson Wood, the Smithsonian taxidermist preserved her. Twice she left the Smithsonian, once to attend a conservation event in San Diego in 1974 and then a return visit to Cincinnatti Zoo to name a building in her honor. For both trips she travelled by plane in a box in first class with her own flight attendant.[xiv]Birds are famously victims of the huge wind turbine blades. This is certainly true and although bird fatalities from the house cat, vehicles and building windows account for literally millions or billions more, it doesn’t excuse the wind turbine’s effects impact. At least lip service is done to relocate turbines out of birds’ migration paths. Also, most song birds migrate flying at a height of 2,000 to 4,000 feet, well above the tallest wind turbines, at least so far. There is a very disturbing YouTube video of a large, elegant bird of prey being struck down by such a rotating blade[xv]. In an awful European case there was the death of a rare swift, the White-throated Needletail, the world’s fastest flying bird. The poor exhausted creature was spotted by a group of 30 birdwatchers who had made a special trip to the isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The sighting was only the 9time that the bird had been seen since 1846, in Essex. The last time it had been seen at all was 1991. The assembled enthusiasts assembled in the appropriate location and waited for hours before being rewarded by sighting the bird. They were summarily horrified to see the rare bird, which had flown all the way from Australia, knocked down and killed by the rotating blade of a wind turbine.[xvi]The MBTA has been invoked several times to improve conditions for migratory bird species. Between 2004 and 2009 in Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, just 85, unprotected, migratory birds were deemed to have died due to exposure to oil and gas facilities owned by Exxon Mobil. The Justice Department fined the company $600,000 or about $7,000 for each bird killed. Exxon pleaded guilty and cooperated with the department spending a further $2.5 million to clean up the sites. It turned out that the fine was equal to twenty minutes of Exxon’s profits, based on $8.6 billion earnings for the first half of 2009[xvii]. Other fossil fuel companies have been fined. BP paid $100 million for the impact of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill on migratory birds. Pacificorp, which operates coal fired power stations, paid $500,000 in 2009 after 232 eagles along power distribution lines between its substations were found to have been electrocuted.[xviii]Wind farms started to kill birds on a regular basis although the MBTA was rarely invoked, prompting calls of hypocrisy against those claiming that wind was an environmental solution. Wind farms have been fined for killing birds too, however. Duke Energy was fined $1 million for the deaths of 14 eagles and 149 other birds, including hawks, blackbirds, wrens and sparrows, between 2009 and 2013. Duke were also called upon to restore and do community service (how do you ask a large utility to do that!) and were placed on 5 years of probation while they put together an environmental compliance plan to prevent bird deaths. Interestingly, Duke then applied for a permit to kill eagles, to help provide a context within which the system can absorb the inevitability of bird deaths. Another group, the Wind Capital Group applied for such a license only to be embroiled in an argument over its granting, by the Osage Nation in opposition. Many applications for this license have been filed. Environmentalists complain bitterly when President Obama’s administration, eager for non-polluting wind power, announced a new federal rule that allows wind farms to lawfully kill birds of prey.There is some evidence that birds change their behavior when in the presence of wind farms. Lowther in 1998 discovered that studying a 22 turbine wind farm in Wales, UK, no birds were killed by the turbine and in fact they were seen to have shifted their activity to a different location. Some wind farms have no bird fatalities at all. A study[xix] published in the Journal of Applied Ecology by Pawel Plonczkier and Ian Simms monitored migrating flocks of pink-footed geese using radar as they returned during migration to the shores of Lincolnshire, UK. Monitoring the movement of the birds over 4 years from 2007 to 2010, established that two new wind farms effectively caused the geese to change their flight paths. The proportion of goose flocks flying outside the wind farm locations climbed from 52% to 81% in this time and even geese flying through the windfarm area had increased their altitude to climb above the turbines.An Australian online group called RenewEconomy had an article which summarizes the whole bird situation quite nicely called “Want to save 70 million birds a year? Build more wind farms”, drawing attention to the impact of CONG on birds. Replacing all fossil fuel worldwide, it says, would save about 70 million birds a year establishing wind farms as a strong net benefit for birds. Author Mike Bernard[xx] explains that wind farms kill less than 0.0001 percent of birds killed by human activities annually out of a total 1.5% of human caused mortality.Bats and BarotraumaThe other species which more recently became synonymous with death by wind turbine blade is bats. Most of the damage is done to migratory bat species in the autumn. Bats are famously known for their ability to echo locate hard objects in their local environment, such as tree branches or cave walls, and even insects on the wing while they are feeding. They can actually detect moving objects better than stationary objects so the high death rate from wind turbine blades was puzzling. Several explanations were proposed but 90% of the bat fatalities involved internal hemorrhaging just as might be expected with damage caused by sudden air pressure changes. Birds have a more resistant respiratory anatomy and are killed by being hit by the blades, whereas the bats do avoid the blades, but come so close that pressure changes around the blades cause the damage to their lungs. The mammals have larger, flexible lungs and hearts. Birds have compact, rigid lungs with very strong pulmonary capillaries which can resist the higher pressure changes, even though the blood/gas barriers are thinner than the bats. Wind turbine blades are moved by the wind. An airfoil on a plane pushes against the wind but a wind turbine blade is moved by the wind. In either case, the airfoil cross section causes significant differences in air pressure. The greatest area of low pressure exists at the fast moving (approximately 180 mph) tip of the blade and cascades downwind from the moving blade. A zone of low pressure can cause a bat’s lungs to expand causing tissue damage, or barotrauma. A study[xxi] was paid for by fossil fuel companies like Suncor and Shell, but also from wind turbine companies such as TransAlta Wind and Alberta Wind Energy Corporation as well as academic institutions. They found bat bodies from hoary and silver-haired bats killed at a wind farm in south western Alberta, Canada and examined them for internal injuries. Of 188 bat bodies collected, 87 had no external physical injury. Very few bats had external injuries without internal bleeding.In 2012, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted pressure studies[xxii] on mice, which were used because they are a close approximation to bats and discovered that pressures of only 1.4 kilopascals (kPa) were experienced by the bats at the blade tips in 11 mph winds but that it took 30 kPa to cause fatality in mice. There was no suggestion by NREL for an alternative cause of death however. At low windspeeds the pressures are even lower and yet it is at the low speeds that the bats fly which further confuses the issue.Intermittency – When the wind calms, electricity production needs to be backed up by a non-intermittent power source. On May 13th, 2014, Germany experienced 74% of their electricity grid, an astonishing 43.5 gigawatts, successfully supplied by renewable capacity[xxiii]. The world’s fourth largest economy not having to pay for fuel! However, the wind, solar, hydro and biomass generation activities needed to be backed up by over 10 gigawatts of ‘spinning reserve’. While there is no reason why a fossil fuel needs to be chosen to back up the wind, it just happens to be the current case that CONG are the bulk methods most available to make wind and solar intermittency more palatable. The short sighted criticism is that wind doesn’t cut pollution after all but it all depends on which non-intermittent power source is used. Since wind intermittency is mostly offset by the use of fast reacting gas turbines, instead of coal as back-up power or spinning reserve, the impact on emissions can be minor. In the future, sustainable base-load renewable energy can act as spinning reserve. Almost every type of renewable energy can become base load with some tweaks. Solar can go into space. Wind can harvest the energy from almost permanent fast winds at high altitude. Almost all other renewable energy types are already base load anyway, biomass, biofuels, geothermal, hydroelectric etc.Noise – like a propeller, wind turbine blades make a noise in contact with the air. Not surprisingly this particular complaint turns out to be very much less annoying than it at first appears. It turns out that noise from other sources is louder and more persistent. Traffic, aircraft, wind itself, household noises, industry, farming etc. When windfarms are going through the public planning stage, it’s quite likely that the developer will ask local residents to sign a waiver for any noise irritation and give them an incentive to do so. They suggest local people accept this $5,000 check and if the turbines happen to be noisy, they have no recourse. One of many states that has addressed this issue is Oregon where a state noise ordinance reflects a specific regulation restricting noise from wind turbines. The law here, allows for noise to exceed what is considered an area’s ambient noise level by a given amount, often the subject of controversy itself. Interestingly in Oregon’s case the law that limits turbine noise is an evolution from one that once enforced industrial noise conditions and was part of the Department of Environmental Quality which was closed down in 1991, before wind power became a state priority.An 85 page study was conducted on the subject in 2009 for the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the American Wind Energy Association. The selected panel concluded that wind turbines do not make people ill because of noise. They did say the swooshing sound of blades could be irritating. Such a conclusion from such a source is hardly surprising, although the study panel members, a doctor, a vibration and acoustics expert from the UK, a professor of audiology and a biological engineer, all claimed to have been at arm’s length and totally able to design the study themselves.Eighteen studies were done between 2003 and 2014, not one of them saying there was any evidence that wind turbines did any harm at all. In 1918 there was a medical condition that at the time was not acknowledged to be real. It was a reaction to the hell of fighting on the First World War front often caused by the close impact of exploding shells. In fact it was called ‘shellshock’. The military term for it was cowardice or desertion and many otherwise perfectly good people were shot at dawn for supposedly letting the side down. In August of 2006, the UK Defense Secretary published posthumous pardons for 306 soldiers, four of whom were only 17, who were executed this way.[xxiv] I don’t think that wind turbine syndrome will one day be recognized as a real complaint, but I wouldn’t like to live close enough to a turbine to experience long term noise effects either.In February of 2015, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) completed a comprehensive study[xxv] on the effects of wind turbines and farms on people who live further than 1,500 meters from the closest turbine. The study identified over 4,000 international papers on the subject of which only 13 suggested a possible relationship between the wind turbine and human health. They determined that the body of direct evidence was small and of poor quality but admitted it was a complex subject as much of it is subjective opinion. NHMRC concluded there is no consistent evidence that wind farms cause adverse health effects in humans. The concern over the topic led them to recommend specific research to produce a body of high quality observations of those who live within 1,500 meters of wind farms.Resistance to Offshore WindFarmsCape Wind is the name of an offshore windfarm project that has been moving forward at a glacial pace and while it appeared positive for the start of construction as of the end of 2014, just a few months later, the cycle of delays has begun once again. There has been no offshore wind in the Americas, while many large installations have been completed in Europe. The UK has staked part of its energy future on very large offshore wind farms because of the huge reserve of energy there. It hopes to generate 18 gigawatts by 2020 and double that again by 2030.[xxvi]There is a paradox attached to the location of one of America’s most affluent playgrounds, Cape Cod. White warriors of the US clean energy army, people who in any other circumstance would do their best for renewable energy, are here arrayed against the installation of the first offshore wind turbine farm in America because of a fierce determination not to despoil their little plot of nature. This resistance to installation of something new is called “Not in My Back Yard” (NIMBY). Cape Wind Associates has tenaciously hung on to the goal of installing 130, 400 foot tall turbines, which were originally supposed to be up and running by 2006. Opposition has been fierce. An entity called ‘The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound’ has raised millions and paid staff members and a public relations firm in Washington. It has purchased radio, newspaper and TV time and has distributed flyers. It has also engaged the support of wealthy landowners in the region such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Walter Cronkite who lent his distinctive, patriarchal, trusted voice to a radio advertisements for the group.Many Cape Cod beach homes are as much as 7 miles from the proposed site, Horseshoe Shoal. At that distance the relative size of the giant turbines is less than that of a dime held at arm’s length. The indigenous hold-outs were being marginalized and the project was closer than ever to going ahead as of the end of 2014. Today though it is tied down again in delaying lawsuits which seem to never end. The site is in federal waters not subject to the same zoning laws as land based projects. Private money is ready to be put up to pay the expected $750 million equity money. Complainants like these are well funded, whereas the Cape would benefit hugely over two decades at least of clean energy supply for a very reasonable cost. Any foundations placed offshore additionally act as a wildlife magnet, creating the equivalent of an artificial reef teeming with life. There are artificial reef projects achieving this in many locations along the world’s coastlines using old ships, planes and other relics.[xxvii][i] Wind energy is considered a disaster responding to the hoax of climate change in this vociferous website which of course also discusses wind turbine syndrome. Available at: http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/wind-turbine-syndrome/what-is-wind-turbine-syndrome/[ii] The Caithness Windfarm Information Forum. Available at: http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/[iii] RenewableUK. A leading renewable energy trade association. Available at: http://www.renewableuk.com/en/events/conferences-and-exhibitions/renewableuk-2015/[iv] Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy. Available at: http://orbit.dtu.dk/en/organisations/risoe-national-laboratory-for-sustainable-energy%2869f3623e-9f3f-48aa-8b46-4b4fb2abab7f%29.html[v] Available at: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3cd_1383772851#Opj3eWpLL6Co282t.99[vi] David Wahl, Philippe Giguere. Ice Shedding and Ice Throw – Risk and Mitigation. Wind Application Engineering. GE Energy. Available at: http://www.cbuilding.org/sites/cbi.drupalconnect.com/files/ger4262.pdf[vii] Cattin et al. Wind Turbine Ice Throw Studies in the Swiss Alps. EWEC 2007. Based on studies of a 600 kW Enercon E-40 at 2,300 mASL in Swiss Alps[viii] Summary of Wind Turbine Accident Data to 30 September 2014. PDF. Caithness Windfarm Information Forum.[ix] Sibley and Monroe. 1992.[x] Kevin J. Gaston and Tim M. Blackburn. April 1997. How many birds are there? Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1018341530497[xi] K. Shawn Smallwood, “Comparing bird and bat fatality-rate estimates among North American wind-energy projects”, Wildlife Society Bulletin, 26 Mar. 2013. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wsb.260/pdf[xii] Wallace P. Erickson, Gregory D. Johnson and David P. Young Jr. A Summary and Comparison of Bird Mortality from Anthropogenic Causes with an Emphasis on Collisions. USDA Forest Service. PSW-GTR-191. 2005. Available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/psw_gtr191/Asilomar/pdfs/1029-1042.pdf[xiii] Erickson WP, Wolfe MM, Bay KJ, Johnson DH, Gehring JL (2014) A Comprehensive Analysis of Small-Passerine Fatalities from Collision with Turbines at Wind Energy Facilities. PLoS ONE 9(9): e107491. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107491[xiv] Smithsonian article on Martha, the last passenger pidgeon. Available at: http://www.mnh.si.edu/onehundredyears/featured_objects/martha2.html[xv] Bald Eagle seriously injured by wind turbine. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwVz5hdAMGU[xvi] Rare swift killed by Scottish wind turbine. Available at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/birdwatchers-see-rare-bird-killed-by-wind-turbine-1-2980240[xvii] Exxon Mobil pleads guilty to bird deaths. Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=8322081[xviii] BP and Pacificorp pay fines for killing birds. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-eagle-death-wind-farm-oil-energy-epa-2013-5[xix] Pawel Plonczkier and Ian C. Simms. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2012. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02181.x/epdf[xx] Mike Barnard. 10 August, 2012. Want to save 70 million birds a year? Build more wind farms. RenewEconomy. Available at: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/want-to-save-70-million-birds-a-year-build-more-wind-farms-18274[xxi] Erin F. Baerwald, Genevieve H. D’Amours, Brandon J. Klug and Robert M.R. Barclay. Barotrauma is a significant cause of bat fatalities at wind turbines.[xxii] “NREL Study Finds Barotrauma Not Guilty”, November 27, 2012. Available at: http://www.nrel.gov/wind/news/2013/2149.html[xxiii] Germany has 74% of its power supplied by renewable energy. 2014. Available at: http://gas2.org/2014/05/27/for-one-hour-germany-was-powered-by-74-renewables/[xxiv] Posthumous pardons of First World War shellshock victims. Available on: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1526437/Pardoned-the-306-soldiers-shot-at-dawn-for-cowardice.html[xxv] Information Paper: Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health. February 2015. PDF. National Health and Medical Research Council. Available at: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/eh57a_information_paper.pdf[xxvi] UK Renewable Energy Roadmap. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/48128/2167-uk-renewable-energy-roadmap.pdf[xxvii] Positive environmental impacts of offshore wind farms. European Wind Energy Association. Available at: http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/files/members-area/information-services/offshore/research-notes/120801_Positive_environmental_impacts.pdf
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