Painting one wind turbine blade black reduced bird deaths by over 70%

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/27/painting-one-wind-turbine-blad.html

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If my analysis is correct, that means that painting all three blades black will result in a 116% increase in bird populations!

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This is such an obvious, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that fix. Hopefully it can be usefully copied worldwide!

willow ptarmigans … are known to collide with the turbine towers rather than the blades

Willow ptarmigans are quickly being replaced by won’t-ow and did-ow ptarmigans

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I wonder how much that paint weighs, and would it cause vibrations at wind turbine speed? :thinking: /s

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Um… what about cats? We’re talking multiple orders of magnitude more bird death from cats. I bet you could save the exact same number of bird by keeping 1 cat indoors for week. And windows are even worse than cats.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t do this. They absolutely should. It’s not just a numbers thing, since cats likely can’t catch some of the species that are killed by turbines. I’m just saying it’s not really that exciting a result when you look at the enormous amount of bird murder by cats.

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I am actually surprised at how few birds these things killed in the first place, I would have thought a lot higher.

Less death is a good thing, but still surprised at these low figures. Now they need to run this experiment with the massive wind farm out near Death Valley I ran into last year in Cali.

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might be different bird populations. the article mentions some kind of eagles. probably not many cats responsible for eagle deaths. ha. (not refuting your point about cats endangering smaller birds generally)

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Yes, but does it also reduce the cancer risk? :wink:

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For those cancers caused by being hit on the head with falling bird carcasses, sure.

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These are the kind of stories I wish the news was full of, instead of all (waves hand) that.

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But a certain amount of cats are already black. It wouldn’t make sense to paint more of them that colour!

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I believe bird death, while important, is a big talking point for those against renewable energy. They do the same about solar farms.

Indoor/outdoor cats are indeed bad news for lots of things down the food chain. Australia is in the process of killing 2 million feral cats, which they declared an invasive species.

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I don’t think cats are killing a lot of white-tailed eagles.

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A good refutation of that talking point is to mention that cell towers kill an order of magnitude more birds than wind turbines, and the same kind of birds, unlike cats (as if killing small birds is somehow better than large ones). Are we as prepared to rid ourselves of our cell infrastructure as our wind power infrastructure?

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Yeah, but cats aren’t a leftist conspiracy.

/s

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I think large wind turbine blades are already painted, so – to that extent – imbalance can be controlled. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Extinction by Darwin Award!

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Then there are the bunnies.

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Did you run into the blade or the tower?

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