The following is a guest post by Patrice Tullai
Over the last 60 days 10 whales have washed ashore, dead on the coast of North Eastern United States. There have also been several dead whales floating at sea. This is an unprecedented number and there are no signs of slowing down…
To date there are 27 offshore wind lease areas in the Atlantic Ocean. Current plans call for 2,249 million acres to be occupied by 2030 with 3411 wind turbines almost as tall as the Eiffel Tower and 9,874 miles of undersea cables.
The permits for the coastal area of California were recently sold by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM). Final sale notice can be seen here.
The preliminary cause of mortality and serious injuries of whales are rope entanglement and vessel strikes. This is not the case here. Lobster and fishermen are being blamed, yet there have been zero North Atlantic Right Whale deaths in 20 years that could be attributed to lobster gear. This unprecedented whale death has been called an Unusual Mortality Event beginning in 2016. That coincides with the first permits issued by NOAA for sea floor mapping. Some says we cannot put the blame on wind turbines but here are some correlations so you can decide for yourself….
The survey vessel Fugro Enterprise departed New York on December 5, 2022 with a documented destination of the ASOW (Atlantic Shore Offshore Wind). On December 10, 2022, the first whale washed ashore in Strathmere. On December 12, 2022, the second whale washed ashore in Brigantine. On December 23, 2022, the third whale washed ashore in Atlantic City. The Fugro Enterprise departed New York on January 1, 2023 with a documented destination of the ASOW survey area. On January 7, 2022, the fourth whale washed ashore in Brigantine. Strathmere is less than 20 miles from Atlantic City. The concentration of five whale deaths in the ASOW survey area combined with the voyages of Fugro Enterprise indicate a nexus between offshore wind activities and the death of the whales. Who is New Jersey Offshore Wind?
One might ask themselves, aren’t these whales endangered species, there are only about 300 that remain, and the answer is yes. The North Atlantic Right Whale is listed as an endangered species and is therefore protected. But there is a little known activity called “take” and “incidental take”, which actually allows for the death of a number of these whales.
“Take” as defined under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct. “Incidental Take” is an unintentional, but not unexpected taking. When a species is listed as endangered, “take” prohibitions are automatically extended to it under ESA Section 9.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) have both, permitted and allowed “incidental take” and are aware of Potential Biological Removal.
“Potential Biological Removal” is a term that defines the number of a species that can be removed annually while allowing the species to reach or maintain its sustainable population. The Potential Biological Removal for the Northern Right Whale is one.
A former chief of endangered species at NOAA warned of the devastation of permitting these wind farms, but he is no longer at NOAA. I wonder why?
Wind turbine energy requires offshore mapping and offshore mapping causes whale deaths. The range of frequencies whales use is 30 Hertz (Hz) to 8,000 Hz. The HRG survey activities that have been proposed and pit in motion will include the following:
Depth sounding (multibeam depth sounder) to determine water depths and general bottom topography (currently estimated to range from approximately 5 meters [m] to 40 m in depth);
Magnetic intensity measurements (gradiometer) for detecting local variations in regional magnetic field from geological strata and potential ferrous objects on and below the bottom;
Seafloor imaging (side scan sonar survey) for seabed sediment classification purposes, to identify natural and man-made acoustic targets resting on the bottom as well as any anomalous features;
Shallow penetration sub-bottom profiler (pinger/chirp) to map the near surface stratigraphy (top zero to 5 m soils below seabed);
Medium penetration sub-bottom profiler (chirps/parametric profilers/sparkers) to map deeper subsurface stratigraphy as needed (soils down to 75 m to 100 m below seabed); and
Grab sampling to validate seabed classification from multibeam echosounder/side scan sonar data.
Noise pollution can cause harm to whales directly by damaging their hearing and cause internal bleeding and death. Many marine life have what is called a swim bladder which is highly sensitive to acoustics. This swim bladder adjusts the creatures level of buoyancy and determines whether it floats or sinks. More commonly excessive or prolonged noise can cause behavioral changes that interfere with the health and survival of the animals. The noise of the turbine is high and noise propagates over water. The wind turbine noise can and will be heard onshore.
There is something magical and deep soul moving when someone sees a whale. Primordial sounds are emitted from people as they watch the whales. People stop in their tracks to get a glimpse of these majestic creatures. People pay money to view them in the wild. These giant smooth, sentient beings are an incredibly important part of the marine and earth ecosystem.
Why is it critical to protect the whale? Whales are biological pumps for ocean nutrients. Huge whales plunge to 500 feet or deeper and feed on tiny krill. Then they return to the surface—and poop. This 'whale pump' provides many nutrients, in the form of feces, to support plankton growth. The whale waste fertilizes phytoplankton growth by bringing nutrients to the ocean surface which promotes growth of ocean phytoplankton, microscopic plants that consume CO2 and create oxygen. This production of phytoplankton contributes at least 50% of all oxygen to the Earth's atmosphere and keeps the oceans alive and oxygenated. In addition to whales binding significant amounts of CO2 themselves, the phytoplankton capture as much CO2 as four Amazon forests so are critical for maintaining stable oxygen and carbon cycles.
Here is a short list of the grammar of wind turbines….. Scrape…dig…explode…cut…deforest…pollute…crime…poison…prostitution….child/human trafficking...fossil fuel burning…death…
There is much to think about here, and it is clear to anyone who cares to see the truth, that this industry is NOT green and is not clean. Firstly, the Wind Turbine Energy is fossil fuel dependent. Depending on the turbine size, each turbine requires oil to operate, and not a small amount. The average turbine, is 300-400 feet, and some of the newer designs are over 850 feet tall. The average 5MW turbine contains several hundred gallons of oil and the base of each turbine contains another 500 gallons. These both must be changed regularly (about every nine to sixteen months). They are also known to spill and leak.
In a 5MW turbine, that is about fifty stories high, the tower alone weighs about 400 tons. The nacelle 300 tons, and the rotor blades 54 tons. The foundation can range from 500 tons to more than 8,000 tons depending on the depth of the water and the type of sediment or bedrock. All these numbers are rising with the “Clean Energy” frenzy.
The blades of the Wind Turbine are constructed from Balsa Wood and I capitalize Balsa Wood because it deserves our respect. Balsa Wood is harvested, or taken from the Amazon. Ecuador has already depleted its Balsa forest leaving behind, poisoned waters, dead fish, displaced Waorani peoples (indigenous), crime, prostitution, child trafficking, diaspora, and death. Peru has already begun its extraction of Balsa Wood. The Toucan lives in the Balsa Wood Tree and is slated for extinction.
This is just the first step in the journey for the Wind Turbine blade. Deforestation is second only to the burning of fossil fuels as a source of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Researchers say halting and reversing land clearance in tropical forests could reduce global carbon emissions by nearly 18 percent by 2030.
Wind turbines are not everlasting. The average wind turbine, and not all are average, last 20 years, and at that point most parts are not recycled. They are also classified as toxic waste. In 2017 Germany was left with 1.35 million tons of wind turbine blades. Can you imagine how many tons of these blades there are now? Germany has been in the forefront of “green energy”. If “green energy” is clean and sustainable why is it now they have resorted back to coal after oil has been sanctioned?
Follow me further down this road to see how these circles of death are created and the misery, pain and heartbreak that ensue.
Steel and Concrete
By mass the main ingredients used in wind turbines are steel and concrete. The most critical is steel. Each new MW of wind power requires 120-180 tons of steel. Steel is also required for other phases in the generation of wind power, from the machines that extract the ore that will become the steel for the wind turbine, to the cranes that lift and install the turbines, to the trains and trucks that transport them.
Iron ore is the beginning of steel and is mined all over the world. The largest mines are in Brazil in the Amazon Rain Forest. Forests around Carajas are cut for charcoal to fuel pig iron plants resulting in an annual deforestation of 3,800 plus square miles.
Mining steel leaves behind a toxic sludge called “tailings”, which make poisoned waters, killing fish and food sources. There have been instances where these tailing reservoirs have collapsed and sent their demise into hundreds of rivers.
Tens of thousands of indigenous people have been displaced and in their place horrible air pollution, cancer, birth defects, lung disease, slave labor, sex trafficking, and violence. The indigenous Gavião people suffer from the trains that transport the products of the mine. These trains run thru the southern portion of their land making them unreachable. These trains travel the tracks 35 times a day, 24 hours a day bringing noise and dust destroying the mature Brazil nut orchards trees that the Gavião people survive on. The 600 plus mile train way has killed scores of peoples and animals cutting further into the Gavião peoples food supply. The mine is currently building another identical rail line in parallel to increase its transport from 150 million to 239 million tons.
74 percent of wind turbines mass is in the foundation. Hidden from view, below the ground or waters are massive concrete foundations that keep the wind turbine towers upright. Concrete and rebar are used in these foundations. How much rebar? Excavate 10 feet deep 100 feet wide, set 96,000 pounds of reinforcing steel rebar = 48 tons. These figures multiply when installing off shore. These are vast amounts of material and energy required and have to be replaced all over again in 20 years (and just 15 if offshore). For comparison an average house weights from 72 to 104 tons. So a 2 MW turbine weights as much as 23 homes. The offshore wind turbine Haliade-X is 12 MW. This would weight as much as 138 homes.
Sand is a key ingredient in all concrete. Sand is the second most used global resource behind water. The world uses 500 billion metric tons of sand annually, enough to build an 88 foot tall 88 foot wide wall around the world. We are ripping up forests and farmlands just to get to more sand. There are already ongoing reports of a mafia-style black-market for sand.
Birds and Bats
Wind turbines kill more bats than any other human industry activity. Some studies show that 888,000 bats are killed each year by collisions with wind turbines.
Lasiurus cinereus, the Hoary Bat is one of 40 species of bats in the United States alone. There are 1,100 species worldwide. Bats are insectivores. They are vital to the health of our environment and our economy. Bats play an essential role in pest control, pollinating plants and dispersing seeds. Recent studies estimate that bats eat enough pests to save more than $1 billion per year in crop damage and pesticide costs in the United States corn industry alone. Across all agricultural production, consumption of insect pests by bats results in a savings of more than $3 billion per year. While many bats eat insects, others feed on nectar and provide critical pollination for a variety of plants like peaches, cloves, bananas and agaves. In fact, bats are the sole pollinator for the agave plant, a key ingredient in tequila! A third bat food source is fruit, leading to yet another important role in the ecosystem - seed dispersal. Fruit-eating bats can account for as much as 95% of the seed dispersal responsible for early growth in recently cleared rainforests.
Bats consume their body weight in insects every night helping keep bug populations in check. They can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes an hour. More than half of the bat species in the US are in severe decline or listed as endangered. Bats have only one pup a year so at this rate of loss they, and we are deeply in trouble. Bats are necessary but they are also magnificent. The Mexican free-tailed bat can reach speeds up to 100 mph, making it by far the fastest mammal on earth. Yes, the bat is a mammal. They feed their young on a milk gland that lies in the arm pit.
Several North American Indian tribes include bats in their traditional folklore. For the Navajo, the bat holds a special significance, the bat is an intermediary to the divine, bridging the supernatural distance between men and gods.
Between 140,000 and 328,000 birds are killed each year from collisions with wind turbines. Eagles are just one of these species. ESU Energy, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy plead guilty to federal criminal charges of killing at least 150 eagles. They agreed to spend up to 27 million on efforts to prevent more deaths. USGS scientists revealed in a study that with current wind turbine expansions the golden eagle populations will be cut in half by 2040. At the Altamont Wind Resource Area (APWRA) wind turbines present an ever present danger not only to eagles but also any migratory bird that passes thru an area where wind farms are constructed.
The APWRA was established in 1982 and contains 5,400 wind turbines. The APWRA has the highest numbers and rates of raptor kills of any wind facility in the world. Altamont Pass is a result of poor planning that allowed wind turbines to be built along a major raptor migration corridor in an area with high wintering concentrations of raptors and in the heart of the highest concentration of golden eagles in North America. Wind turbines at Altamont Pass kill an estimated 880 to 1,300 birds of prey each year, including up to 116 golden eagles, 300 redtailed hawks, 380 burrowing owls, and additional hundreds of other raptors including kestrels, falcons, vultures, and other owl species. Some of these birds are rare and reproduce infrequently.
These numbers are definitively on the low end and are not accurate. Wildlife expert Jim Wiegand has documented how areas under wind turbines are confined to a 200-foot radius, even though turbines catapult 80% of birds and bats much further. These carcasses are only looked for and counted once every 30-90 days. Between those searches scavengers carry away most of the dead birds and bats. The count also excludes wounded animals that are found.
In conclusion, it may seem that I’ve only addressed environmental and humanitarian concerns, however we must realize wind turbine energy is a massive industry, This new industrialization called “green energy” is a lie.
Wind turbine energy is completely fossil fuel dependent and for every 1 unit of energy produced by wind turbines only 1/ 10th of a unit of traditional energy sources are removed. So as we construct more wind farms we are simply adding more industry and destruction.
We all ask, “What can we do?”, and there are things that can be done both personally and collectively. Plant forests.
It is trees that move, control, and insure the water and cooling system of this planet. Trees and plants have an organism on the underside of their leaves; a condensation nuclei. Around these microorganisms water vapor condenses into liquid forming clouds and rain. Trees and plants cool a huge amount of area and bringing moisture back into the atmosphere. As the moisture drops it creates more low pressure drawing in more moisture from the coast. This is a living breathing cycle called the “Biotic Pump”. Where the trees and the eco-systems inland are creating the moisture cycle and this conveyor belt moves moisture from the oceans inland. Healthy landscapes can be created as well as water abundance. Creating water retention landscapes is possible and far less damaging and expensive than industrial methods such as wind turbine energy.
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Very enlightening! Wind Turbines seem far worse for the environment than fossil fuels. But, there must be very profitable Wind Turbine industry that is making Elites very rich.
Very eye opening and truly sad. Thank. you for posting. How do we as human beings stop all of this insanity and bring nature, beautiful animals, and humanity back from these disasters and suffering?