Oh dear, oh dear: What’s a radical environmentalist to do? On one hand, the earth is supposedly melting and we need to deploy wind turbines and other green technologies to “save the planet.” Adding to our felonious existence, we awful humans are killing endangered species, creating a new mass extinction event—and thereby, violating the “rights” of animals and nature itself. Flora and fauna have to be protected, even if it means farmers can’t till the land, landowners develop their properties, and people recreate in the wilderness!
But sometimes, as I have noted before, these dual Green agendas conflict. For example, there was the case of the solar power project in the Mojave stopped because of tortoises (which may be about to start again). Another example of the conflict emerged recently near where I live. Apparently the Altamont Pass wind turbines—only about 25 miles from my home—are killing endangered eagles. From the LA Times story:
Scores of protected golden eagles have been dying each year after colliding with the blades of about 5,000 wind turbines along the ridgelines of the Bay Area’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, raising troubling questions about the state’s push for alternative power sources. The death count, averaging 67 a year for three decades, worries field biologists because the turbines, which have been providing thousands of homes with emissions-free electricity since the 1980s, lie within a region of rolling grasslands and riparian canyons containing one of the highest densities of nesting golden eagles in the United States.
Researchers believe that they can eventually solve the bird kill problem with turbines. But let’s face facts: Human thriving comes at a cost to the natural environment. We can—and should—mitigate it. But we can’t eliminate it.
Nor should we depress our own thriving, which new agendas such as ecocide and the “rights” of nature would do with malice aforethought. Understanding this hard truth will allow Greens to sleep better at night, or at least allow the rest of us to resist the boot many wish to press against the windpipe of the economy and toward the end of stifling human freedom.