A Donald Trump presidency would be way more beneficial to the environment than a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Trump really needs to mention this point at his rallies, not just for the trolling, but also because it happens to be true.
Consider just one example: the hundreds of thousands of rare birds and endangered bats slaughtered in the US every year by the wind farms that Hillary Clinton applauds (and will no doubt go on subsidising) and that Donald Trump loathes (and will no doubt starve of subsidies and cause to become as extinct as the Dodo).
As the Daily Beast recently noted, Trump’s hatred of wind farms is probably the most consistent and long-standing of all his political convictions.
It’s Friday. How many bald eagles did wind turbines kill today? They are an environmental & aesthetic disaster.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2012
Wind turbines are not only killing millions of birds, they are killing the finances & environment of many countries & communities.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2012
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2013
Trump does have a point. If you care about flying wildlife, bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes really are about the most pointlessly destructive form of power generation there is – as a series of recent studies show.
These ones specifically concern bats – one of the world’s most fragile species, carefully protected by large bodies of legislation.
And with good reason, as Oxford University ecologist Clive Hambler explains here:
Bats are what is known as K-selected species: they reproduce very slowly, live a long time and are easy to wipe out. Having evolved with few predators — flying at night helps — bats did very well with this strategy until the modern world. This is why they are so heavily protected by so many conventions and regulations: the biggest threats to their survival are made by us.
And the worst threat of all right now is wind turbines. A recent study in Germany by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research showed that bats killed by German turbines may have come from places 1,000 or more miles away. This would suggest that German turbines — which an earlier study claims kill more than 200,000 bats a year — may be depressing populations across the entire northeastern portion of Europe. Some studies in the US have put the death toll as high as 70 bats per installed megawatt per year: with 40,000 MW of turbines currently installed in the US and Canada. This would give an annual death toll of up to three -million.
Why is the public not more aware of this carnage? First, because the wind industry (with the shameful complicity of some ornithological organisations) has gone to great trouble to cover it up — to the extent of burying the corpses of victims. Second, because the ongoing obsession with climate change means that many environmentalists are turning a blind eye to the ecological costs of renewable energy. What they clearly don’t appreciate — for they know next to nothing about biology — is that most of the species they claim are threatened by ‘climate change’ have already survived 10 to 20 ice ages, and sea-level rises far more dramatic than any we have experienced in recent millennia or expect in the next few centuries. Climate change won’t drive those species to extinction; well-meaning environmentalists might.
Like a lot of true nature lovers – as opposed to the environmental industry’s numerous watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside – Hambler is extremely concerned about the wind farm threat to wildlife.
And the latest studies back him up. Here are the estimated bat mortality figures for the US in a Spring 2016 study by Hein and Schirmacher.
Two recent attempts were made to estimate bat fatality in the United States for 2012. Hayes (2013) followed a similar approach to Cryan (2011) and based his analysis primarily on the limited dataset from Arnet et al. (2008). Hayes (2013) indicated that >600,000 bats were killed at wind energy facilities in 2012 and suggested that this was a conservative estimate. Smallwood (2013) estimated up to 888,000 bats were killed in the United States in 2012.”
Extrapolated globally this means that turbines are killing bats on an industrial scale. As Kenneth Richard argues here, the threat is getting so serious that bats may be driven to extinction.
Using the conservative average of 15.5 bats killed yearly by each wind turbine (Zimmerling and Francis, 2016), it can be estimated that there are now about 4.9 million bats slaughtered every year by the world’s 314,000 wind turbines. Even if the killing rate per individual wind turbine was generously reduced to ten bats killed per year instead of 15.5, wind turbine bat slaughter rates would still exceed 3 million per year.
But a rough estimate of 3 to 5 million bats killed yearly by wind turbines is only the current rate. As of 2015, just 2.5% of electrical energy was supplied by wind worldwide1, 5. There are deliberate plans to have wind turbines “realistically” generate 18% to 34% of the world’s supplied electrical energy by 20505,6. To achieve this massive expansion, installed wind capacity will need to double and triple and quadruple in the coming decades. The number of bats slaughtered by wind turbines could easily grow to a rate of more than10 million annually within ten to 15 years. At some point, there may not be enough species of bats left to kill.
The Greenies are still very much in denial about this awkward truth, a few because they’re making so much money out of the subsidies, but most because it simply suits their world view that wind – being fresh and breezy and “free” – must of course be a much more natural and healthy way of generating energy than using black stuff that comes out of the ground and makes capitalists rich.
This is why they see no inconsistency between their professed love of nature and their fervent championing of bat-chomping bird-slicing eco crucifixes. If you try pressing them on it – see the comments sections of any and every article on the subject – they will trot out their standard defence that many more birds are killed by domestic cats and plate glass windows than by wind turbines. (Though they’ve yet to come up with a similar get-out clause for bats which, after all, have radar systems which stop them flying into stationary objects and which are usually pretty cat-proof too).
Where this excuse falls down is on the question of utility. You can make a case for cats (they can be cute and they make a lot of old ladies very happy) and for plate glass windows (bored office workers need something to look through) but there’s really no case for wind turbines other than the theory that they somehow save the planet from climate change. Which, for a number of reasons (the need for constant fossil fuel back up; the massive amounts of CO2 involved in making them; the shakiness of anthropogenic global warming theory; etc), they demonstrably don’t. Ergo they’re just a very ugly, very expensive, heavily-subsidised way of killing birds and bats unnecessarily.
It’s not often in politics where one candidate is so right on a particular issue he might as well be a saint; and the other is so wrong on an issue she might as well be the devil. But where the Trump v Hillary presidential campaigns are concerned, wind turbines are most definitely one of them.