Aug. 9th, 2011

From a sensationalist anti-green article, here are some facts about how first generation wind turbines are being replaced with safer ones.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorizes limited incidental mortality and disturbance of eagles at wind facilities, provided the operators take measures to mitigate the losses by replacing older turbines with newer models that are meant to be less hazardous to birds, removing turbines located in the paths of hunting raptors and turning off certain turbines during periods of heavy bird migration.
Environmentalists have persuaded the energy industry and federal authorities — often through litigation — to modify the size, shape and placement of wind turbines. Last year, five local Audubon chapters, the California attorney general's office and Californians for Renewable Energy reached an agreement with NextEra Energy Resources to expedite the replacement of its old wind turbines in the Altamont Pass with new, taller models less likely to harm birds such as golden eagles and burrowing owls that tend to fly low.

The neighboring Buena Vista Wind Energy Project recently replaced 179 aging wind turbines with 38 newer and more powerful 1-megawatt turbines. That repowering effort has reduced fatality rates by 79% for all raptor species and 50% for golden eagles, according to a study by Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology in wind farms.

S&P’s downgrade from AAA to AA+ wasn’t about America’s ability to pay its debt, which remains intact. The rating agency specifically said the problem was the U.S.’ willingness to pay its bills.

Mosa'ab Elshamy, tweeted in frustration at those likening the British riots to the Arab Spring. "Egyptians and Tunisians took revenge for [police brutality victim] Khaled Said and [Tunisian street vendor Mohamed] Bouazizi by peacefully toppling their murdering regimes, not stealing DVD players."
For Simon Hanna, a London-born Egyptian journalist who reported on, and participated in the anti-Mubarak protests, the clashes in London were fundamentally different from those of 25 January, the day Egypt's grassroots revolt began.

But he thought some of the root causes could be similar. "I think it's insulting to compare the Egyptian uprising, which was entirely political with clear goals, to a bunch of angry poor youths in London stealing trainers. But there's no escaping the fact that on some level they are both fuelled by inequality. I joined the Tahrir [Square] protests but I would never dream of joining the London riots.

"Yet if a protest movement that targeted inequality arose out of this unrest then I would be on board … these rioters are mindless opportunists but through their actions they might actually get British society thinking."
[Another] agreed, adding that the actions of looters in London compared unfavourably to the way Egyptians behaved when police were beaten off the streets. "On 28 January [when Mubarak's security forces had to withdraw from the streets] there were no police anywhere and yet there was still less looting than we've seen now in Britain.



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