John Anderson, senior director for
permitting policy and environmental
affairs at the American Wind
Energy Association. (Penny Starr.)
(CNSNews.com) -- John Anderson, senior director for permitting policy and environmental affairs at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), said at an event on Friday on Capitol Hill that climate change, not wind turbines, poses the “greatest threat” to wildlife and that without “drastic steps” being taken, up to half of all species around the world will be lost “in our generation.”
In his prepared remarks, Anderson said, “Regardless of what type of individual, localized impacts you might see from any type of human activity, climate change is the single greatest threat to wildlife.”
CNSNews.com cited statistics from a 2013 study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, reported by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) in 2015, showing that every year 573,000 birds, including 83,000 raptors, and 888,000 bats, are killed by wind turbines, and asked Anderson if he could provide data showing how climate change posed a greater threat to the birds.
“You can find all sorts of information at National Audubon, National Wildlife Federation, National Resource Defense Council – all commissioned studies --showing that if we don’t take drastic steps to reduce the impacts of climate change, that we will lose up to 50 percent of the global species in our generation,” Anderson said.
Anderson also said he was not familiar with the source for the statistics CNSNews.com cited, but that he preferred data gathered at wind operations, and a 2007 estimate by the National Academy of Sciences on bird fatalities.
“I’m going to go with the number that’s the most statistically robust and that’s the number that we had,” he said. “That said, the bigger point is that I’m going to trust the National Academy of Sciences that said that .0003 percent of all bird fatalities are attributed to wind.”
In a press release distributed at the event, the trade association concluded, “All forms of energy generation have impacts, some are acute and have a significant effect on human health and the natural environment. However, the impacts of the wind energy industry are comparatively modest, particularly when one considers the benefits of generating electricity from wind, including that it does not create air or water pollution, greenhouse gases, use water, require mining or drilling for fuel, or generate hazardous waste that requires permanent storage.”