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Solar Power Plants are Killing Birds

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 15, 2014

The contemporary religion that bows to the altar of global warming being man-made and catastrophic, societies and their economies are being molded by Progressives and their liberal politico allies.  Not only are changes being implemented before the science behind man-made global warming is confirmed, but they are done willful dumbness towards the consequences of the actions.

In any social-economic environment there are consequences, sometimes serious ones when governments make unnatural interventions into dynamic and complex economic models.  In the case of the attack on carbon-based fuels for energy production, continuing down the current path will result in many people in the world going hungry as the price of food increases with the increased cost of energy.

There are other consequences that will occur from the governmental interventions.  Some businesses will benefit, as others are damaged when the government picks winners and losers.  Some workers will see their salaries increase, while others will see decreases or lost employment opportunities as industries go out-of-favor and new ones come in to favor.  More serious consequences will be social disruptions that could lead to armed complex as some countries benefit at the expense of others, the result of worldwide implemented green policies.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week on another consequence of governmental green policies; damage to wildlife.  The Journal reported that $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar farm is killing birds, some rare species, a result of intense heat that can exceed thousand degrees Fahrenheit, mirrors looking like water to the birds, and towers as tall as 40 story buildings.  In addition, this facility alone takes up over five square miles of land near Las Vegas, Nevada.

The response to the bird killings has been muted by the Left since the green project is also favored by Progressives.  Eric Davis, an assistant director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service said: “We’re trying to figure out how big the problem is and what we can do to minimize bird mortalities.  When you have new technologies, you don’t know what the impacts are going to be.”  Compare this weak response to the Obama Administration’s dithering on the Keystone pipeline merely because it may have some environmental impact.

Adding insult to injury, these green projects not only have negative environmental consequences, but also do not make economic sense.  Even with governmental incentives that include huge tax credits, the electricity produced by the solar plants is not competitive.  The Journal reports that the Ivanpah plant cost four times more than a natural gas-fired facility, yet will produce less electricity.  In addition, electricity emanating from the solar plants will cost more than twice the amount of that produced from conventional technologies.

What do the global warming zealots have to say about all this?  As for the dead birds, they will ignore the issue or call it collateral damage.  As for the illogical economics, they will claim it’s all for the public’s good.  In the meantime, wildlife will die, some people will go hungry, crony capitalism will make others rich, and maybe the world will not get quite as warm.  That is a lot of negative consequences emanating from a maybe.

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