Despite our affinity with birds, throughout the years we have destroyed them with determination and often enjoyment through hunting for sport, food and through seeing them, erroneously, as pests; many beautiful species have been hunted to extinction and certain birds such as the raven and the bald eagle are rare. While our awareness of the need to protect wildlife has grown, we excel still at killing it through carelessness and thoughtlessness.
Environmentalists, for many years now, have expressed concern at the damage wind turbines inflict on birds and other creatures of nature through their large blades and humming vibration, but they have been contradicted by others and the turbines continue to be erected on land and sea in many countries, including the UK and the US. I was disturbed, though unsurprised, to hear this morning that American scientists have proof that 67 bald and golden eagles have been killed by wind farms in the past 5 years, and the number is likely to be much higher. Each death is a violation of federal law, but the American administration is failing to fine or prosecute the wind energy companies responsible. I am sure similar, sad, bird deaths occur in the UK also.
I know that planetary life evolves constantly and that technological change is inevitable and can be beneficial: it can be destructive too, and if it gets out of hand technology can destroy us as it did, for example, in Atlantis. Are we creating monsters in the name of progress? Wind farms seem a cheap and easy way to obtain natural energy, but they destroy landscapes, and damage wildlife and also the humans who live nearby – and for little real reward. Meanwhile, who is fighting for the rights of American eagles to fly high safely and in freedom from man-made dangers? In destroying our birds, we destroy ourselves – but it is not too late to learn to do better.