To liberals, it comes to a Sophie’s Choice-type dilemma. Do you choose the environment or the environment? On the one hand, you want more wind power, which can be achieved only by building more wind farms. On the other hand, wind turbines are a deadly accident waiting to happen for birds in flight.
After much soul-searching, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, made its decision. According to a statement released Monday, that legislative body removed some protections under the Nature Protection Act to accelerate the construction of new wind turbines. As for the birds, [blank] ’em.
Regulations were rolled back only for animals killed by wind turbines only — namely birds and bats — and not those that die due to other industrial activity.
“Contrary to all expectation, however, the amendment was added to the agenda of the Bundestag at short notice,” the Bavarian Association for Landscape Care and Species, a German environmental group, said in a statement Monday, adding:
Obviously, a gap in public attention was being exploited to push through this far-reaching change in the law in favor of the wind energy lobby shortly before the current parliament comes to an end.
Germany has added 27,000 wind farms in the last few years, but until now, many violated laws protecting endangered species. German environmental groups were furious with the legal changes, arguing that wind turbines already kill 250,000 bats and 12,000 birds in the country every year.
Germany had planned to cap wind power at around 40% to 45% of national capacity to deal with its rampant unreliability, but the country hasn’t slowed down building efforts and is still approving new turbines. Rolling back endangered species protections removes a major barrier to the further expansion of wind power.
Germany’s so-called “Energiewende” plan aimed to boost green energy use to fight global warming, but so far the plan hasn’t significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions. On the contrary, it may have actually caused emissions to rise.
This report, by Andrew Follett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.