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Wind farms and wildlife


Fri, Feb 27th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



The wind itself may be free, but harnessing it for electrical power involves the expenses of wind turbine production, purchase of options on land for the placement of turbines and provision of service roads and substations. Indirect expenses may be a decrease in land values around wind farms and a decrease in agricultural land. Non-monetary expenses include noise, spoilage of scenic views and impacts on wildlife, especially on birds.

Wind energy production affects birds (and bats) through direct mortality from collisions with turbine blades and towers, which kill 10,000 to 40,000 birds each year across the country. Secondary impacts on birds, other wildlife and plant communities include destruction and fragmentation of habitats by the turbines, access roads and other infrastructure. Impacts are most severe when farms are erected along migration routes and in prime breeding areas.

EcoEnergy Wind, an Illinois-based company, has purchased options on 23,000 acres of land in Fillmore County between Greenleafton and Harmony to erect 134 turbines rising more than 262 feet from the ground. This project, called EcoHarmony West Wind, is expected to produce sufficient energy for more than 53,000 households. Plans are eventually to expand this farm from Harmony to Canton and then to Mabel.

Wind energy is a valuable, non-polluting, renewable power source, capable of reducing our reliance on fossil-fuel burning power plants that damage the environment through greenhouse gas emissions and other sorts of pollution. Greenhouse gases are the major contributors to global warming, which threatens the extinction of large numbers of bird and other wildlife species through rising sea levels, drowning millions of acres of wetland habitat; drying up of prairie pothole wetlands; frequent and severe droughts, floods, hurricanes and forest fires. Migratory birds, some of which are already migrating earlier in response to increasing temperatures, may find that the timing of their arrival on breeding grounds no longer coincides with the availability of particular foods they need to survive and raise their young.

Habitat loss is the greatest single threat to birds and other wildlife, and wind farms do destroy habitat. However, by mitigating the destruction from global warming, the positive effects of wind power relating to wildlife are far greater than the negative. Nevertheless, avoiding negative impacts is an important part of green energy and .....
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One moment, please... Multiplicity

Fri, Feb 20th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Recent Journal office conversations have inspired me to write a piece about the antics of the California octuplet lady, Nadya Suleman. Surely, you've heard about her and her 14 children. Who hasn't?

Can you imagine being the single mother of ..... 
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Hopeless problems, hopeful solutions

Fri, Feb 20th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Problems:

1.) Humanity finds itself embroiled in regional conflicts everywhere on earth. Resource wars are being conducted even as economies contract. We have no baseline information on which to act regarding planetary atmosphere and climate ..... 
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All it takes is a little effort

Fri, Feb 20th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Some things just get my blood boiling. I've witnessed people at highway Rest Areas dump garbage out their door onto the ground when there is a trash container steps away directly in front of their parked car. I have participated in "Adopt a Highway" ..... 
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Welcome to Fillmore County

Fri, Feb 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The Fillmore County Journal has new owners and as a recent transplant to this perfect corner of the earth I want to say, hello.

Jason, huh? You make me feel old right from the start. My son is Jason and I have a deep furrow between my eyebrow ..... 
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We're number 37

Fri, Feb 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The Obama era was supposed to begin by dealing with four issues Iraq and the Middle East and all its permutations, the economy and the recession, healthcare systems, and lastly, all other entitlements.

The economy has sucked all the air out o ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, Feb 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I keep hearing how the current state of affairs is being compared to crises of the past, which is understandable -- since economists often theorize that history repeats itself.

Most recently, I heard that our finanicial woes were comparable ..... 
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On ethics, morality and faith: The Redeemed Shall Walk

Fri, Feb 6th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Do you remember when you, your parents, or grandparents, saved Gold Bond stamps or S & H Green stamps, given as an incentive to buy from a certain store or gas station? After we filled the required number of books, we could take them to a Redemption ..... 
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Stop taxpayer funding of ethanol

Fri, Feb 6th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Ethanol, in any form whether grain or cellulosic, will never economically replace petroleum. There just are not enough BTUs to justify it. Ethanol is about 20 to 30-percent less efficient than gasoline and about 50-percent less efficient than diesel ..... 
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