The celebratory tone in this article is not appropriate. Granted, turbines shouldn’t be placed in Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. But cancellation of wind projects is also cause for concern. Wind is crucial in addressing climate change and as environmentalists we need to be careful that, in critiquing a particular siting, we do not demonize the technology as a whole.
Paul Hawken’s important new book, Drawdown, outlines the world’s top climate solutions. Out of 100 listed, the second-most effective is onshore wind. The book estimates that, by 2050, it could slash greenhouse gas emissions by an astounding 84.6 billion tons. Interestingly, wind is also cheap: “Ongoing cost reduction will soon make wind energy the least expensive source of installed electricity capacity, perhaps within a decade.”
Experts know climate change has the potential to devastate wildlife. Audubon, for example, found 314 North American bird species may lose over 50 per cent of their range by 2080. The conservation group concludes: “Audubon strongly supports properly sited wind power as a renewable energy source that helps reduce the threats posed to birds and people by climate change.” We, too, should support responsibly placed wind projects — precisely out of our love for nature.
Gideon Forman, Climate Change and Transporation Policy Analyst
David Suzuki Foundation
Read about Ontario Nature’s stance on wind power: view.publitas.com/on-nature/autumn_2010/page/46-47.