Bill Maher Is an Idiot… George Will Destroys… Oil & Birds

So, you know, I could certainly criticize oil companies, and I could criticize America in general for not attacking this problem in the ’70s. I mean, Brazil got off oil in the last 30 years. We certainly could have. ~ Bill Maher

…according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Brazil is the 13th largest producer of oil in the world, pumping out 2.4 million barrels a day. A lot of Brazil’s oil comes from offshore drilling sites. Since the discovery of the offshore oil in 2008, Brazil has aggressively tried to extract that oil.

While Maher correctly stated that Brazil does use sugar cane ethanol, but it does not account for their entire energy needs. Brazil still gets most of their energy from crude oil and diesel reserves. More damaging is the fact that planting sugar cane is causing more deforestation and more carbon emissions in Brazil. Not exactly what those fighting for ethanol mandates are hoping for, but this is the reality in Brazil. In fact, the left-leaning Grist magazine noted that there was much to worry about Brazil’s ethanol “miracle” and the U.S. should think twice before following the same plight.

It would behoove Mr. Maher to actually check his facts before he spews them out on national television. Thankfully, George Will was there to counter his ridiculous claim.

(Heritage Foundation)

What wasn’t shown here is that George Will makes the point that Wind-Mills kill more birds (probably in a year or close to) than this oil spill will ever do! Here is an old post on my RPT-Blogspot account:



I am starting to turn against wind farms because they are in the way of migratory birds. We should stick with Nuclear.

The key quote below is this:

The bird death issue is complicated by the fact that commercially viable wind farms must be situated in areas where the wind blows as frequently and steadily as possible. These locations tend also to be major flyways for raptors and migratory birds.

Even worse, the farms can actually lure birds to their grisly deaths. Rats, mice, and other rodents utilize turbine bases as nesting grounds, which in turn attracts birds of prey. When the birds of prey circle above their intended meal, they are sliced to death in midair by the spinning turbine blades.

The Audubon Society, a party to the lawsuit settled last year, noted among the birds deaths are between 456 and 1,129 raptors killed each year, including 75 to 116 golden eagles killed annually.

Here is the whole story as found at the link below:

Altamont Pass Settlement Fails to Reduce Bird Kills

Originally Published in: Environment and Climate News

A January 2007 settlement agreement intended to reduce the number of bird deaths from wind turbines at Altamont Pass, California is failing, scientists report.

As a result, environmental groups are calling for additional restrictions on wind power generation at the nation’s largest wind farm.

Thousands of Kills Annually

Wildlife groups have long objected to the deadly toll wind turbines take on birds and bats. The wind farm at Altamont, with more than 5,000 turbines sprawling over more than 50 square miles of land, has been the poster child for that problem.

Responding to environmental concerns that spawned a federal lawsuit, operators of the installation agreed in January 2007 to a series of measures designed to reduce the roughly 1,700 to 4,700 bird deaths at Altamont Pass each year.

Among the birds killed there each year are protected raptors, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, and burrowing owls.

The January 2007 legal settlement, forged among wildlife groups, wind companies, and regulators, required the wind farm operators, through a series of measures, to reduce raptor deaths by 50 percent over three years.

Scientists in December 2007 reported the thousands of wind turbines at Altamont Pass are killing raptors and other birds at approximately the same pace as before the settlement.

Wildlife Groups Object

Elizabeth Murdock, executive director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, one of four Audubon chapters party to the settlement agreement, says the present array of wind turbines at Altamont Pass is taking an unacceptable toll on migratory and protected bird species.

“We are not trying to shut down the wind industry, but we think that there is a positive way to move forward and produce wind power while reducing bird deaths,” Murdock said.

The toll has been devastating at Altamont Pass. In the lawsuit, environmentalists cited a 2004 California Energy Commission report estimating between 1,766 and 4,721 birds were killed by Altamont wind turbines each year, equaling 47,682 to 127,467 birds over the 27-year life of the wind farm.

Many of the affected bird species are protected by state and federal laws. Some of the birds killed are protected by federal laws so stringent they do not allow the taking or killing of even a single member of the species.

Wind farm critics say the failure to enforce federal wildlife protection laws in the Altamont wind farm case is a result of environmentalists’ pressure for wind power.

Birds Lured to Death

The bird death issue is complicated by the fact that commercially viable wind farms must be situated in areas where the wind blows as frequently and steadily as possible. These locations tend also to be major flyways for raptors and migratory birds.

Even worse, the farms can actually lure birds to their grisly deaths. Rats, mice, and other rodents utilize turbine bases as nesting grounds, which in turn attracts birds of prey. When the birds of prey circle above their intended meal, they are sliced to death in midair by the spinning turbine blades.

The Audubon Society, a party to the lawsuit settled last year, noted among the birds deaths are between 456 and 1,129 raptors killed each year, including 75 to 116 golden eagles killed annually.