Environmental groups “shockingly silent” on wind farm bird slaughter: Senator

Senator Bob Runciman. (FILE PHOTO)
The Kingston Whig-Standard, November 16, 2015
A Conservative senator is calling out large environmental groups for their silence on the impact of wind turbines on bird populations.
Ontario Senator Bob Runciman, who in 2011 introduced a motion that was unanimously passed by the Senate calling for a moratorium on wind turbine developments in Important Bird Areas, said large environmental groups, such as the World Wildlife Fund and the David Suzuki Foundation have not addressed one of the biggest criticisms of wind energy.
“Thousands of birds are being needlessly slaughtered simply because these industrial wind farms are located in the wrong places,” Runciman wrote in a letter Monday. “Yet the very organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife have been shockingly silent. I’d like to know why.”
In an interview with the Whig, Runciman said the impacts on bird and bat populations has been ignored by groups such as the World Wildlife Fund Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation.
“Organizations that have essentially been silent on this. I think that has had a positive political impact for the government,” Runciman said. “There’s simply not the recognition levels raised and no real effort to make people aware of it or express concern themselves as an organization.”
Runciman said those groups do not want to be appear to be opposed to green energy and do not want to get on the wrong side of the Liberal government. Runciman also said larger environmental groups are based in large urban centres, such as Toronto, while wind energy projects are being proposed or built mainly in rural areas.
“I’m not talking about green energy itself, I’m talking about putting these turbines in these areas where they are going to kill thousands and thousands of birds and bats and jeopardize a significant amount of endangered species,” Runciman said.
Gideon Forman, a climate change policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation, agreed that wind turbines shouldn’t be placed in sensitive bird and bat areas. But Forman said the impact on bird and bat populations should not be used to derail efforts to introduce more renewable energy in Ontario.
“Windmills do kill some birds but you need to put that in context,” Forman said. “The greatest threat to birds, and indeed other wildlife, will be climate change so we absolutely need to ramp up properly sited renewables. We need to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy source, among them wind.
“We do need to put them in the right places. An important bird area is not the right place.”
Forman said research has indicated the number of birds killed by windmills is “tiny” compared to the number killed by flying into buildings and high tension power lines, pesticide use, vehicles and house cats.
“You need to put it in that context.”
Forman said the Suzuki Foundation is a charity and is non-partisan and has members in all areas of the country.
The provincial government is currently evaluating proposals from more than 40 companies bidding for large renewable energy contracts. Of the 565 megawatts of renewable energy the contracts are expected to produce, 300 megawatts is to come from wind energy.
Wind energy projects have been proposed, approved or built for areas stretching from Prince Edward County, Greater Napanee, Amherst Island, off shore near Main Duck Island and on Wolfe Island.
by Eliot Ferguson

What's your reaction?


  • Barbara
    Posted November 17, 2015 10:59 am 0Likes

    About a month ago now, an eagle dropped something on my lawn. When I went out to investigate, it was a small dead cat. Can dig the cat up if anyone wants it!

  • Andre Lauzon
    Posted November 17, 2015 11:10 am 0Likes

    “You do not bite the hand that feeds you.” It becomes easier to do when your intellectual and moral integrity have been compromised by an appetite for gain.

  • Gord Schneider
    Posted November 17, 2015 11:44 am 0Likes

    Finally a poltician with cajones! Good ot hear.

  • Sommer
    Posted November 17, 2015 2:36 pm 0Likes

    Is this the same Gideon Forman who has represented CAPE.
    Do some research on him and find out for yourself how others have seriously questioned his credibility.

    • Wind Concerns Ontario
      Posted November 17, 2015 3:27 pm 0Likes

      MR Forman lists his employment currently as both CAPE and the Suzuki Foundation, on his LinkedIn profile.

  • Barbara
    Posted November 17, 2015 4:28 pm 0Likes

    It doesn’t matter how much information is presented to these people as this is the way they make their living.

    • Barbara
      Posted November 19, 2015 11:31 pm 0Likes

      Green Budget Coalition, Ottawa, founded 1999
      Members include:
      David Suzuki Foundation
      Bird Studies Canada
      Ducks Unlimited
      Nature Canada
      The Nature Conservancy of Canada
      Also have a look at their federal budget recommendations (PDF) are for 2015. And note the foundations that support the Green Budget Coalition

  • Tracy
    Posted November 17, 2015 10:51 pm 0Likes

    Yes, presenting information has become a broken record.
    There is plenty of evidence. It’s about time arrests are made.
    IWTS are not the “green” renewable energy source Of the future.
    Yes,”Let’s put this into context” Gideon. Lies, corruption, blood money; it’s all about the money.
    Global warming is a natural phenomena.
    Re: birds flying into buildings..man made, demolish, restrict heights
    Restrict pesticide use
    Vehicles-again limitations
    House cats-sorry guys, that’s nature.
    As for David Suzuki, he is another buddy of Dalton McGuinty; just follow the money.
    Btw, killing people is a disgrace. Does anyone give shite? Big wind and government will continue to beat around the bush on that one as long as we let them distract us from the issue of the harm brought to humans by iwts and exposure to infrasound.
    Stop the lies already. I am sick of it.

    • TehachapiGal
      Posted November 18, 2015 6:53 am 0Likes

      I couldn’t say it better!

    • Lynda
      Posted November 18, 2015 6:26 pm 0Likes

      Great post!! I’m sick of the BS also…so sick of all the lies and corruption and the crony capitalism. The GEA is not just about wind turbines either…whenever the province wants something of ours, they will invoke the GEA to get it and we don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of stopping them. Our lives are being run by dictators.

  • TehachapiGal
    Posted November 18, 2015 6:56 am 0Likes

    Not a single word about mandated human population control by a single politician.

  • TehachapiGal
    Posted November 18, 2015 2:39 pm 0Likes

    The environmental groups like the Sierra Club, WWF, Defenders, Audubon and the rest, with the exception of Center for Biological Diversity and to some extent ABC Birds have been intimidated with losing their funding and long standing status. Fish and Wildlife Services across North America have been castrated and permanently sided with the wind companies.
    At least in the U.S. the Forest Services, State and Federal Parks and trails have had text included into their mission statements to prevent them from even writing letters. I know of one instance where a local Superintendent was reprimanded by her boss for writing a very mild letter in opposition to a wind farm near Jawbone Canyone in Kern County. In no uncertain terms, they have been permanently silenced. In the desert areas of California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico there is a new Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan to fast track huge energy projects throughout the fragile desert. It’s sickening. http://drecp.org/
    The decimation to wildlife is far reaching. It’s the reason there are so many wild horse and burro gatherings and slaughters. It’s to make way for roads, trucks and equipment that has been leased to companies. Furthermore Bureau of Land Management is auctioning off or leasing land for oil and gas exploration. It’s my opinion there is no plan at all to get away from fossil fuels but we’re being scammed into companies installing infrastructure for more human sprawl. When the electricity is in place, along with roads, the next group to invade are the developers to build cities.

  • Johana
    Posted November 18, 2015 3:36 pm 0Likes

    Gideon COMPLETELY MISSED the sleek coyotes we have here in Norfolk County [and which are causing so much of a problem that Norfolk Council spent hours discussing “what to do, what to do”].
    These coyotes just devour the birds/bats whacked by the turbine blades even before the corpses hit the ground; but then, when the blades are NOT spinning because the wind has died down, coyotes are still hungry, so, they go after other critters – kitties, dogs, maybe even a baby if it’s available [haven’t heard of that happening yet].

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