Media Outcry? Solar Energy Is Incinerating Birds Mid-Flight

Posted on Sat 03/19/2016 by

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AlatheiaLarsenpicture-459-1430232516By Alatheia Larsen ~

Renewable energy is the future, so the greens and the liberal media keep saying.

But it turns out that a solar energy project in Nevada is creating a lethal solar flux that singes, blinds, and even vaporizes birds. So where’s the media outcry?

crescent_dunes_solarVolunteer group Basin and Range Watch sued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Feb. 26, 2016, for withholding bird mortality information from the Crescent Dunes Solar Project in Tonopah, Nevada, according to Range Watch’s website.

Basin and Range Watch (BRW) is group of volunteers in Nevada and California trying to shield the desert from “industrial renewable energy development” and “energy sprawl.”

Video shows that in early 2015, at least 115 birds disintegrated as they flew into the project’s solar flux during a testing period at the Crescent Dunes Solar Project.The solar flux is a concentrated beam of sunlight reflected off of a series of ground mirrors. Biologists studying the dying birds morbidly nicknamed them “streamers” for the streak of smoke they created as they burned mid-flight, the Los-Angeles Review Journal reported March 9, 2015.

The network news media never covered the bird fatalities at the Crescent Dunes Solar Project. In fact, they barely covered bird fatalities at the Ivanpah solar plant in the Mojave Desert where at least 1,000 bird deaths each year. NBC Today Show covered that story just once on Aug. 20, 2014, but neither ABC or CBS reported it.

The Huffington Post, Forbes, and DailyMail UK also covered Ivanpah Plant story in August 2014 as well, but since then the media have gone silent.

After the 2015 fatalities, BRW filed a Freedom of Information Act request for data on the bird kills. But BRW claims the BLM “withheld documents that describe how BLM will ensure that the project’s owner, Solar Reserve, will prevent similar bird kills in the future.”

“Once the mirrors are focused on the tower, the brightness and solid structure is enough to deter birds,” Mary Grikas, company spokeswoman for Solar Reserve, told the Los Angeles Review Journal in March 2015. However, BRW feared that the brightness would create another problem; a “lake effect,” where birds see the sky’s reflection in the mirrors and fly directly into the solar flux, thinking it is a body of water.

BRW also speculated that the hot air created by the solar project “could attract golden eagles and other raptors which seek out such thermals for increasing flight height,” and would then be killed in the solar flux. Because these are protected species in the California and Nevada desert, even one of these birds being killed “would be a significant impact.”

Alatheia Larsen contributes posts at the NewsBusters site where she is  a staff writer/research analyst for MRC Business.

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