How Green is Green?
October 14, 2005 1:40 PM Subscribe
Unexpected Downside of Wind Power - Wired reports on the shutdown of wind power turbines along Altamont Pass in California. Wind power is seen by some as an alternative to burning fossil fuels; yet these turbines are being shut down over environmental and ecological concerns. Some of the concerns about turbines are that they endanger bird migrations, yet others say that they are not a problem for bird migrations. It's not just a question of the ecological footprint, though. The entire environmental impact has to be assessed for any project. Hydroelectricity is not without its effect on ecosystems, either (Scroll down to "Ecosystems and Large Dams", about 40% of the way down). If even green or renewable energy sources cannot be accessed without a significant adverse environmental impact, how can we meet our energy needs? Reducing consumption is only approaching the problem from one side. How do you properly gauge the environmental impact of a project and when is it okay to give it the green light? Or are we being oversensitive and should we let natural selection handle the birds that can't adapt?
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