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Cognitive Dissonance: Save the Bats or Save the Planet?

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A tough choice for teh environmentalist whackos if I ever saw one.

Wind Turbines Give Bats the “Bends,” Study Finds
Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
August 25, 2008

Wind turbines can kill bats without touching them by causing a bends-like condition due to rapidly dropping air pressure, new research suggests.

Scientists aren’t sure why, but bats are attracted to the turbines, which often stand 300 feet (90 meters) high and sport 200-foot (60-meter) blades.

The mammals’ curiosity can result in lethal blows by the rotors, which spin at a rate of about 160 miles (260 kilometers) per hour.

But scientist Erin Baerwald and colleagues report that only about half of the bat corpses they found near Alberta, Canada, turbine bases showed any physical evidence of being hit by a blade.

A surprising 90 percent showed signs of internal hemorrhaging—evidence of a drop in air pressure near the blades that causes fatal damage to the bats’ lungs with a condition called barotrauma.

In humans, the condition is related to the bends and can affect divers and airplane passengers during ascents and descents.

Read more…

the way i see it we should just get rid of wind energy since its our least effective energy source we have and replace it all with solar panels. that way the animal lovers wouldnt complain about bats dying, cause they will, and the electric company would get the bonus of generating way more energy than they ever would with wind turbines. and as far as the evolution of the bats, animals usually evolve in order adapt to things that would cause them to die in almost all the cases i can think of, so if they could just as easily learn to stay away from the turbines, i see no reason that evolution would change their body in order to withstand the force, history hasnt showed us that reasoning of evolution b17micah
10-> Yes, and snakes will evolve to live on planes. The airline cabin is a niche that could easily be exploited. Question (in earnest): if we work from a Darwin framework, natural selection and survival of the fittest, why do we care about other species surviving? Surely we should only ensure that the animals we eat are prolific? Or a lesser number of the animals we want for research purposes, or to see in the zoo? On an energy efficient note, hopefully there is a push to a more energy efficient meat industry. Kangaroo and rabbit to replace beef and pig - less energy put in, greater birth rates, quicker rearing, and leaner meat on the consumer end. Kangaroo meat has been in the chain supermarkets for the last 5~10 years down here (Aus), does the US get it? Avonwatches
"It’s all going to be OK, the bats that don’t die from wind turbine-itis will pass on their genes to the next generation and eventually they will evolve to be turbine tolerant."
Yeah, but what I worry about is the possibility that the evolutionary disequilibrium could, quite easily, result in a punctuation that -- in addition to making bats impervious to turbine-itis -- has the side effect of growing them as big as pterodactyls. With sonar that has evolved into electromagnetic-pulse generators, which not only disable wind turbines, but also vehicles on land, air, and sea. (Yeah, that's the ticket!) And armed with can-opener-like claws that enable the winged giants to pry open whatever steel and aluminum separates them from the juicy organic matter riding along inside those vehicles. Okay, now I'm thinking Hollywood... Mr. President, hundreds of thousands of giant bats are preying on the freeways of Los Angeles. What should we do???? jstanley01
"A tough choice for teh environmentalist whackos if I ever saw one." ROFL!! Jehu
Yes I agree with GCUGreyArea. This is a perfect chance to prove evolutionary theory and perfect instance of natural selection. Start the gene sequencing fast before its too late and they've evolved once again without us ever seeing any evidence of it! I remember a conversation I was having with someone about the disappearing bee phenomenon, and I mentioned that bees fill a necessary evolutionary niche so obviously something will evolve to take their place, so no big deal. This girl said, "Are you joking?" Just goes to show that people don't really believe in evolution. It's an intellectual belief only, and when they come on hard times they can't really bring themselves to truly trust in it. :D I liked that article linked by russ. "It's kind of schizophrenic behavior," Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently. "They say that we want renewable energy, but we don't want you to put it anywhere." "The only energy sources they seem to like are the ones we don't have." Well guess what, there's this thing called the second law. Anytime you use energy at all, it releases unusable heat energy and contributes to the increase of entropy in the universe. But of course, these people are children who haven't gotten over the fact that when they cover their eyes other people can still see them. So entropy, which they can't see, isn't going to piss them off. It's only the cute fuzzy animals and beautiful green trees that motivate them. I say we put blinders on them all like horses and tie them up to rickshaws. I wouldn't mind that method of green transportation :D. tragicmishap
irrdan So why not just burn more oil and let the bats live? Because economically recoverable oil is a finite resource and at the rate it's being used up it'll be gone before the end of this century. "Economically recoverable oil" is that which takes less energy per barrel to recover than is contained in the recovered barrel. Once it takes more energy to recover a barrel than is contained in a barrel it's effectively gone no matter how much remains in the ground. There are lots of good reasons to conserve fossil fuels and develop alternative energy sources. Global warming just isn't one of those reasons. DaveScot
GCUGreyArea Yes, I see. I'm imagining a "turbine sensitive spot". Russ re; WSJ article about greenies blocking the construction of transmission lines to connect wind & solar energy farms to the cities that need the juice Incredible. I filed this under humor but evidently it shouldn't have been. Poe's Law. DaveScot
It's all going to be OK, the bats that don't die from wind turbine-itis will pass on their genes to the next generation and eventually they will evolve to be turbine tolerant ;) GCUGreyArea
"Save the whales! Free the mallocs!"
Nice little bit of programmer humor. :D
Never write software that anthropomorphizes the machine...they hate that.
Why shouldn't we get rid of this alternative energy source? after all, glubal warming is nonsense. So why not just burn more oil and let the bats live? IrrDan
This one is easy. The bats are gonna win: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121901822110148233.html russ
Save the whales! Free the mallocs! johnnyb

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