Wind power is an excellent source of clean energy. The use of large wind turbines is growing worldwide and the demand continues to increase. That’s why the Scottish government proposed to build a windfarm of 335 turbines in the waters of the North Sea, a few miles off Scotland’s east coast. It could have brought jobs and more clean energy and be beneficial to everyone, except for one group: birds.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), stood up for Scotland’s beloved bird species, calling out the windfarm plan to be “lethal” towards these birds. In addition to killing passing-by birds (in the US, for instance, 20.000 to 573.000 birds and bats die every year flying close to wind turbines), windfarms take away the feeding and breeding ground of the flocks. This is a massive weapon. Scotland hosts 1/3 of the seabirds of the continent throughout seasons. Once the chain breaks, the balance of the environment is immediately at risk.
In the last nine years the RSPB has been in court fighting against the sustainability project praised by the Scottish government as the “key to the economic future”. This shifts it to a political and legal issue. Interestingly, both parties at conflict claim that they share a passionate commitment towards the environment and yet cannot seem to find a common ground. The Scottish government responded to the estimated 1000 inevitable deaths of gannets and hundreds of kittiwakes defining it an “acceptable minimum”, this, of course, infuriated the protection agencies. The protection of birds is done in the name of nature, but so is green power. Who is the bad guy in this case? In other words, what’s the better thing to do for nature?