Citizens for Safe Technology
Empowering the public to protect children
and nature from unsafe wireless technologies.
Animals: Wild and Domestic
ANIMALS - WILD and DOMESTIC: INTRODUCTION to TOPIC
Wild Creatures, Pets and Domestic Farm Animals
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Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays -- "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair
A burned Yellow-rumped Warbler that was found at the Ivanpah solar plant in the California Mojave Desert.
IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays -- "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair
"Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.
"The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.
"The deaths are "alarming. It's hard to say whether that's the location or the technology," said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. "There needs to be some caution."
"The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm. Solar farms have been criticized for their impacts on desert tortoises, and wind farms have killed birds, including numerous raptors.
"We take this issue very seriously," said Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, the second of the three companies behind the plant. The third, Google, deferred comment to its partners.
"The $2.2 billion plant, which launched in February, is at Ivanpah Dry Lake near the California-Nevada border. The operator says it is the world's biggest plant to employ so-called power towers.
"More than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect solar rays onto three boiler towers each looming up to 40 stories high. The water inside is heated to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes.
"Sun rays sent up by the field of mirrors are bright enough to dazzle pilots flying in and out of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
"Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays.
"Federal and state biologists call the number of deaths significant, based on sightings of birds getting singed and falling, and on retrieval of carcasses with feathers charred too severely for flight.
"Ivanpah officials dispute the source of the so-called streamers, saying at least some of the puffs of smoke mark insects and bits of airborne trash being ignited by the solar rays.
"Wildlife officials who witnessed the phenomena say many of the clouds of smoke were too big to come from anything but a bird, and they add that they saw "birds entering the solar flux and igniting, consequently become a streamer."
"U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say they want a death toll for a full year of operation.
"Given the apparent scale of bird deaths at Ivanpah, authorities should thoroughly track bird kills there for a year, including during annual migratory seasons, before granting any more permits for that kind of solar technology, said George, of the Audubon Society.
"The toll on birds has been surprising, said Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission. "We didn't see a lot of impact" on birds at the first, smaller power towers in the U.S. and Europe, Weisenmiller said.
"The commission is now considering the application from Oakland-based BrightSource to build a mirror field and a 75-story power tower that would reach above the sand dunes and creek washes between Joshua Tree National Park and the California-Arizona border.
"The proposed plant is on a flight path for birds between the Colorado River and California's largest lake, the Salton Sea -- an area, experts say, is richer in avian life than the Ivanpah plant, with protected golden eagles and peregrine falcons and more than 100 other species of birds recorded there.
"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials warned California this month that the power-tower style of solar technology holds "the highest lethality potential" of the many solar projects burgeoning in the deserts of California.
"The commission's staff estimates the proposed new tower would be almost four times as dangerous to birds as the Ivanpah plant. The agency is expected to decide this autumn on the proposal.
"While biologists say there is no known feasible way to curb the number of birds killed, the companies behind the projects say they are hoping to find one -- studying whether lights, sounds or some other technology would scare them away, said Joseph Desmond, senior vice president at BrightSource Energy.
"BrightSource also is offering $1.8 million in compensation for anticipated bird deaths at Palen, Desmond said.
"The company is proposing the money for programs such as those to spay and neuter domestic cats, which a government study found kill over 1.4 billion birds a year. Opponents say that would do nothing to help the desert birds at the proposed site.
"Power-tower proponents are fighting to keep the deaths from forcing a pause in the building of new plants when they see the technology on the verge of becoming more affordable and accessible, said Thomas Conroy, a renewable-energy expert.
"When it comes to powering the country's grids, "diversity of technology ... is critical," Conroy said. "Nobody should be arguing let's be all coal, all solar," all wind, or all nuclear. "And every one of those technologies has a long list of pros and cons."
US Department of Interior Attacks FCC's Exposure Standards - Take Back Your Power
"Birds have "nest and site abandonment, plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship, and death"
"The Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance of the United States Department of the Interior sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce that addresses the Interior Department's concern that cell tower radiation has had negative impacts on the health of migratory birds and other wildlife.
"The Interior Department accused the Federal government of employing outdated radiation standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a Federal agency with no expertise in health. The standards are no longer applicable because they control only for overheating and do not protect organisms from the adverse effects of exposure to the low-intensity radiation produced by cell phones and cell towers: . . .
Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC re Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife
"The Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance of the United States Department of the Interior sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce which addresses the Interior Department's concern that cell tower radiation has had negative impacts on the health of migratory birds and other wildlife.
"The Interior Department accused the Federal government of employing outdated radiation standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a federal agency with no expertise in health. The standards are no longer applicable because they control only for overheating and do not protect organisms from the adverse effects of exposure to the low-intensity radiation produced by cell phones and cell towers:
"the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today."
"The Department criticized the Federal government's proposed procedures for placement and operation of communication towers, and called for "independent, third-party peer-reviewed studies" in the U.S. to examine the effects of cell tower radiation on "migratory birds and other trust species."
"Following are excerpts from the letter, dated Feb 7, 2014:
Department of Interior Attacks FCC re Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife
BBC News Science and Environment Report
"Several species' vision was studied by an international team to identify this ultra-violet (UV) sensitivity.
"The findings, published in the journal Conservation Biology, claimed habitats and migration could be disrupted.
"The flashes, or corona, occur when charge builds up in a cable and is released into the air.
"The international team, including scientists from University College London and the Arctic University of Norway, measured the spectrum of light emitted by these bursts of charge.
"They worked out that although the light was invisible to us, it contained wavelengths seen by many other mammals. . . .
A review of ecological effects of RF-EMF: published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals that show (possible) EMR effect
Bibliography of 149 studies reporting significant effects of electromagnetic fields on birds, bees, frogs and other animals. Updated June 2012
Here are references and links to 153 articles reporting significant effects from EMF exposures on wildlife and domestic animals. The current ICNIRP's safety guidelines for radiofrequency exposures were onlydeveloped to protect healthy adult males from exposures lasting 6 minutes. How much evidence is needed before we apply the precautionary principle?
Wi-Fi in Schools Australia (website)
"Globally, an increasing scientific understanding is rapidly emerging that wireless technologies are causing harm to wildlife and our domestic animals.
"Alfonso Balmoro (PhD), a wildlife biologist from Spain, claims electromagnetic radiation is a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and for the deterioration of plant health near mobile phone masts. He explains that microwave and radiofrequency pollution create long term health effects to wildlife because the phone masts are irradiating continuously, (A. Balmori, Electromagnetic pollution from phone masts. Effects on wildlife, Pathophysiology -2009).
"Research studies show that harmful effects have been observed on an array of animals including bees, worms, fruit flies, amphibians, rats, monkeys, birds, bird eggs and varieties of livestock. www.livingplanet.be/emranimals.htm
"One explanation for some of the harmful effects is related to magnetite which occurs naturally as part of the animal's physiology. Magnetite has a navigational function used by animals including bees, butterflies, birds, fish and dolphins. Around mobile phone towers for example, interference to the bird's magnetic navigation attributes to nests containing fewer eggs and chicks showing deformities and subsequently, populations of bird species are in decline. . . .
"The ever increasing use of wireless technologies clearly means that helping our wildlife and animals has never been more urgent."
a White Paper for the Anthropogenic Panel, 5th International Partners in Flight Conference
This paper briefly reviews some of the significant human-related causes of bird mortality in the U.S., with a focus on empowering stakeholders including industry and other affected parties regarding steps each can take to avoid, minimize and mitigate direct and indirect impacts from projects on migratory birds.
Abstract and Introduction
Current Bird Status; Comparing Estimates of Take; Variables to Consider in Assessing Impacts
Thumbnail Comparisons of Some Causes of Bird Mortality
Paul Ouellette has been feeding birds in the Rolling Hills neighborhood for several years and said since the city installed smart water meters he has not had to buy bird feed for the multiple feeders in his yard.
" . . . While there is much information and misinformation on the effects of the high-frequency pulse on the health of humans, there is little research into the effect on small wildlife such as birds. The meters operate at a frequency similar to cell phones and other portable communications devices and while some minor health effects have been reported, such as problems sleeping or dizziness or nausea, the meters are generally considered safe for humans.
"Ouellette said he thinks the city's meters may be different somehow, as the power and gas meters in the neighborhood were also fitted with smart meters last year and they did not seem to have an effect on the neighborhood's wildlife.
"But since the city's have gone on, he and Chase both said the change was obvious and immediate. . . .
" . . . What has most likely driven the cat and increasing numbers of humans to the breaking point is the new juxtaposition of pulsed microwave radiation generated by the deployment of the smart meter grid across the United States. She (the cat) has retreated to the downstairs bathroom, sleeping in the sink and eating, drinking and eliminating within two confined rooms at the mid-point of radiation from the antenna-laden water tower up the hill from the house and the pulsing electric meter on the other side. . . .
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Citizens For Safe Technology
"Wi-Fi: Is It Safe?"
Citizens for Safe Technology is a not-for-profit educational society made up of parents, grandparents, teachers, business professionals, scientists, politicians and lawyers concerned about the exponential increase in public exposure to harmful wireless technologies.
We believe a profound urgency exists to protect the unsuspecting public, especially children, youth and pregnant mothers from unsafe wireless technologies.
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