Comments

  1. jstackpo says

    What did you expect? Auntie Em’s wheelchair wheels kept on turning, too.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    I think storm chasing looks fun.
    But I am old and I think, “What a way to go!”

  3. hemidactylus says

    That was awesome footage. Tornadoes are mesmerizing, beautiful, and deadly. I feel watching them creates bad vibes for me in upcoming hurricane season when I may be under the gun. Superstitious? Guilty? Shellshocked?

    I tuned into Weather Channel a couple nights ago to check on potential outbreak and Mike Bettes was on (can’t remember if studio or field) They were showing a graphic with El Reno in potential danger zone. Bettes had learned first hand the hazards of chasing there almost six years ago (May 31).

    https://youtu.be/P7l3fug-CKI

    Tim Samaras and his crew passed away:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Samaras

    Not something I would have the guts to do. Some of these people are trying to do useful science. And others might be risking a lot but at least may call in ground sighted confirmations useful to meteorologists relying on radar. But some of it is reckless danger porn I suppose.

  4. dixonge says

    Not ALL chasers… Lol

    I have seen many tornadoes in the field, normally from safe distances. The trend appears to be Darwinian. A few high-profile chasers are behind this. I hope their luck holds…

  5. wzrd1 says

    A proper scientist would love data, an improper scientist would reject data..

    And yes, they’re batshit crazy, on steroids.

  6. militantagnostic says

    The wind turbines were protected by the piles of dead bald eagles at their bases.

  7. unclefrogy says

    if the funnel really did get as close to the turbine as it appeared in that video there has been some very good engineering in the design of those turbines. I am impressed
    uncle frogy

  8. says

    I think the perspective is really forced and the tornado isn’t as close to the turbines as it appears here.

  9. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To drksky
    Uhh, what? I don’t understand. It seems that your source agrees with militantagnostic and not you. Quoting your source:

    Wind turbines may kill 33,000 birds per year, and, as in the case of electrocutions, these birds tend to be large and scarce (e.g. raptors). The recent surge of interest in wind power has heightened concerns about their effect on birds, and has led to at least the discussion of efforts by the wind power industry to design more benign windmills and to choose locations that are less “birdy”. It’s difficult for an environmentalist to come out against renewable energy like wind turbines, but as long as the electricity generated is considered a “supplement” to satisfy increasing demand, wind power will not really help the fight against global warming. Establishment of wind farms should go hand-in-hand with drastic cuts in electricity use, and there is a real need for more study of the relationship between birds and wind farms.

    Wind turbines appear to be driving the hoary bat species to extinction as well.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320716310485

    I don’t see anything terribly wrong with the earlier comment. Wind turbines are a major threat for some bird and bat species.

  10. consciousness razor says

    EL:

    It seems that your source agrees with militantagnostic and not you.

    miltantagnostic was definitely being sarcastic. If a single turbine were surrounded by 33,000 bird corpses, perhaps it would matter…. It seems more likely to cause extra damage to the turbine, not protect it, but it would be something. In any case, that source doesn’t even remotely agree with the idea that there are a sufficient number of dead bald eagles (specifically) around any given turbine. Because that’s obviously insane.
    Here’s a Rawstory article from last week, since you were too excited about hating on renewables to get the joke: The internet rips Trump over claim he saw piles of dead bald eagles under windmills. From one tweet:

    But why [the] bald eagles lie? Simple. His base doesn’t give a rats ass about birds. But they DO get patriot boners over bald eagles. So that’s the lie. As the ornithologist texted me, “The idiotification of America continues.”

  11. consciousness razor says

    It seems more likely to cause extra damage to the turbine, not protect it, but it would be something.

    That wasn’t clear. I think the chance of protecting it is 0, which is less than some (perhaps small) chance of them causing some amount of non-superficial damage, in addition to other damage the tornado would have caused (from debris, high winds and so on.).

  12. unclefrogy says

    I would like to know how the estimates of bird deaths by the various means is arrived at and what is the estimated accuracy. I do not doubt a lot of birds die every year but all the deaths are not being reported to anyone. So how do they do it?
    uncle frogy

  13. unclefrogy says

    someone or a whole lot of someones are out counting all the birds? everywhere? how do they determine what caused the deaths when is some cases many, cats, by catch, pesticides, waste oil and water pits there are no remains to count?
    uncle frogy

  14. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I bet our stable genius would tell us,
    did you know, the Gree Nue Deel keeps secret that those windmeals churn out tornadoes inflicting the midwest these days as a side effect of sweeping up eagles for carnage, believe me

  15. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    miltantagnostic was definitely being sarcastic. If a single turbine were surrounded by 33,000 bird corpses,

    Sorry. I assumed everyone automatically recognized it as obvious exaggeration to make a point. I also didn’t know about the recent Trump quote. Sorry again. Does that mean militantagnostic was actually serious about the literal claim? Oh wow.

  16. militantagnostic says

    EL @21

    Does that mean militantagnostic was actually serious about the literal claim? Oh wow.

    If you were any denser, you would block neutrinos.

  17. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ok. I am now completely confused, and I don’t know what anyone is talking about any more.

  18. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Lofty
    I think you’re misusing “SNAFU”. What do you think it means, and why do you think it applies to me?

    I never said that wind turbines were the biggest killers of bird species. However, I did post to an article which references proper scientific evidence that wind turbines may be the leading cause of deaths in the hoary bat, which might drive the hoary bat to extinction. I also mentioned that wind turbines do kill some endangered bird species in significant numbers.

    Wind turbines and concentrated solar thermal plants get exemptions from the United States’s “Endangered Species Act” that nuclear power would never get. I am pointing out the obvious hypocrisy and double standards, and I’m again pointing out how wind and solar are far worse for the environment compared to nuclear power.

  19. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Oh, and speaking of which. Because of their dilute nature and their dependence on local geography, solar and wind come with far more amounts of electricity transmission lines compared to alternatives, which means that a significant portion of bird deaths attributed to transmission lines should really be attributed to solar and wind. This will become even more significant as wind and solar expands.

  20. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Did some more research. I’ve seen several sources suggest that thousands of golden eagles have been killed over the last few decades at a single facility.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Pass_wind_farm
    https://www.kqed.org/science/247785/big-challenge-as-california-ramps-up-wind-power-golden-eagles

    When the population is only about 20,000 individuals,
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171018090227.htm
    and maybe 70 golden eagle deaths per year from this single wind farm, then it seems like wind turbines at large are very big threat to certain bird species, in addition to the hoary bat. Remember, that’s just from a single wind farm. If the Greens get their way and wind power expands tremendously, it’s likely to cause the extinction of many birds of prey and bats.

    I don’t even know why this is controversial. Fucking Green cultists and their religious thinking.

  21. John Morales says

    EL:

    Oh, and speaking of which. Because of their dilute nature and their dependence on local geography, solar and wind come with far more amounts of electricity transmission lines compared to alternatives, which means that a significant portion of bird deaths attributed to transmission lines should really be attributed to solar and wind. This will become even more significant as wind and solar expands.

    Leaving aside that the proportion of bird deaths caused by wind turbines is greatly exceeded by those from other man-made causes, you are suggesting the proportion of powerlines devoted to solar and wind power generation plants is a significant proportion of all power lines.

    I have news for you: part of the economics of any large solar or wind facility is proximity to the existing grid.

    In passing, for unclefrogy: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0101565 (“Refining Estimates of Bird Collision and Electrocution Mortality at Power Lines in the United States”) — though it is related to this very comment, too.

  22. John Morales says

    PS

    Did some more research. I’ve seen several sources suggest that thousands of golden eagles have been killed over the last few decades at a single facility.

    That’s… suggestive.

  23. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @29: Anthropic means of or relating to humans. I think anthropogenic is the word you want.

  24. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John
    I am unconvinced that bird deaths from “other human sources” exceeds that for wind turbines for raptors at large, and especially for certain particular species. During my research just now, it appears that much of this data is not public, and the US government is granting permits to many wind companies without requiring them to report the number of bird deaths and which species of birds are being killed. It is hard to say. Based on what I’ve seen thus far, it appears that several wind turbine farms are major threats to several particular bird and bat species, but it’s hard to draw any broader conclusions.

    Regarding your claim that expansion of wind and solar are not major drivers of expansion of transmission lines. The claim is ridiculous and asinine. Just look at all o the problems going on in Germany regarding attempts to build additional transmission lines. Other than that, your foolish claim does not warrant a further reply.

  25. John Morales says

    EL, ahem: “We conducted a quantitative review that incorporated data from 14 studies meeting our inclusion criteria to estimate that between 12 and 64 million birds are killed each year at U.S. power lines, with between 8 and 57 million birds killed by collision and between 0.9 and 11.6 million birds killed by electrocution.”

    Millions exceeds thousands by orders of magnitude.

    Also, since you’ve previously cited the Grauniad: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/07/how-many-birds-killed-by-skyscrapers-american-cities-report

    The actual headline: “Buildings are killing up to 1bn birds a year in US, scientists estimate”

    Billions are three ordes of magnitude greater than thousands.

  26. Ichthyic says

    Billions are three ordes of magnitude greater than thousands.

    you mean millions.

    thousand
    ten thou
    hundred thou
    million
    ten mill
    hundred mill
    billion

    billions would be 3 orders of mag larger than millions.

  27. Ichthyic says

    oh, and… why are you even bothering to argue with EL? you know how bloody intractable he is.

    waste of time.

    just be glad he is in charge of exactly nothing.

  28. Ichthyic says

    Fucking Green cultists and their religious thinking.

    I see Private projection has been promoted to Major projection.

    gratz!

  29. Ichthyic says

    “I am now completely confused, and I don’t know what anyone is talking about any more.”

    LOL

    nah, too easy.

  30. John Morales says

    Ichthyic, re #35, indeed.
    re #36, to lessen the chance that some casual reader accepts the claim at face value.

  31. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I am unconvinced […] especially for certain particular species … Based on what I’ve seen thus far, it appears that several wind turbine farms are major threats to several particular bird and bat species, but it’s hard to draw any broader conclusions.

  32. John Morales says

    For particular species in particular locations, sure, don’t build there.
    I’ve read more than one headline about wind farms not going ahead due to some concerns.

    Still.

    http://theconversation.com/wind-farms-are-hardly-the-bird-slayers-theyre-made-out-to-be-heres-why-79567

    A 2009 study using US and European data on bird deaths estimated the number of birds killed per unit of power generated by wind, fossil fuel and nuclear power systems.

    It concluded:

    wind farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fuelled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh.

  33. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Yes. In my research, I encountered that particular study by Sovacool many times. Sovacool is a well known Green liar and fraud. For a deconstruction of that particular study, see:
    https://atomicinsights.com/nukes-kill-more-birds-than-wind/
    https://atomicinsights.com/lorenzini-rebuts-sovacools-defense-of-nuclear-bird-kill-paper-as-weak/

    In my experience, if you see a claimed scientific study in favor of wind or solar at the expense of nuclear, then odds are good that it’s a fraudulent paper. Here’s just another example. Again, I believe, for what I think are good reasons, that the entire Green movement is intellectually rotten, filled with liars and shills. Citing a paper from a Green author is no better than citing a paper from a theologian. Green authors are theologians, of a sort.

  34. John Morales says

    EnlightenmentLiberal, you’d to better to rely on your own analysis than to rely on citations from a site devoted to nuclear power advocacy much the same as wattsupwiththat is devoted to climate change denialism.

    As for the chopping blades of extinction, you know, like budgies flying around a room with a ceiling fan spinning, the issue at hand would be bird strikes.

    (But it is emotive to Greenies — think of the raptors!)

  35. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John Morales
    Imagine hearing a creationist saying “www.talkorigins.org/ has an bias towards Darwinism”. Being biased is not necessarily a bad thing. When there are two voracious sides, the truth does not necessary lie in the middle. Sometimes one side is just right. The nuclear side is basically just right, and the Green side is basically just wrong. It’s quite comparable to evolution vs creationism.

    In particular, I’ve thoroughly examined primary sources from Rod Adams website many times, and I have concluded that Rod Adams and his site atomicinsights is a reliable source of information.

    Also, let me supply the link where Rod published a response from Sovacool about his paper, where IIRC he backs off many of the claims that he made in the original paper.
    https://atomicinsights.com/sovacool-vs-lorenzini/

    First, and most important: Paul has misstated the actual conclusion from my original study. It never advances the conclusion, as he claims, that “nuclear power causes more bird kills than wind.” Instead, the article has three conclusions, one primary, and two secondary.

    The primary conclusion was to highlight the need for better data and analysis on the issue of avian deaths and energy technology—inclusive of not only nuclear energy but also wind turbines and fossil fuels. This conclusion is something I think Paul and most readers would agree with. Here is one of the paragraphs straight from that section of the article:
    […]
    One secondary conclusion is that visible impacts for a given energy system may not be the most important—we can see birds crashing into wind turbines, but we often don’t see their nests degraded by the manufacturing plant that made the blades, witness them crashing into the fossil-fueled smokestack, or picture them drinking contaminated water near a uranium mine or mill. This challenges us to make “visible” previously “invisible” parts of our energy infrastructure. While we can disagree about the precise numbers—and I hedge this by underscoring that the numbers in my study are preliminary, first-order guesses that need followed through with other research—those impacts are nonetheless there.
    […]
    A final secondary conclusion is that if there is a real “bird killer,” it is neither wind energy nor nuclear power but coal and fossil fuels, especially if you factor in climate change. As I state in the conclusion, again, “fossil-fueled facilities are about 17 times more dangerous to birds on a per GWh basis than wind and nuclear power stations.”

    As some of the responders note – this is either an incompetent response or a disingenuous response. For example, you can go to Wikipedia right now, and you can see that it makes the firm claim that nuclear kills more birds than wind power, and it cites this specific paper by Sovacool. So, Sovacool is either incompetent by writing a paper that anyone should have known would be taken at face value as making a firm claim instead of a “preliminary claim”, or he did it with full knowledge that this would happen and he’s now lying.

  36. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Let me again remind everyone that as far as I can tell, when you look at actual scientists, instead of Green advocates without academic credentials, it appears that a large majority of climate scientists, and also a large majority of scientists at large, favor increased use of nuclear power, and some of them, including James Hansen and Kerry Emanuel, say that the Greens are quasi-religious, and the Green idea is like believing in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, and that the Green movement is might be the biggest obstacle to fixing climate change – even bigger than climate change deniers.

    I’m not arguing against the scientific mainstream. The Green energy movement is arguing against the scientific mainstream.

  37. John Morales says

    Um, EL, that was not an invitation for you to segue into nuclear power advocacy; it was to do with the whirling blades of death metaphor which itself was a tangent to the post topic.

    re: “Being biased is not necessarily a bad thing.”

    Dunno if you’re aware of this, but that contention is predicated on the possibility of not being biased. We’re all biased, that’s part of being sentient and unique.

    Still, good to see you concede you link to a biased site, though you claim it’s good and proper to do so in this case.

  38. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Yeah. As I said, I think it’s also good and proper to link to talkorigins.org which is also a biased site – biased for the truth.

  39. John Morales says

    No worries, EL.

    I’m comfortable you have not disputed my point, you’re comfortable you’ve justified it, and we’re both comfortable your stance has been further elucidated.

    (Win-win!)

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