Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day -- Rupert Murdoch Takes to Twitter and Attacks "Windmills" and "Crappy Blogs"

By Kathleen

Photo by Jan Martin Will

Today is Earth Day. Earth Day is the day of the year that we take to remind ourselves that our beautiful planet earth is under persistent threat from those who would rather that we neglect and continue to ignore the issues that significantly affect our environment. 

Today on the National Mall between 12 Noon and 7.00 pm hundreds of thousands of environmentally aware people will be joined by civic leaders and celebrities for a special event. All over the world millions of people will gather at events in their own countries. You can tune in to the live stream of the gathering at the National Mall by watching the video which I have uploaded below. 

Watch live streaming video from earthday2012 at

Please remember to do your best to support your environment everyday. Not just today.

In further news Rupert Murdoch seems to be concerned with the environment. Yesterday, with obvious concern for his feathered friends, he twittered the following message: 

Murdoch clearly disagrees that wind energy is a good thing. He writes that wind turbines are "uneconomic ugly bird killing windmills." Murdoch is wrong. Power from wind is a proven viable energy source. It costs far less than nuclear and coal power and it is also more environmentally friendly and is increasingly more competitive in price than extracting gas from shale. Wind power also has the additional benefit of being viritually pollution free to the environment. Something that I am sure that many of us can get behind. 

Last December, here in Germany, wind turbines generated more than 8.5 billion kilo-watt hours which meant that the overall share of renewables to the German power mix has now reached an amazing 20 per cent. Wind turbine energy in Germany is not uneconomic -- it is an economic AND an environmental success. In the US wind power is also achieving many new milestones. Murdoch's claim that "windmills" are uneconomic are just not true. And I suspect that he knows it. 

As for being ugly that is a matter of aesthetic taste. However, this argument should not be about aesthetic taste. I think wind turbines are beautiful because aside from being better to look at than a nuclear or coal power plant they do not produce emissions or by-products which we do not know how to store safely. Simply put, wind energy is pollution free and therefore so much better for the world that it must be better and more lovely. 

Murdoch's last argument against this particular source of renewable energy is an emotive one. The killing of birds. It's one that we can all relate to and indeed it may appeal to those of us who are truly concerned about the environment. However, there is a problem with Murdoch's argument. Research shows that wind turbines kill relatively few birds when you compare the number of deaths of birds to other man-made structures such as windows and power lines.

The following table shows that bird deaths caused by wind turbines are one tenth of a per cent of those caused by other unnatural causes. The numbers prove that  wind turbines actually kill relatively few birds.

Moreover, wind turbine producers have vastly improved the design of wind turbines in order to further minimise the number of bird deaths by radically changing both the design of the turbine and the speed at which it needs to turn in order to produce energy. 

Perhaps someone should advise Murdoch that it is the "crappy bloggers" who write the facts and not mindless media moguls who barely seem to know what they are talking about. 

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