Thursday, October 26, 2006

Exposed: MA Audubon Promotes Bird Killing Project

Massachusetts Audubon needs to know they can't have it both ways. And it is up to us and the media to hold their feet to the fire. We need to demand they clearly state that their preliminary approval of the Cape Wind project does not represent a conflict of interest on their part. They need to exclude themselves from any monetary gain, as in a multi-million dollar monitoring contract, should the Cape Wind project go through. It is unconscionable for them to proclaim their interest in protecting the living resource while having the back up financial plan to gain millions of dollars by stepping back from the protection of the living to the counting of the dead.

On the same night as I attended a talk given by Jack Clarke of MA Audubon where he stated unequivocably that MA Audubon was not in support of the Cape Wind project because of the potential to harm birds, his pre-taped video presentation shown at an NPR debate on wind energy stated that he saw no reason not to support it since there would be no harm to birds. Which is it? The public and their membership needs to know.

On one hand MA Audubon's public response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Wind project says their scientists concluded that up to 6,000 birds will die should the project be permitted while on the other hand they state in a public newspaper article they never said it.

MA Adudubon. Stop the public lying! And tell the truth. You can't have it both ways.

Boston University Daily Free Press

PERSPECTIVE: Cape Wind is a bird hazard

Issue date: 10/25/06 Section: Opinion

As jury duty serves to remind us, there comes a time when each and every one of us should answer the call for the greater good. This call arrived for me more than three years ago when I first recognized that the developer of the Cape Wind project was serious.

As a life-long resident of Massachusetts, and a frequent visitor to the Cape and Islands, I am concerned about the impact this project would have on the views I cherish.

When I contacted my state representative, she asked, "Who is the interagency liaison?" These words came as an epiphany to me. "I am," was my response.

As a self-appointed interagency liaison, I set out to contact state and federal agencies, politicians, reporters, fishermen, chambers of commerce, preservation groups, the Wampanoag Tribe, attorneys, historic preservationists and any group on my radar for the purpose of information gathering and dissemination.

I now understand that we are involved in a precarious ad hoc review of Cape Wind as we have no comprehensive policy for governance of the waterway or existing zoning of the Outer Continental Shelf now open for development. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and there is no system of checks and balances in place to direct this precedent, unanticipated and nascent off-shore technology.

The Massachusetts Audubon Society offered its "preliminary" approval of Cape Wind during spring 2006, in its press release "Challenge." The preliminary support is conditional and involves the adoption of a multi-million dollar contract, called a monitoring program, the Adaptive Management Plan. The proposed environmental monitoring program is a contract that would begin at construction phase and continue for at least three years post construction per Mass Audubon's specifications.

Mass Audubon has influenced the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and others to support Cape Wind's proposal. Many have interpreted Mass Audubon's "preliminary approval" of Cape Wind as "no harm to birds" as the final word on Cape Wind, by an "unbiased" advocacy group acting in the interest of birds.

But, the federal regulatory agency in the Cape Wind permit review process is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and they have rebuffed Mass Audubon's tentative endorsement, calling it premature and unhelpful to the wind farm project's overall review.

"We're not on the same page," said Vernon Lang, supervisor of Fish and Wildlife's New England field office and the agency's lead official on the Cape Wind proposal.

My letter July 26 regarding Nantucket Sound's aviary population, and Mass Audubon's "Challenge" that was published in South Coast Today's closing question was: "I wish to challenge Mass Audubon to answer one question: What agency do they suggest should be eligible to bid on, or awarded this lucrative, long-term monitoring contract if Cape Wind is permitted in Nantucket Sound?"

Taber Allison of Mass Audubon responded with a letter of his own to South Coast Today editors: Letter writer gets bird facts wrong "Barbara Durkin repeatedly misquotes our public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Study for the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound as she does most recently in her July 26 Letter to the Editor.

Mass Audubon scientists have never concluded that up to 6,600 birds-or any number of birds-would be killed if this project is permitted." His letter continued: "We don't understand Ms. Durkin's closing question."

The President of Mass Audubon, Laura A. Johnson, submitted Mass Audubon's comments stating, "By utilizing other bird mortality data provided in the [Cape Wind Draft Environmental Impact Statement], Mass Audubon staff scientists arrived at avian mortalities that ranged from 2,300 to 6,600 collision deaths per year."

I later asked Jack Clarke of Mass Audubon to disclose any financial interest that Mass Audubon or their fledgling agencies may have if Cape Wind is permitted at a Clean Power Now offshore Wind Power Symposium held at Cape Cod Community College in August 2006. "I don't know what you mean by contract," was his response.

Mass Audubon must address its imposed "condition" of their preliminary approval of Cape Wind. Disclosure of any potential financial interest Mass Audubon my have in the outcome of the Cape Wind proposal is the only satisfactory measure that will reveal their objectivity and lack of bias as they collect and analyze data and comment on the same in this permit review process.

As Nantucket Sound is an endangered species habitat, and these species fall under federal protection, we have moral and legal responsibilities to consider.

Mass Audubon must disclose if it has a financial interest in the outcome of the Cape Wind review process as a permit reviewing agency by way of the Adaptive Management Plan contract.

The public should know that if Cape Wind is permitted, up to 6,600 bird carcasses per year could be counted by Mass Audubon for profit, and that is perverse.

Cape Wind needs to be under an objective review if we are to anticipate a positive outcome. We can ill afford, considering the magnitude of the precedent Cape Wind would set, to look away.

We must be vigilant and consistently evaluate any potential for conflict of interest or bias concerning any parties involved in the Cape Wind review process. We must guard against a financial interest driven outcome by a reviewing agency in this Cape Wind ad hoc review process.

We have a prima facie reason to question the objectivity of the subsequent analysis by Mass Audubon as it now stands.

Barbara Durkin is a resident of Northboro, Mass.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Should the Fox Guard the Hen House?

Will Mass Audubon benefit from Cape Wind project?
Barbara Durkin

The Cape Wind project is proposed for an ecosystem and aviary corridor with documented endangered species, and that is under current and conflicting use as an essential fish habitat. "Clean, green, renewable" is not benign when it represents an industrial-scale wind facility comparable in scale to a land area the size of Manhattan Island proposed to be introduced into this ecosystem.

The magnitude of the Cape Wind project, along with the fact that this is nascent technology, merits deep consideration.

One consideration that must be evaluated is the objectivity of any agency involved in the permit review process. If, as example, Mass Audubon has a financial stake, for whatever reason, in the outcome of any inquiry, such as the process of accounting for any wildlife mortality that stems from a major power plant such as Cape Wind, then that is a prima facie reason to question the objectivity of the subsequent analysis. That Mass Audubon, or any of its members, would profit from a project it was reviewing, should clue any reasonable observer that the results might be tainted. Mass Audubon's "preliminary approval" of Cape Wind is taken at face value: "no harm to birds."

Mass Audubon's "Challenge" states: "We also propose adoption of an Adaptive Management Plan that includes a rigorous monitoring program beginning at the construction phase and continuing for at least three years post-construction, mitigation measures in the event that the project results in significant adverse environmental impacts..."

The condition Mass Audubon has imposed on its preliminary approval of Cape Wind is a monitoring contract worth multimillions of dollars. This monitoring contract language is the most strongly stated condition of Mass Audubon's preliminary approval of Cape Wind in its "Challenge."

The president of Mass Audubon, Laura A. Johnson, submitted these comments on the Cape Wind draft environmental impact study on Feb. 23, 2005, to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

"By utilizing other bird mortality data provided in the DEIS, Mass Audubon staff scientists arrived at avian mortalities that ranged from 2,300 to 6,600 collision deaths per year."

However, Taber Allison of Mass Audubon, in his Aug. 3, 2006, letter to SouthCoast Today, has stated, "Mass Audubon scientists have never concluded that up to 6,600 birds, or any number of birds, would be killed if this project is permitted."

Mass Audubon must disclose any potential financial benefit it might have in the outcome of the Cape Wind proposal if it is to be considered an objective and unbiased reviewing agency. Mass Audubon must declare if it or its affiliations are to become the monitoring agency, or will bid on this contract, or accept this contract that it imposes as a condition of its "preliminary approval" by its "Challenge" so that we can all "get this right."

Time is of the essence.

Barbara Durkin Northboro, MA

Friday, September 29, 2006

Department of Defense Wind Farms and Radar Report

This Report just released by the US Department of Defense shows that wind farms can and do interfere with military and air traffic control radar. For years, the wind industry, particularly Cape Wind, has been attempting to downplay this issue as just another political attempt to stop the building of some (Their) wind farms. The study proves that the issue is not only real but to date there are no mitigation techniques to solve the problem other than moving the turbines elsewhere.

Additionally, Cape Wind has been citing a report by the FAA stating "no hazard" to aviation and an Air Force letter saying the project would "pose no threat to the operation of PAVE PAWS radar." as proof of no radar interference and aviation hazards from their proposed 130 417 foot tall turbines in the middle of the Nantucket Sound and in line of three airports and military radar at Pave Paws.

This from the Cape Cod Times today:

The 62-page report, prepared for Congress by the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, specifically concludes that previous analysis of the effects on the PAVE PAWS radar station were ''overly simplified and technically flawed.''

The report calls for a more comprehensive study ''on an expedited basis.''

That conclusion stands in stark contrast to earlier correspondence from federal officials that found the Nantucket Sound project would pose no hazard.

In fact, whenever questions about radar interference were brought up before, Cape Wind officials would cite a 2003 letter from the Federal Aviation Administration that affirmed ''no hazard'' to aviation, and a 2004 Air Force letter that said the project would ''pose no threat to the operation of the PAVE PAWS radar.''

At last, the truth is being publicly exposed and it is up to each and every one of us to read the report for ourselves in order to understand this significant hazard to national security and public safety. In all real estate it is location, location, location.

The proposed Cape Wind project is in the wrong location for all... people and wildlife.

Read the full report HERE reproduced by Please note pages 54-55 on PAVE PAWS and the Nantucket Sound.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

NIMFY: An Ounce of Conservation is Worth a Pound of Cure

I agree with Carl Safina's statement "Americans insist on wasting energy and needing more. We will affect the natural view of a famously beautiful piece of America's ocean and still not develop a plan to conserve energy." in an article on wind power and in reference to the proposed Cape Wind project.

We have no plan and there is no implementation of conservation in this country. Let's start there and then utilize sources of alternative energy that will help not harm our natural resources, beautiful land and seascapes. It is putting the cart before the horse to do other wise and it is dangerous.

Conservation is the cheapest and most doable way to cut back on noxious emissions and make use of the energy we have now rather than wasting it and adding more sources on top that will simply be used up requiring more and more. America is less addicted to oil than it is to waste.

An ounce of Conservation is worth a pound of cure.

Former President Carter says “Reduce the demand through conservation. Our emphasis on conservation is a clear difference between this plan (Carter’s 10 Principles) and others which merely encouraged CRASH PRODUCTION EFFORTS. Conservation is the quickest, cheapest, most practical source of energy. Conservation is the only way we can buy a barrel of oil for a few dollars. It costs about $13 to waste it."

Projects like Cape Wind which attempt to take over 24 square miles of a public resource by a private developer are harmful not only to the delicate ocean ecology but to the community that doesn't want it. But they are labeled rich NIMBYS. Rich couldn't be further from the truth
but as to NIMBY:

I believe it is not the NIMBY title it is the NIMFY title that most aptly represents the issue. When something you do not want is about to be placed in your Front Yard you begin to look deeply into the issues. When it is about to be placed in someone else's 'back yard' you don't.
Human nature. Out of sight out of mind.

LTE from The Herald, UK on NIMBY (NIMFY)"A research team at the University of Barcelona found that local protesters often address real issues of bad planning that are ignored or discounted by authorities and developers. The study showed that nimbys could prevent the destruction of rural amenities, and often work against public policy which avours private interests. The director of the project, Dr Valeria Carril, commented: "Nimbys are in fact
protecting the whole community from decisions that might not be in the best interests of the locality. The interest of the developers is obviously to make a profit but will they do anything for the quality of life of the rest of the community? The answer is often No, and so the protesters are an essential part of getting the proper arguments and merits of any plan discussed."

Photo courtesy of

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Emperor's New Clothes; A Wind Industry Parody

Once upon a time there lived People who were quite average, intelligent and caring, with one exception: they cared a lot about being politically correct. One day they heard from a swindler named The Wind Turbine Industry that they could save on their electric bills, halt global warming, lessen their dependency on foreign oil and not hurt wildlife and our precious land and sea scapes. These turbines, they said, also had the special capability that they were invisible to anyone who was either to stupid, hypocritical or NIMBY enough not to to see the truth.

Being a bit nervous about whether they themselves would be able to see the wind turbines, they first sent two of their trusted men, a politician and a news reporter to see them. Of course, neither would admit that they could not see the turbines and so they praised them.

People around the world had also heard of the turbines and were interested to learn how stupid and NIMBY their neighbors were.

The People then allowed themselves to carry the turbines in a procession through town, never admitting that they couldn’t see the turbines at all. For they were afraid that the other people would think that they were stupid, hypocritical and NIMBY.

Of course, all the townspeople wildly praised the magnificent turbines, afraid to admit that they could not see them, until a small child said:

"But there is nothing there "!

This was whispered from person to person until everyone in the crowd was shouting that the there were no turbines, no answers to global warming, no reduction in their electric bills, no lessening of their dependence on foreign oil and they would indeed harm wildlife and their precious land and sea scapes.

Soon, all of the People heard it and knew they were correct but they held their heads high and finished the procession anyway.

The moral of the story: “Just because everyone else believes something, doesn’t mean it is true."

Ironically, the real "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a Danish fairy tale, written my Hans Christian Anderson published in 1837. Why ironic? Because it is the Danish Wind Industry, along with other industrial wind turbine manufacturers, politicians and news media, that are attempting to involve the world in a conspiracy where the purposely frightened unempowered people have been duped into accepting a collective ignorance with regards to wind power's ability to 'save the planet'. Some of us see it and call out "But there is nothing there "! Still in spite of world-wide opposition, common sense and knowledge of the facts, politicians, the media, the wind industry and other powerful groups continue to ignore what is absurdly obvious and keep heading down their merry paths to The Bank.

Against the Wind

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Who Will Protect Nature Now?

Who will protect nature now that wildlife organizations have turned their backs on her? The people who care and will stand up and let their voices be heard for those who can't speak for themselves.

There was a time that I proudly claimed to be an environmentalist but no longer. Being an environmentalist now seems to mean to hell with nature that is alive today, let's allow her to be destroyed now so one day we can save her. The logic is astoundingly duplicitous and arrogant.

Organizations like Greenpeace should be dissolved based on that alone. Their members should leave in droves. They have been betrayed and used to further an agenda that their membership would never for a minute accept. Most people join these groups to save and protect nature not to use her as a sacrificial lamb for climate change. State Audubon's all across the country are doing the same and those groups deserve to be disbanded as well.

The hypocrisy these groups are showing is appalling. They have sold out for money, recognition, political agendas and power and have forgotten their missions to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

In the State of Massachusetts we are in an enormous battle with a private developer who seeks to slip through a federal loop-hole in ocean management before any regulations are developed and take over 24 square miles of the Nantucket Sound for his industrial 130 turbine wind power plant which will be as large as the Island of Manhattan. This entire area was designated as a marine sanctuary by the State of Massachusetts to protect the marine ecology and endangered bird life there. Yet, because of a donut-sized hole of federal waters in the center of the Nantucket Sound, he might get his way. If he does, a precedent will be set and more and more industrial development will follow which might very well include drilling for oil and other destructive industry to the natural habitats and delicate ecology of the area.

The developer, Cape Wind, headed by Jim Gordon of Energy Management Inc, a former marketing king and developer of many energy projects including a diesel power plant proposed for a poor, already polluted city of Chelsea, MA, across from an elementary school. Cape Wind is now being backed and promoted by Massachusetts Audubon. Why? Because of the money (a contract worth millions of dollars) they have set as a condition of final approval for their Adaptive Management plan i.e. to monitor the dead birds over at least a three year period resulting from a project known to kill birds. What is the loss of some birds when compared to global warming, they say. Global Warming? Give us a break! Would anyone bring their vulnerable child to a pediatrician who announced "What is the loss of a few children when compared to famine in a third world country?" Not I and not You! Yes, I care about famine and yes I will donate money to an organization that is set up to help in that cause but no, I will not allow my child's pediatrician to diminish and abandon the life of my child for the sake of something he is not set up to do anything about.

WE who love and appreciate Nature and our precious wildlife who already suffer at the bottom of the barrel in terms of a voice, need to stand up and be heard on her behalf. If we don't, no one will.

Please Join the People World-Wide who are Fighting to Save our Precious Wildlife and their Threatened Habitats from Industrial Wind Plants

For more information on Industrial Wind Plants and to join a group near you please contact:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Radar Interference Ruled at Potential Wind Farm: Another Red Flag for Cape Wind

Barnstable, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard Airports surround the Nantucket Sound and the proposed 130 426 foot tall Cape Wind project turbines in the 24 square mile Horseshoe Shoals area.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Yesterday at a site nearly identical to the proposed Cape Wind project FAA ruled a radar interference issue with the Anchorage International Airport.

The FAA made the determination for Cape Wind 4 years ago., before the UK Arms Warfare reports. Please see for documents and additional information.

Also, the FAA turned down the 4 town of Yarmouth Wind Turbines about a year ago based on obstruction and electromagnetic interference.The DOD study continues and the FAA will have to take another look at the issues raised by the 3 airports and the air traffic controllers who cite:

400,000 flights a year in the middle of three airports commuter flights (see picture above of proximity of airports to the Nantucket Sound and proposed Cape Wind project) that constantly fly at about 500 to 800 feet during low cloud cover. Keep in mind that the proposed 130 Cape Wind turbines reach a height of 426 feet.

Additionally, the UK CAA will not allow any wind farms within 15 miles per new policy.

ANCHORAGE, AK, United States (UPI)

"Radar experts recently found electromagnetic waves from the proposed 33-windmill project would be interfere with the airport`s air traffic control radar, as well as other radio-based navigation aids, The Anchorage Daily News reported. Also, the size of the windmills would cause additional problems."

Airport radar tilts with Fire Island windmills FIRE ISLAND:
Electric generation could interfere with airport system.
By MATT WHITE Anchorage Daily News August 21, 2006

"A Chugach Electric idea to put giant, electricity-producing windmills on Fire Island is giving its neighbor, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, a case of bad vibes. "

"Radar experts recently found that electromagnetic waves from the proposed 33-windmill project would be so strong they would warp the signal of the airport's main air traffic control radar. On top of that, the sheer size of the windmills, whose blade tips could reach 400 feet in the air, would also physically block the signal of another key radar already on Fire Island.
Those conclusions come from radar engineers hired by the Federal Aviation Administration to examine what effects Chugach's proposed wind farm would have on the airport. The FAA runs the nation's air traffic systems, including radars and control towers at airports. "

"Anchorage-based Chugach is the state's largest power utility, with customers from Homer to Fairbanks. It has toyed with using wind power for years as a way to bring less-polluting, non-fuel-using electricity generation to the state's Railbelt region. It has studied costs, demand and the best locations for windmills.

"About a thousand VOR radars are spread across North America as navigational beacons. Virtually all planes flying near Anchorage use the Fire Island VOR, from private Cessnas landing at Merrill Field to Elmendorf's fighters to airliners passing five miles overhead. VOR radars need clear lines of sight in all directions, down to a specific angle from the ground.

"Phil Steyer, a Chugach manager closely involved with the project, said that to accommodate the VOR, "we've done some turbine reallocations, some went away and some added with height limitations."

Chugach is partners in the wind-power initiative with three other utilities: Anchorage's Municipal Light & Power, Homer Electric Association and Golden Valley Electric Association in Fairbanks. "

"As a modern windmill spins in a breeze, its blades turn an electric turbine, which uses an electromagnetic field to create electricity. That field, if large enough, can radiate for miles and disrupt radio transmissions of all kinds. "

"According to the FAA's engineers, even Chugach's smaller windmills could produce electromagnetic fields that cause "false target presentations and permanent echoes on air traffic control radar displays.

"In other words, controllers in the airport's control tower might see planes where there were none or be blind to real ones. "

Read story in its entirety HERE