RSPB Makes A Killing … From Windfarms Accused Of Destroying Rare Birds

  • Date: 07/04/13
  • James Delingpole, Mail on Sunday

The RSPB is making hundreds of thousands of pounds from the wind power industry – despite the turbines killing millions of birds every year. Golden eagles, hen harriers, Corn Buntings and other rare and threatened species are especially at risk, conservationists say.

Yet in its latest ‘partnership deal’, the bird charity receives £60 for every member who signs up to a dual-fuel account with windfarm developer Ecotricity.

It also receives £40 each time  a customer opens an account  with Triodos Bank, which finances renewable industry projects including wind turbines.

The RSPB is making hundreds of thousands of pounds from the wind power industry despite the turbines killing millions of birds each year

The RSPB is making hundreds of thousands of pounds from the wind power industry despite the turbines killing millions of birds each year

In a previous partnership with Southern & Scottish Electricity (SSE), which invests in wind and other renewable energy, the RSPB admits to having made £1 million over ten years.

The charity claims that windfarms play an important role in the battle against climate change, which ‘poses the single greatest long-term threat to birds and other wildlife’, and that wind turbines caused only ‘significant detrimental effects’ when poorly sited.

But critics argue there is no such thing as a well-sited windfarm and that the charity has been taken over by green zealots.

Conservationist Mark Duchamp, whose international charity Save  The Eagles monitors bird deaths caused by wind farms, said: ‘The fact that such an organisation [the RSPB] is not taking this problem seriously is scandalous.

‘They are supposed to  protect birds. Instead they are advocating on behalf of an industry which kills birds. What could be more wrong and absurd than that?’

Dr John Etherington, former reader in ecology at the University of Wales and author of The Wind Farm Scam, said: ‘It seems to me that for some time now a green faction has penetrated a whole range of bodies and that the RSPB is one of them.

‘For an organisation that supposedly protects birds to team up with an industry that kills birds on the basis of unverifiable predictive models about climate change is just bizarre.

‘We are many years into discovering that these bloody machines kill birds in large numbers. Why is the RSPB still sticking up for them?’

Some members have complained that the RSPB isn’t nearly as active  as it ought to be in fighting turbine applications – even in sites of ornithological value.

‘Instead of giving the turbine people hell, they usually end up giving them the green light,’ said Peter Shrubb, an RSPB member of  30 years, who is particularly appalled by the organisation’s plans to erect a 330ft turbine at its own headquarters in Sandy, Bedfordshire.

As an example of the danger, two hen harriers were killed by turbine blades in April last year at the Griffin windfarm at Aberfeldy in Scotland, run by the RSPB’s former partner SSE.

The charity waited eight months to announce the news but made no criticism of its former partner. Instead it said: ‘It is important to remember that climate change still poses one of the biggest threats to birds and other wildlife.’

It added that ‘windfarm collisions  .  .  .  remain very rare indeed’.

BUT according to research  by the ornithological society SEO/Birdlife, each wind  turbine kills between 110 and 330 birds a year.

This means that worldwide, wind turbines kill at least 22 million birds  a year.

The RSPB has disputed these figures, insisting: ‘Our own research suggests that a well-located wind farm is unlikely to be causing birds any harm.’

A spokesman for Ecotricity said that at one of its test sites near the Bristol Channel, the turbines had killed no more than four birds in five years.

Conservationists claim the wind industry has a vested interest in  covering up the true extent of bird deaths.

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