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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wind Turbines Kill Goats with Noise?

Wind turbines and ethanol plants do make noise. But can that industrial noise kill goats? A farmer on the Penghu Archipelago off the western shore of Taiwain says that since the installation of eight wind turbines near his fields three years ago, 400 of his goats have died... of sleep deprivation. Taiwan's Council of Agriculture is investigating, and Taiwan Power is promising to compensate the farmer if their turbines are responsible for the farmer's losses.

Talk about unintended consequences! I'm all about wind and other alternative energy sources, but even we greenies need to be ready to acknowledge and solve the problems new technology may cause. And we also need to remind ourselves that instead of filling the planet with more noisy, stinky, and otherwise disruptive power plants, the greenest path, for us and our goats, may be simply to use less power.

Update 13:10 CDT: Meanwhile, I hear from a neighbor of the Loomis, SD, ethanol plant that the company performed some bare minimum efforts to satisfy the county commission, like planting some 18-inch deciduous trees (meaning the leaves fall off, meaning they don't block sound for six months of the year) in a low ditch. No noise reduction whatsoever. Keep the earmuffs on your goats!

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