Apologies Lawrie, I had not meant to suggest that there was no impact, I
merely suggested that the impacts are not comparable to lighting - I am
sorry if it seemed that I was making a connection between the two.
Your email makes valid points and I do not disagree with them. But surely if
one objects to the philosophy that there may not be an impact, one also must
accept that impacts may not exist either - in the absence of concrete
evidence. I assume from what has been said so far, that there is little
'proof' that is being presented to the regulatory authorities and
conservation community to rule out impacts and therefore the precaution
dictates that we act with due care and diligence.
But I still think perhaps that the OBP debate may swing a bit too far
towards windfarms - let's face it, OBPs are in major decline and have been
for a while, long before wind farms came on the scene. But Lawrie is right
of course, none of these issues are arguments for assuming no impact. But
the question it does pose is what exactly is the major factor in OBP
decline, do we know for sure? What environmental impacts are there on the
breeding grounds for instance?
Windfarms may or may not have a significant effect. If they do not, then it
doesn't matter how much money industry pours into conservation schemes, the
numbers may continue to decline. If I owned a windfarm and had to pursue
costly environmental mitigation, I would want to get the most benefit out of
my investment. I would be concerned enough to want to know my money was not
being wasted on a species that is declining for reasons beyond my control
and that I might get blamed for that decline it even though it wasn't my
fault. Far from being unreasonable, this is a very logical piece of
reasoning. It matters not how caring or environmentally sensitive the
proponent is - if a conservation charity owned a windfarm, they would be
under the same development pressures and still OBPs could disappear. This is
not an excuse to proceed without care (given that we recognise there may be
an impact) but it is a consideration.
I have no interest commercially in windfarms, this is just a subject that
interests me as a birder and a scientist. What, if any evidence is there FOR
impacts of windfarms on OBPs or other coastal parrots, if any. I can only
speculate so I would be very interested to find out more.
Here's to healthy speculation!
Simon Mustoe - Director
AES Applied Ecology Solutions Pty Ltd.
59 Joan Avenue
Telephone 03 9762 2616
International Telephone +61 (0) 3 9762 2616
Mobile 0405 220830