Use of Birding-Aus

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Use of Birding-Aus
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2006 13:52:11 +1000
Hi everyone

Steve makes some very good points here.

I do think that the wind-farm debate fits our manifest: to discuss Australian birds, their conservation, and their behaviour. This issue is an important one for at least two reasons: (1) wind farms might help reduce carbon emissions, and so in the long run protect birds. (2) wind farms have been proven to have an negative impact on some types of birds, especially large raptors such as eagles and vultures, even more so migratory ones.

These opposing views are the reason why these discussions can go downhill quickly and degenerate into personal attacks, mudslinging, abuse, and so on - which are NOT part of what birding-aus is about.

I think it is good for us to discuss such issues as long as:

(1) Once anyone has had their say, they let other people express an opinion (2) Contributors do not need to make the same point more than once - the archive makes it possible for people to re-read those views even after deleting the message. (3) Readers are best to approach such issues with an open mind. We are lucky to have a lot of experts who contribute to this forum - you may even change your mind after reading everything about an issue like windfarms, particularly if the contributions come from experts or others involved in this industry (4) Contributors do not make personal attacks, either through birding- aus or private email. Argue about the MESSAGE, not the MESSENGER.

I really don't think that someone who has some involvement in the windfarm industry is using the list for "commercial purposes" just by expressing an opinion - but I do think it is good to be open about any potential conflict of interest.

So - please don't go over and over old ground, and please continue to "keep it nice". Anything I find offensive or out of place will be removed from the archive - and if necessary that contributor might be blocked from the list.

For the record, I can't make up my mind about wind farms one way or the other - so I am reading this thread with interest. I see a lot of value in producing energy from the wind, but it's costly energy in dollar per output terms, and I wouldn't want to live close to a wind farm. The appearance doesn't bother me at all, but the threat of bird strike does - I just don't know how much impact this might have in this country.

Thanks to everyone who contributes to birding-aus in such a positive, constructive way - this is the ONLY thing that makes it such a worthwhile forum.


Russell Woodford
Birding-Aus List Owner

Geelong   Victoria   Australia

On 06/09/2006, at 11:02 AM,  wrote:

G'day all

I've been a subscriber to BA since 1995 and have also subscribed to
similiar services from Ireland and South Africa. Issues like wind- farms,
banding, sustainability, twitching, use of tapes, cats etc have been
debated many times over the years and they always start off nice and
friendly and end in tears or worse. After a certain point these debates can get very personal and must be taken off line. Some of the posts on creationism V evolution on the SA forum recently were vicious and possibly

Note that I am not expressing any opinions on any issue and please don't
presume to think you know my opinions on any issue.

The vast majority of posts on birding-aus can be searched and it is quick
and easy to find the past debates (and see how nasty the posts can
occasionally be). The fact that they are archived also means that they
are there for all to see for many years - so post in haste, repent at

So, my two cents worth, use common sense and think before you post. Let's have discussions on a whole range of issues but think carefully about how
these things can escalate.  The best option may be to continue a
discussion off line.

Steve Clark
Hamilton, Vic

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