Wind Turbines: 21st Century Whalers

On March 5, 2016, Greenpeace USA posted a graphic on their Facebook page demonstrating how seismic air gun testing can kill and “deafen” a whale. The graphic blames the practice on searching for oil and gas deposits under the sea floor. What this post ignores is that this is the exact process used to place offshore wind turbines. You can find their post here.

In January and February of 2016, 29 sperm whales died on English, German and Dutch beaches. These areas also happen to have the largest concentration of offshore wind turbines in the world. In September of 2012, 21 pilot, minke, and sei whales beached on the coast of Scotland. This was nearby a site where seismic air guns were being employed in preparation for locating spots to set the foundations of offshore wind turbines in the sea floor.

It has long been acknowledged that acoustic activity on or near the water can have an impact on sea life. Whether it is natural phenomena like seaquakes or underwater volcanic activity, or human activity like naval sonar, the occurrences have shown that they can damage whales’ ability to sense their surroundings, causing them to go to shallow areas, where they are ultimately beached and die.

The vibrations from wind turbines are transferred from the blades to the water. When pilings are being placed into the sea floor, the loud noise can travel up to 31 miles away. Back on land, those living in close proximity to wind turbines have reported chronic headaches, problems with sleep, rapid heart rates, and other medical problems.

So the question we pose to Greenpeace is, why do you only bring attention to the adverse effects of offshore drilling, and not offshore wind turbines? Might there be a *gasp* hidden agenda?

You can read more about Paul Driessen’s post on the subject here.