Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

February 2, 2013

Public eye - Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013

A spy in the crowd

Every Wednesday the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development meet at the south branch of the Kokomo/Howard County Public Library to plan their opposition to the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, just west of Sharpsville.

Prairie Breeze is being developed by juwi Wind. The company plans to invest $300 million for the placement of 94 wind turbines that will generate 150 megawatts of electricity. The company’s request for a conditional use permit is set to be heard Feb. 25 by the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals.

During last week’s meeting a man at the meeting said he recently stood close to a wind turbine and said the noise was not intolerable. He added that he believed most farmers were supportive of the project.

The man said he wasn’t a lease holder and didn’t work for juwi.

Since the meetings are open to the public, it would probably be safe to believe that supporters of the wind farm project — or juwi company officials — would be in attendance to learn the group’s strategy.

Killing machines

In Tipton County, much will probably be made of the predilection of wind turbines to kill birds, but last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in conjunction with Smithsonian researchers, identified an even bigger threat: outdoor cats.

According to the researchers, roughly 150,000 to 400,000 birds in the United States die in wind turbines, according to recent estimates, while between 10 million and 1 billon birds die annually after colliding into glass.

Cats, however, are suspected of killing between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds each year in the U.S. That’s about 10 percent of the total bird population.

We won’t go as far as the New Zealand researcher who suggested outlawing cats, but one wonders how much stress the poor birds can stand. Maybe it’s best to keep Fluffy indoors.

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