Understanding Progressive Math

Our green friends are killing about a quarter of a million birds per year at just one solar plant, and report it as “about a thousand

California’s massive Ivanpah solar power plant can produce enough electricity for 140,000 households — but the environmental cost is nothing less than an avian slaughter.

The plant’s 350,000 mirrors bounce sizzling sunlight to the tops of three 40-story boiler towers, heating steam for turbine electricity generators. Temperatures near the towers can reach up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, heat certainly sufficient to fry a fowl.

I’m sure that 1,000 degree air doesn’t affect the climate.

“Workers at the state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — ‘streamers,’ for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair,” the Associated Pressreports this week.

That’s a common occurrence, the AP continues; federal investigators saw a bird burn roughly every two minutes. Ivanpah owner BrightSource estimates that “about a thousand” die each year, and one environmental group says the plant kills up to 28,000 birds each year. 

One bird every two minutes would be more than 250,000 per year.

As the plant prepared to begin operations, workers found the winged corpses of “a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks, and a variety of warblers and sparrows,” the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year.

Dead-Bird ‘Steamers’ at a California Solar Plant | National Review Online

h/t to top Dave G

About Tony Heller

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28 Responses to Understanding Progressive Math

  1. philjourdan says:

    I guess they got tired of bird Sushi.

    • Shazaam says:

      The “progressive solution” is to post signs everywhere declaring that solar power plant to be a “bird-free-zone”.

      Thus, the extra-crispy birds are there illegally, and thus it is the bird’s fault they didn’t read the signs and follow the rules.

      In the progressive world, that is “problem solved”.

  2. garymount says:

    You probably have to divide your estimate in half to take into account of fewer streamers occurring at night time.

    • OMG! You mean solar doesn’t work at night? I guess we just won’t have light at night any more.

      • Jason Calley says:

        Hey Tony! Yeah, looks like only 100,000 or so birds after deducting the night hours — although that is a rather sad usage of the word “only.”

        As for the “solar doesn’t work at night” problem, don’t worry! I am sure that some CAGW enthusiast is working on a power plant design that uses mirrors to convert moon light into steam power. Of course it will have to be a bit larger and more expensive than straight solar. Well, maybe more than a bit. Then again, the moon goes through phases where it is only a crescent and mostly up during the day — but don’t worry! I am sure that somewhere there is a CAGW enthusiast who is working on a design to convert star light into steam power. Of course it will have to be even yet larger and quite a bit more expensive than straight solar power…


        • Edmonton Al says:

          Jason: When the moon hits “full” then all the werewolves come out. That will mean the Gov’t will have to set up a werewolf capture and disposal program. That means more funding[taxes] and confiscation of farmland for burial sites……. and on and on and on ;^D

    • R Shearer says:

      Did you do the math? Assume 6 hrs/day at 2 birds/min. What does that come to?

      • mjc says:

        6 hours is way too short a time…this is a ‘mirror farm’ to designed to focus the sunshine on a tower to boil a fluid and create power that way. So it’s going for maximum exposure…probably even has tracking motors on the mirrors.

        • mikegeo says:

          In fact, they claim to have 300,000 mirrors all with tracking motors. That’s a lot of maintenance isn’t it.
          And if you look at the cost of building this stupid thing as opposed to building say a gas or coal-fired plant, the solar footprint is nearly 4,000 acres versus about 10 acres for a gas or coal plant, and the capital costs are a fraction – plus they work at night too. Another $1.6 B in federal money for this bird crematorium.

        • mjc says:

          On another thread…I think it’s over at WUWT, someone said $2.2 Billion per ‘unit’…and there’s 3 ‘units’…so that $6.6 Billion (although some sources I’m finding are implying that $2.2 billion is overall cost). The $1.6 billion figure is just government loans. That adds up to ‘a lot’ of something else.

        • Jason Calley says:

          They might be able to recoup some of the cost by catapulting chickens through the area and opening a KFC.

  3. nielszoo says:

    Where do they account for the CO2 released into the atmosphere from burning birds? Is there a column on the evil man made carbon chart for fowl fuel?

  4. lance says:

    HOWEVER, lose a few ducks in a tailings pond and the world goes balistic…

  5. Hell_Is_Like_Newark says:

    You can justify any project, no matter how economically non-viable or simply outrageous by putting the word ‘solar’ in it. The mob will accept it without question. Sort of like using the word ‘holy’ during the dark ages.

  6. Pastek Fruit says:

    Whatever the birds, as humans we need energy to thrive, we should use fossils fuels until the end and compensate their shortage by renewables, it would be progressive thinking to oppose prosperity for some fried birds.

  7. Math, shmath. A few retrograde birds will not stop progress. Up and away from denial industries to a progressive future!

    What I meant by ‘retrograde’ companies are companies that do things the ‘old fashioned way’ or still work on outmoded industries or industries that have seen better days. Companies that don’t adapt to more modern technologies.

    Industries I call “denial industries” where climate deniers go to lose their money. I’m not trying to be sarcastic here.



  8. darrylb says:

    Steve’s/ Tony’s satirical comment highlights a problem in the renewable energy doctrine.
    Whether it be used in power lines, automobiles or whatever, in the last 100 years we have not advanced hardly at all in our ability to store energy.
    Fossil fuels, wood, ethanol, etc have energy stored and ready to use at any time. That energy, in the case of fossil fuels, is solar energy which has been stored over a long period of time. There is no means of storing solar energy in solar panels. Only a relatively very small amount can be stored, the rest must be added to the grid for immediate use.

  9. tom0mason says:

    But they’re ‘saving the planet’ just not for flying critters.

  10. Centinel2012 says:

    Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    The birds are expendable as are anything things else that gets in a progressives way!

  11. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    I don’t know if this link will work but here goes.


  12. Quiet Desperation says:

    The real concern is the survivors. Evolution and this unnatural selection process will produce fire proof super bird that will threaten our domination of the Earth. Alfred Hitchcock was a prophet! Watch the skies!

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