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Economics is the study of the material provisioning of society.

And so bird kills is an economic problem. Our economy relies on the biosphere for essential life support services. Charging around ripping out this and that thread from complex ecosystems in the expectation that no serious damage is cause by the loss of any single thread is an algorithm for finding out what it takes for the system to experience a collapse to a lower level of complexity, material and energy processing efficiency, and ability to provide life support services.

The alternative algorithm is to take ecological impacts seriously and to assess them.

High revolution wind turbines is an obvious potential risk. That's a risk that has to be assessed before a high revolution wind turbine can be put up at a site. If there are no at risk populations that can be affected ... due to, for example, altitude ... or if the risk is limited to individual bird kills but there is no risk to populations, then a permit can be issued.

OTOH, if there is a design that poses no risk of dangerous levels of bird kills ... eg, a vertical axis design that can be wire caged, as described in this diary ... that design could be issued a blanket permit, without need for further risk assessment.

But you can't just have open slather ... that is insane.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Jul 1st, 2008 at 11:49:11 AM EST
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