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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Is a new "war" on the horizon?      Home login  
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 theleathernun
Joined: 7/6/2014
Msg: 1
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Is a new "war" on the horizon?Page 1 of 1    
Get ready folks, I suspect a new "war" may be set to start. It seems that reality is a "sh!t disturber".


BrightSource solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead
Death estimates range from 1,000 to 28,000 per year

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/brightsource-solar-plant-sets-birds-on-fire-as-they-fly-overhead-1.2739512

How much longer will it be until this becomes the "first shot" in an "green energy vs. PETA" war?

And what about those people who thought they could be both? There is some serious cognitive dissonance being set up for them here.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 2
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/18/2014 6:33:50 PM
I went to the site and saw a picture of a dead bird.

What wonders me is how many of the "dead" birds fall (to their death) and land on the mirrors?

Too many dead birds on the mirrors would defeat their purpose?

Who recovers the dead birds?

I wonder how high the birds can fly in order to avoid "death by singe"?

There must be a way to scare off birds from flying over that area at low height?

How much longer will it be until this becomes the "first shot" in an "green energy vs. PETA" war?
Yeah ... what is the price we pay for "green energy"?

And what about those people who thought they could be both?
I'm a nature-lover and while I really, really, want green energy, I don't think I want it at the cost of killing nature. What good would be?
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 3
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/18/2014 6:54:05 PM
well.................theres already been a bunch of wind farms turned down because of killing birds.....................lots of water turbines turned down because of fish kills
 Etritonakin
Joined: 7/10/2014
Msg: 4
Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/18/2014 9:35:29 PM
We have plenty of other things to war about -and I'm sure any system -wind, hydro, solar -can be tweaked to be less harmful to wildlife. Even if it comes at the cost of efficiency, it's worth it.
However, perhaps we need to re-think how we collect and distribute power -and everything else.

One of the main problems with any utility/resource is over-centralization. It is actually an extreme vulnerability in this day and age of natural and man-made disasters.
Also, it isn't always efficient or "green" to collect that which is already evenly distributed and then re-distribute it.
It's like all rain falling in one spot on the continent and then piping water everywhere else.
There should be enough centralization to offset any localized shortages, but not so much as to ignore localized resources.

If every area/home/business had solar panels, small, harmless wind turbines (and other green features), how many bird burners would we really need? How much wildlife would be harmed? How many power companies would we need (that's where it gets tricky)?
What if we used present transmission lines to make everywhere the power source -and the central location primarily simply diverted extra power to areas with shortages?
Water collection/distribution is similar already -though we could be much more efficient with some local collection while not diverting too much natural run-off. Rain falls where it does -is either used locally or runs off -the run-off collects and then can be distributed.

"Green" should consider every possible effect. Meanwhile, perhaps the birds can be diverted somehow. Giant scarecrow?
 theleathernun
Joined: 7/6/2014
Msg: 5
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/18/2014 11:57:21 PM
We have plenty of other things to war about -and I'm sure any system -wind, hydro, solar -can be tweaked to be less harmful to wildlife.

I'm not so sure that would be enough. It has a very "acceptable losses" ring to it. I've known a number of animal "rights" activists who would counter that with the question "If it killed humans but we "tweaked" it so that it only killed a few humans each year, would that be acceptable?". There is no answer you can give to that that won't be taken as a declaration of "war".

However, perhaps we need to re-think how we collect and distribute power -and everything else.

Be careful, you're wandering into "socialistic" territory.

If it isn't obvious from what I just wrote, I foresee a number of problems arising from a segment of American society with that idea, and another "war" involved.

If every home/business were required to have solar panels we will have the inevitable "that's tyranny" mini-revolt. It will come equipped with all the standard tag lines that we've seen with everything from motorcycle helmets to health care.

This same segment will insist on being paid, profitably for sure, for the excess that is generated while insisting that they should never have to pay anything because its "their electricity", "they made it on their property", etc. There will be the inevitable "Why should we subsidize "freeloaders"" and claims of Constitutional rights going up in flames.

Would you like to change your name to Barack Obama now so that you can experience the burning sensation that will come from it? "Be Prepared"? Maybe a little flagellation?
 Etritonakin
Joined: 7/10/2014
Msg: 6
Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/19/2014 1:00:05 AM
"can be" and "need to"

....didn't say it would happen.

Paradise is not a place, you know -and while people exist in their present state, it cannot exist :op
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 7
Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/19/2014 8:30:07 AM
holy cats, I'm going to agree with ticklemypink. well, except for the third sentence, I've met a few granola-chewers (in Massachusetts, etc) who did walk their talk. Like with the gun owners, the loud ones get noticed for the insanity caused by the insecurity that makes them so loud, the quiet ones enjoying their lifestyle quietly don't.

If we could tally up the amount of animals killed by pollution somehow, i'm sure it'd eclypse the number running into windmills and dams. and yes, some animals over generations (there are still bears in housing projects)will learn how to work around such things--or we will.

Of course, there is the issue of effiency. Even HotRodMagazine this month had to admit, if it wasn't for the EPA and emissions and fuel requirements, Detriot would still be telling us there's no possible way for cars to beat 10 miles per gallon. no one pays more for efficiency, until they have to. we take the easy path, and only after the hard way has been forced down our throats and we adapt do we say...how the hell did we live the old way?
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 8
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/20/2014 5:10:13 AM
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27129727
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 9
Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/20/2014 7:21:39 AM
Its been a while since Sci101, but aren't the birds pretty much using heated air as updrafts to gain altitude? not that the birdbrains understand why it works, just probably that certain spots of earth get them what their wings want...
 whippedboi
Joined: 3/12/2013
Msg: 10
Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/20/2014 9:33:01 AM



I'm not the one with the anger problem!


LMAO..the Nile is calling
 theleathernun
Joined: 7/6/2014
Msg: 11
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/20/2014 11:33:59 AM
ts been a while since Sci101, but aren't the birds pretty much using heated air as updrafts to gain altitude? not that the birdbrains understand why it works, just probably that certain spots of earth get them what their wings want...

You bet.

For many birds, the heat coming off the site is "manna from heaven".

What some fail to realize is that birds are, well, "birdbrained", to put it simply. Besides not being the sharpest knives in the drawer (except maybe crows and magpies) they are guided by instinctual drives which they are not built to resist.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27129727

I certainly hope you aren't comparing the intelligence and territorial nature of ungulates to that of birds. That would give an entirely new range of meaning to "apples and oranges".
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 12
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/20/2014 2:30:18 PM
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/22/this-is-how-you-study-the-evolution-of-animal-intelligence/
 theleathernun
Joined: 7/6/2014
Msg: 13
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/20/2014 4:15:37 PM

http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/22/this-is-how-you-study-the-evolution-of-animal-intelligence/

Is there a point being made here? As far as I can see this is completely irrelevant and not at all on topic.

Can you explain what you are trying to say here because a one line link doesn't say a whole lot.
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 14
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/21/2014 1:18:25 AM

Is there a point being made here? As far as I can see this is completely irrelevant and not at all on topic.

The discussion was concerned with whether birds would adapt to avoid the hazard. I provided a fascinating link to a study showing deer do so even generations after the hazard was removed. You objected that it was comparing apples to oranges. I provided another fascinating link to commentary on a study comparing an aspect of intelligence accross a vast range of animals, which includes a comparison of the intelligence of many birds and mammals. You object that it is irrlevant and not on topic.

The first large scale, multi-generational study of birds learning to avoid state-of-the-art solar plants which will meet all of your strenuous apples-only criteria is only now being conducted at Ivanpah. If you don't want to wait for the apple results before discussing it, and you don't want to consider comparing apples to oranges with one of the few apple-to-orange converters available, then what do you want? A 'war'? What's your point?
 theleathernun
Joined: 7/6/2014
Msg: 15
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/21/2014 2:25:54 AM
You objected that it was comparing apples to oranges. I provided another fascinating link to commentary on a study comparing an aspect of intelligence accross a vast range of animals, which includes a comparison of the intelligence of many birds and mammals.

Ah, I see.

So lets go back to your link and see what it says that might make it relevant or irrelevant. The simple fact that they are compared doesn't make them comparable in the way your first link appears to suggest (there's that apples to oranges thing again).

The mere fact that deer can accomplish this in no way suggests that birds should be able to (that apple to oranges thing again).

Anywho, back to your second link. One finding that really jumped out at me was this one:

They found a few surprises. For example, the animals’ scores correlated with the absolute but not relative sizes of their brains. In other words, it didn’t matter whether the animals’ brains were big for their size, but whether they were big, full-stop.

And that finding seemed to hold across all species tested.

Now, I wonder how the absolute brain size of these deer compares to the absolute brain size of the birds, most of them being passerines (that's particularly important given the size of most North American passerines)? Actually, that question is rhetorical, I don't wonder at all. In fact there is a significant absolute size difference, huge one might even suggest.

So, just that one finding in your "supporting" link is enough to make abundantly obvious the "apples to oranges" nature of the original comparison. And that is not even getting into the entire innate behavioural component involved, what with deer typically being much more territory-oriented than most passerines.

In short, as stated before, just because deer can do it doesn't even begin to suggest that birds can and your second study suggests they very likely couldn't.

you don't want to consider comparing apples to oranges with one of the few apple-to-orange converters available

I don't want to discuss "comparing apples to oranges with one of the few apple-to-orange converters available" because even that "apple-to-orange converter" indicates that the original comparison is an inappropriate apples to oranges comparison.

I would be more than happy to discuss an appropriate comparator.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 16
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Posted: 8/21/2014 7:15:30 AM
Without any regard to the brain size being discussed ... I can remember back to the early 70's when I was working for a car dealership that was located across the street from some sort of high-voltage electric boosting station. It was a daily happening to see birds land on the wires as they do on other electric wires. At this particular station, every once in a while we'd hear a popping sound and then look up just in time to see a cloud of feathers floating to the ground. It didn't happen every time a bird landed on the wires, but it happened often.

I haven't been there for a long time, but over the years, it appears other birds never did learn from what went on there. I don't hold much hope for birds learning to stay away from the BrightSource solar plant either.
 theleathernun
Joined: 7/6/2014
Msg: 17
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Posted: 8/21/2014 3:10:38 PM

t's irrelevant. But a rough predictor animal intelligence and cognition can be found in the "encephalization quotient", which takes into account the size of the brain relative to body mass, with certain adjustments.

Old news according to this link (the one I was responding to):

http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/22/this-is-how-you-study-the-evolution-of-animal-intelligence/

"Birds are have small brains; therefore they can't learn" ??? Seems doubtful.

Not according to this link (the one I responded to):

http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/22/this-is-how-you-study-the-evolution-of-animal-intelligence/

And I have never said birds "can't learn", I have said that the type of learning you suggest is unlikely for them.

If you are going to continue to falsely characterize my comments I will report you to the moderators for trolling. Knock it off.

I haven't been there for a long time, but over the years, it appears other birds never did learn from what went on there. I don't hold much hope for birds learning to stay away from the BrightSource solar plant either.

Exactly the point I was making. They generally can't learn to avoid what they can't experience directly before it is too late. Birds are not known for their abstract reasoning ability and that is what an invisible "heat ray" requires. It is why they STILL fly into windows on a regular basis.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 18
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Is a new war on the horizon?
Posted: 8/31/2014 6:57:24 PM
With regard to the deer avoiding the mine fields ... I lived close to them for 10 years and I believe the deer don't like the loud noises the mines made when they were set off ... even by rabbits and other small rodents ... probably birds too.

I think they started avoiding that area more for avoiding loud startling noises and not necessarily through fear of death. After a while, the paths are scented and marked with urine ... it's not surprising they just still follow the same paths. Rodents that run through my back yard do the same thing.
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