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Chris Gardener, “10 Reasons Not to Invest In Nuclear Energy”, Center for American

Progress, July 8, 2008,


http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/07/nuclear_energy.html

The American nuclear industry has benefited from $100 billion in direct and indirect
subsidies since 1948, and nuclear power provides 20 percent of electricity in the
United States. The technology behind nuclear power is fully developed, so nuclear
energy is unlikely to get much cheaper. Continued subsidies would be necessary to
make nuclear cost-competitive with other energy sources, but will not lower the
overall price of nuclear power.

Keay Davidson, Chronicle Science Writer. “Cats, not windmills, bigger threat to birds Bats more at risk,
says impact study on wind power”. San Francisco Chronicle. May 4, 2007. Accessed online July 9, 2008
<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/05/04/MNG9SPKPT31.DTL>.
A long-awaited federal report on the environmental impact of wind power suggests birds have far
more to fear from high buildings, power lines and cats than they do from the swirling blades of
wind generators at Altamont Pass and elsewhere.
But North America's bats might have plenty more to worry about, according to a report released
Thursday by the National Academy of Sciences.
The report said bats might be at considerable risk in the southwestern United States and
elsewhere, where reliance on wind power has been growing. The wind-power turbines generate
sounds and, possibly, electromagnetic fields that lure the acoustically sensitive creatures into the
spinning blades, scientists suggested.
Until Thursday's report by the National Research Council, the research arm of the Academy of
Sciences, most of the concern about the environmental effects of wind generators has focused on
birds, but the report's statistics showed that wind turbines hardly make a dent in the bird
population, which, it noted, faced greater danger from cats and other foes.
In the United States in 2003, wind generators accounted for only three-thousandths of 1 percent
of bird killings -- no more than 37,000 birds. That same year, possibly as many as a billion birds
died in collisions with buildings, and electrical power lines may have accounted for more than a
billion more deaths, the report said. And domestic cats were responsible for the demise of an
estimated hundreds of millions of songbirds and other species every year.
That aside, the report expressed concern about possible impacts from wind turbines on local bird
populations, especially peregrine falcons and other raptors that are attracted to windy areas
where the generators are likely to exist, and called for additional study. Raptors "are lower in
abundance than many other bird species, have symbolic and emotional value to many Americans,
and are protected by federal and state laws," the report noted.
The scientists' biggest concern was reserved for bats.
Recent analysis of bat kills amidst wind stations in the middle Atlantic states revealed more
victims than were expected. The species impact could be significant partly because of an
unrelated "decline in the populations of several species of bats in the eastern United States," the
report said.
In the eastern United States, up to 41 bats are killed annually for every megawatt of wind energy
generated along forested ridge tops, the report said. In Midwestern and Western states, the
number is lower, no more than 9 dead bats per megawatt. Unfortunately, poor statistics about the
size of bat populations -- which are notoriously more elusive than birds -- make it hard to
estimate how severely such kills affect bat populations, the report said.

Michael A. Stoto, David J. Dausey, Lois M. Davis, Kristin Leuschner, Nicole Lurie, Sarah
Myers, Stuart Olmsted, Karen Ricci, M. Susan Ridgely, Elizabeth M. Sloss, Jeffrey Wasserman.
“Learning from Experience: The Public Health Response to West Nile Virus, SARS,
Monkeypox, and Hepatitis A Outbreaks in the United States”. Rand. 2005. Accessed online July
9, 2008 <http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/2005/RAND_TR285.sum.pdf>.

It was also clear that the public health system was severely stressed and sometimes overloaded
by the response. For some outbreaks, such as West Nile virus and monkeypox, identifying the
pathogen took weeks. Although public health departments demonstrated a basic ability to carry
out epidemiological investigations, this process was often uncoordinated, with multiple
investigations going on simultaneously. Such problems highlight the need to trace confirmed and
potential cases as well as possible contacts. The development, in advance of any future
outbreaks, of generic databases that can be adapted to the specifics of a given outbreak would
likely improve the public health response in the future. Further, regional epidemiology offices
within states would help to avoid the multiple simultaneous but uncoordinated epidemiologic
investigations that occurred in the outbreaks we studied. In addition, overlap across state lines
and with CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or other federal investigations should
also be addressed. Finally, state and local public health laboratories should build capacity and
develop methods to handle the surge of samples they receive during outbreaks such as these,
without compromising their ability to perform routine testing in a timely manner.