No stop to wind-farm construction as whales die in record numbers
‘Greenpeace is protecting machinery instead of wild whales,’ says Greenpeace co-founder
As aggressive excavation and submarine construction of over 1,500 offshore wind-farm turbines continues along the east coast of the United States, whales are likewise stranding, beaching and dying at an alarming and perplexing rate.
Almost 200 whales have been found dead since 2016, when the wind-turbine rush began, representing a fourfold annual increase over past years.
Seven dead whales have been discovered in New Jersey and New York in the past two months. In southeastern Virginia, in one recent week alone, three whales were found dead, just miles from two operational wind farms. Dying species include humpback whales and the endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which fewer than 350 are known to remain.
Citing lack of direct scientific evidence, the federal government and wind-farm advocates in the media say that there is no connection between the dramatic increases in whale deaths and the new wind farm projects they accompany. One ABC News headline declared, “Wind Farms not to Blame for East Coast Whale Deaths.” NOAA Deputy Chief Benjamin Laws affirms, “There are no known connections between any offshore wind activities and any whale strandings.”
Concerned citizens and local officials say otherwise.
“The connection is clear,” one coastal resident told WND. “We have never seen anything like this before, and it’s happening next to the wind farm activities, but because they’re wind farms, nobody cares about the whales. If you speak out for the whales, it’s as if you’re anti-environment.”
Ironically, it may have become politically dangerous to side with the whales.
Greenpeace, perhaps the nation’s most powerful environmental advocacy group, has sided not only with the $40 billion wind-farm industry, but against detractors. John Hocevar, Greenpeace’s Oceans Director, says those sounding the alarm are part of a “cynical disinformation campaign.” One recent article in USA Today refers to anti-wind-farm “groups and politicians” who “appear to be using whales as pawns.”
Still, a number of stalwart environmental and animal experts are calling for a moratorium on wind-farm construction and for further study. In a conversation with this writer, Patrick Moore, co-founder and former member of Greenpeace, was unequivocal:
“The development of these wind farms is interfering massively with the actual, known habitat of these creatures. The turbines are inside known migratory pathways. The effect of the high-intensity acoustic pulses is unknown and the excavations are muddying waters for what will be years on end. It is not reasonable to say there is no possibility of a causal relationship here.”