Amazon Commercial Illustrates the Environmental Devastation of Wind Turbines
Amazon is airing a commercial for a “climate pledge” that highlights the company’s commitment to using wind power. Designed to appeal to environmentalists, the commercial ironically reveals how Amazon and wind power advocates would decimate America’s environment, open spaces, and wildlife.
The Amazon commercial opens with the sound of songbirds singing. Text then appears, saying Amazon is committed to being “net zero carbon by 2040.” Follow-up text observes Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric vehicles. The commercial then shows hills lined with gigantic wind turbines, with text saying Amazon has “created a $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund.”
If a Climate Pledge Fund entails developing increasingly more lands that are currently pristine with wind turbines, Mother Earth is certainly saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” While a wind-turbine energy economy might reduce America’s already shrinking carbon dioxide emissions—which have already declined more in this century than any other nation on Earth—the real-world environmental damage caused in the process would be shocking and ultimately devastate the very songbirds featured in Amazon’s commercial.
Harvard University scientists who are concerned about global warming published in 2018 a study in which they examined the impact of a wind-turbine economy on America’s open spaces. According to the study, replacing conventional energy with wind turbines would require covering one-third of America’s lands with wind turbines.
No, that is not a misprint. According to the Harvard report, wind turbines would have to blanket fully one-third of America’s lands to replace conventional energy.
Moreover, the scientists found that a large-scale placement of wind turbines would increase U.S. temperatures, as the warming impact of turbines impeding air circulation would outweigh any cooling effect of lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Even worse, if America’s entire vehicle fleet were electrified, a move that Amazon supports, it would require covering fully half of America’s lands with wind turbines.
In the name of environmentalism, Amazon and its Climate Pledge allies would destroy half of America’s lands—including millions of acres of forests, prairies, mountaintops, and seashores—and replace them with energy infrastructure. Those same lands are home to an immeasurable wealth of wildlife that would be forced to seek dwindling habitat, largely to no avail.
Many of the animals that remain would face a certain and unnecessary death. Wind turbines have already created no-fly-zones in much of the nation, killing millions of our nation’s birds and bats every year, including many protected and endangered species. Ramping up wind power from its current 9 percent of electric power generation to 100 percent electric power generation would create a 10-fold increase in that death toll. Adding the transportation vehicle fleet to the grid would require much more wind power, and thus a much higher death toll.
The songbirds joyfully singing throughout the Amazon commercial will suffer an aviary holocaust everywhere that wind turbines are erected. And for what asserted benefit?
Scientific evidence shows—and even the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges—there is no evidence of worsening droughts, floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes due to Earth’s recent and modest warming. Climate activists’ constant predictions of worsening climate impacts are the same predictions they have been making—and getting wrong—for the past 30 years.
As opposed to the failed warnings of climate activists, NASA has documented that more atmospheric carbon dioxide is generating spectacular benefits for forests, grasslands, and other plant life. According to a NASA article titled “Carbon Dioxide Greening Earth, Study Finds,” more atmospheric carbon dioxide is spurring an increase in plant growth that “represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental U.S.”
“That’s the kind of CO2-pumped environment song birds love ... if you actually care about the props for your ad more than virtue signaling that murders birds.”
Moreover, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that global crop production is setting new records virtually every year. More atmospheric carbon dioxide, longer growing seasons, and fewer frost events are playing a large role in that.
Yes, replacing conventional energy with wind turbines could accelerate the ongoing decline in America’s already small carbon dioxide footprint. The U.S. is responsible for just 14 percent of global CO2 emissions, and America’s emissions have fallen faster than every signatory to the Paris Climate Accord, which, by the UN’s own admission, is primarily focused on redistributing wealth, not saving the planet.
There have been few real-world harms caused by modest, gradual global warming, and whatever harms have occurred have been far outweighed by the substantial, objectively documented benefits resulting from a warmer world. And climate activists have continuously failed to give any sound evidence showing that this trend will soon change. On the other hand, the unavoidable environmental impact of destroying half our lands and covering them with wind turbines would be catastrophic and irreversible.
Thank you, Amazon, for presenting increasingly threatened songbirds in your commercial to illustrate that point. Now, maybe we can save those songbirds.
James Taylor (JTaylor@heartland.org) is president of The Heartland Institute.