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Letter to the Editor: Letter writer misses mark on bird decline

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Julia Manning is wrong again. Her last letter stated that birds were in decline because of solar panels and windmills, and she denies that climate change is a factor.

If she had taken the trouble to read the report from the Audubon Society, she would have gotten her facts straight. According to the Audubon Society website, bird loss is due to “multiple, complex environmental factors including pesticide use, insect declines and climate change, as well as direct threats like outdoor cats and glass skyscrapers.”

“Climate change is the biggest threat to birds and the places they need to survive,” according to The Audubon Society website. “The changing climate threatens more than 300 species of North American birds and thousands more worldwide. Cutting carbon pollution is essential to avoid the worst impacts on birds and other wildlife.”

On their website: https://www.audubon.org/news/why-solar-power-good-birds, the Audubon Society states that rooftop solar panels are the best option for saving birds because they don’t take up additional land space. Developers of large photovoltaic solar farms can minimize bird loss by surrounding the solar farms with native plantings and markings on the panels so that the birds won’t mistake them for water.

The only type of solar farm that is a danger to birds is thermal solar which uses an array of mirrors that focus solar rays into one area that reaches extremely high temperatures that transform a fluid into steam, which powers a generator. The Audubon Society is opposed to this type of solar technology.

Climate change is killing birds and President Trump’s actions are hastening their demise. He moved to weaken the Endangered Species Act, given a pass to toxic chemicals used in agriculture, gutted the Environmental Protection Agency, allowed coal companies to emit more mercury into the air and mining waste into the streams and rivers and has moved to open up more public lands for mining and drilling.

He has also pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, weakened the Clean Air Act and cancelled out higher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. The full effects of the Trump actions will cause habitat loss and environmental degradation, harming birds and all life on earth.

If Ms. Manning was truly interested in saving birds, she could read the website 3billionbirds.org for their suggestions. She could also stop denying climate change and stop advocating against alternative energy projects.

Judith Mesko

Rocky Mount

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