When climate deniers hit you with that “wind turbines kill millions of birds” bad-faith argument you can show them this chart

@Tanuki fight lies with more lies?

only one study was ever published on the topic of bird deaths caused by domestic cats. it was by smithsonian and it’s shitty science at best.

@JoYo The chart is referencing the *low* end estimates of the 95% confidence interval of this 2013 study

It was published in Nature Communications, a subjournal of Nature Publishing Group. Nature is the highest impact factor journal in the world. The science is probably not shitty.

The original authors also published a 2018 rebuttal to criticisms, all of which were from outside the scientific community

@Tanuki thanks I’ll give these a read.

I’m a little worried they’re swapping acronyms a couple times in the response paper, ie ACA are two different organizations but they continue to use the acronym.

@JoYo if you know where you read the criticisms of their methods I’d still be interested. They might or might not be the ones addressed in the rebuttal. For what it’s worth I love all cats and would like for them to be wrong about the native bird problem.

@Tanuki I admit, my source of criticism is addressed in that paper.

I am concerned that people will use these papers as an excuse to be even more horrible to feral animals.

cops seem to think it’s a good idea to use them as target practice when they get a call about a colony.

@JoYo I share that concern and the feral cat population here is a big problem (for everyone including the feral cats). I have saved three, but sadly had a neighbor kill a bunch of them too. But because they were hurting his property values, he then lied to me about it so I bet he didn’t need science articles as his rationale 🙁

@Tanuki Also in the food industry over 50000 million every ear. 🐔🥫🥫🥘

@Sandra some of which I am feeding to my cat rescues 😬 but they are not wildlife birds at least

cw: food/eating 

@Tanuki Are you raising them for food? Not sure how eager I’d be to eat a predatory animal wrt b/c biomagnification. I just wanna eat only plants♥♥ Also birbs are cute♥🐦🐦🐦♥ I love birds♥♥♥ Even though eating bird isn’t as bad for climate as eating cattle (despite the several order of magnitude difference in amount of separate animals that get eaten since bovines are so big). I was spending some time with my folx earlier this year (after not seeing them for a few years) and logically I wanted to reward them whenever they ate birds instead of bovines, for climate purps, but I just flinched more on an emotional level for the birds. Feels over reals♥♥♥. Oh birds I just love them so much♥♥ PS yes I know that cats need a couple of amino acids that are in birds in order to live and also to be able to see things. Not saying cats should survive on only plants.

cw: food/eating 

@Sandra they will steal a french fry, but yes they mostly want to eat chicken.

I accept that I am not making a fully logical/ethical choice when I adopt cats (who will eat a lot of birds in their lifetimes). But adopting them does at least prevent them from reproducing.

@Tanuki I live next to a 65MW wind farm and I'm pretty sure my own cat is responsible for more bird deaths than all of them combined.

@Tanuki Also, I wonder what the statistics are on early deaths of birds caused by coal and diesel particulates, etc.

Since size- and area-to-weight ratios are so critical to birds, particularly small ones, I'd imagine they've evolved to have minimal lungs for the required function so any loss of effectiveness would be very significant, I'd think.

Not as obvious as a splat of meat and feathers under a turbine, of course.


@edavies @Tanuki @kensanata I often wonder this: whenever our boiler kicks in (last holdout of carbon-intensive crap we use) and a gout of smoke rises into the trees, I wonder how badly it affects anything living above. I don't have book lungs and it makes me cough if I get a whiff of the stuff.
Sound pollution, too: birds communicate, a lot, and our traffic and industry is clamouring them out. When lockdown killed traffic for a few weeks we all noticed the birdsong increasing..

@edavies @Tanuki @kensanata so! Cool/scary thing about bird lungs. They likely first evolved as a response to the air quality following the largest mass extinction; the great dying.

The only way to survive was to burrow or to have super lungs. When the air cleared later, it allowed dinos to get massive. Then, the lungs were turned to flying.

Basically, birds are probably equipped to handle the CO2 rise faster than mammals, but at the cost of flying.

Anyway I'm wondering what this argument has to do with climate change denialism xD

@Tanuki 2 topics are seldom spoken about in these debates. 1/The destruction of birds habitat. Not only the diminishing size of existing forests, but also local woodlands & wetlands that are increasingly giving way to more concrete. 2/ The decimation of insects (bird food) by use of biocide products in agriculture as well as in personal gardens. It's extremely trendy atm to blame cats, there's been huge campaigning against them for the last several months all over the internet. 1/2

@Tanuki What if maybe, just maybe, it was a way of, once again, blaming regular people's habits instead of addressing the larger issues? 2/2

@caml my intention was not what-aboutism for bird deaths but to put the scale of the “problem” in context when someone wheels out a weak argument against a great form of renewable energy (also the answer is to paint the turbine blades black anyway, very simple, doesn’t help bats but does majorly reduce bird strikes)

@Tanuki ...I actually wonder about painting them black's feasibility - traditionally you don't want to paint large/highly stressed composite structures black because black == more heat == more potential for thermal stresses to cause failure


@bhtooefr @caml maybe striped would do, I’m not sure what has been tried

@caml @Tanuki Yes, habitat is a main concern for biodiversity. Still limiting cats is easier (sadly) to act upon politicaly than to reform our agricultural system. Cats owners are not as powerful as big agro-industrial companies that buy, spread, and sells biocides to individual gardeners.

To me cats is a relevent problem because it's easier to fix. That's not a good solution even on a short term, it's just that the others actions seem way too out of reach somehow... :(

@caml @Tanuki Also cats are a real problem because the populations are already endengered. Things stacks.

@Tanuki ok but you can't put wind turbines in sight of livestock because it makes them dizzy.

@Tanuki climate change and mass insect extinction dont hep either

Other - My Chimney and their dumb-ass selves.


My cats aren't all that good at birds.

@Tanuki I wasn't even aware that this was one of their arguments ...

@Tanuki Slightly annoys me that it’s 1768 Million, instead of 1.8 Billion.

@Tanuki or, alternatively
"wind turbines kill million of birts"
@Tanuki To be fair, cats killing birds is just part of nature. Predators eat prey. It's a bit unfair to compare them.

@Tanuki b-but muh pristine landscape!!?

oil leaks into the reefs
beaches covered in oil
smog covers the sky

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