NYTimes: Wind Energy Company pays US$1 Million in Bird Deaths

November 25, 2013

This from the 22 Nov issue of the New York Times:

Duke Energy agreed on Friday to pay $1 million in fines as part of the Justice Department’s first criminal case against a wind power company for the deaths of protected birds.

A subsidiary of the company, Duke Energy Renewables, pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Wyoming on Friday to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal law that protects migratory birds. The company was charged with killing 14 golden eagles and dozens of other birds at two wind projects in Wyoming since 2009.

In a plea agreement, the company said it would pay the fines to several conservation groups, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The company must also put a plan in place to prevent bird deaths in the future, federal officials said.

So let me get this straight. We know windmills kill birds. But it’s ok to go ahead and build them as long as we “contribute” money back to the conservation groups that try to protect the birds.

How will any amount of US$ in “fines” get “14 golden eagles and dozens of other birds back?”


Matt Ridley is a World Treasure

November 17, 2013

See a lecture he recently made in Australia:

Also recommended is his book “Rational Optimist”.


Ryanair

November 4, 2013

Ryanair is in the news today. They are reporting their financial outlook shows reduced earnings. The stock market is responding and crushing their share price.

While I don’t wish bad tidings on anyone or any company, Ryanair is one company with which I have twice experienced as a customer. The first was opportunistic with the spirit of “it can’t be as bad as I hear”. The second was a “let’s try again” as they flew where we wanted to go.

I have not, and promised myself, I would never ever, try again.


Fastmail seems down?

November 4, 2013

For years I’ve used Fastmail for sending mail, and for some incoming mail. At the moment I can’t raise them. Server does not respond. Web site not responding. I can’t think of how to figure out what’s going on.

They got some free publicity when they wrote a blog posting about what they thought was a bug in Mavericks affecting one of their users. The post received a lot of attention. Turned out the user had some sort of Apple Script flaw, related to Junk mail or something. I didn’t follow it all. They posted a retraction. They also received some press attention when they announced their position re NSA issues.

Is their outages related to these episodes?

Update1: It’s a Virgin Media issue. See http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-60Mb-Setup-Equipment/No-routing-to-FastMail/td-p/2046358

Update2: Virgin fixed their problem. Now all seems to work.