The Wind Industry’s Ignored Consequences: Whales in Peril

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From Watts Up With That?

Michael Shellenberger
 has an article in the New York Post titled:

New documentary ‘proves’ building offshore wind farms does kill whales

He describes how the documentary titled: “Thrown To The Wind” sheds light on a disturbing correlation between the wind industry and the alarming increase in cetacean deaths.

The Government’s Stance vs. The Documentary’s Findings

“The increase in whale, dolphin, and other cetacean deaths off the East Coast of the United States since 2016 is not due to the construction of large industrial wind turbines, U.S. government officials say. Their scientists have done the research, they say, to prove that whatever is killing the whales is completely unrelated to the wind industry.”

Yet, the documentary, produced by Jonah Markowitz, suggests otherwise.

“The film documents surprisingly loud, high-decibel sonar emitted by wind industry vessels when measured with state-of-the-art hydrophones. And it shows that the wind industry’s increased boat traffic is correlated directly with specific whale deaths.”

The North Atlantic Right Whale: A Species in Decline

The North Atlantic right whale, a species already on the brink, has seen its population drop from over 400 to a mere 340 in recent years.

“And, there have been more than 60 recorded whale deaths of all species on the East Coast since Dec 1, 2022, a number that increased markedly since 2016 when the wind industry started to ramp up.”

Ignoring the Warnings

Despite urgent warnings from leading conservation groups and top scientists at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), wind projects continue to move forward.

“The waters off New York and New Jersey have seen a sudden upsurge in whale deaths this year.”

The Mechanisms of Death

The documentary highlights two primary mechanisms by which wind industry activities are harming whales.

“The first is through boat traffic in areas where there hasn’t historically been traffic. The second is through high-decibel sonar mapping that can disorient whales, separate mothers from their calves, and send them into harm’s way, either into boat traffic or poorer feeding grounds.”

The Role of Money and Influence

It’s hard to ignore the influence of money in this scenario.

“Wind energy companies and their foundations have donated nearly $4.7 million to at least three dozen major environmental organizations.”

Furthermore, attempts to shed light on the issue have faced challenges.

“Facebook went so far as to censor my post linking whale deaths to wind energy off the East Coast of the United States.”

A Call to Action

Given the evidence presented in “Thrown To The Wind,” it’s evident that the public cannot trust certain government agencies. Schellenberger writes:

it’s clear that the American people and our representatives cannot trust NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the two government agencies that, for years, have repeatedly betrayed the public’s trust in service to powerful industrial interests.


The wind industry’s impact on marine life, particularly the North Atlantic right whale, cannot be ignored. It’s time for a serious discussion of the true cost of so-called “sustainable” energy.

Read the full article at the New York Post.