Ars editorializes today about bird deaths caused by wireless communication towers. Apparently, bird groups such as the National Audobon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and the American Bird Conservancy met with the FCC to demand new regulations to reduce the risk of bird deaths caused by towers – even though not much is know about exactly how to prevent such deaths.
The groups had earlier called for a complete halt to new wireless towers until environment assessments had been performed. Ars concludes its piece today with the statement that birds serve many valuable functions and so “we may need them more than our cell phones.”
This is a little absurd. Towers only kill a thousandth as many birds each year as do domesticated cats. Wireless communication is incredibly valuable and increasingly necessary for our mobile, global economy. The deaths of a few million birds is tragic, but it is not a compelling reason for giving up our cell phones any more than it is a compelling reason for giving up our feline companions.