This environmental ‘D’oh’ moment brought to you by Popular Mechanics. If you like birds — and I do — don’t look at the picture.

Environmentalists and animal rights activists are in rare opposition, because birds are being cooked alive when they fly through the concentrated rays of the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California.

Solar thermal plants are excellent means of creating renewable energy and jobs. They help reduce US reliance on foreign oil. But the reputation of solar energy as a whole could suffer unjustly from the charred feathers showing up at giant solar thermal plants.
BrightSource’s Ivanpah Energy Plant is a massive solar thermal plant that covers 3,500 acres with 173,500 heliostats, each of which contains 163 square feet of mirrors. These thousands of giant mirrors direct sunrays to one of three 459-foot power towers. The heated towers then create steam, which generates energy-producing turbines.

In other words, that thing you did as a kid with the ants and the magnifying glass – Ivanpah develops that technology to power 140,000 homes with clean energy.

The burning-birds-alive story comes just days after JLF’s Roy Cordato reported on the N.C. Aquarium’s energetic support for wind energy — at the very same time the aquarium is caring for an injured bald eagle. Bald eagles, of course, are made mince meat by behemoth wind turbines. Cordato writes:

Finally, I’d like to note that one of the aquarium’s exhibits is a bald eagle with an injured wing. Indeed the aquarium boasts about taking the bird in and helping it to survive.

Of course, the irony is that wind power is a notorious killer of bald eagles. In fact, President Obama has recently found it necessary to issue an exemption to wind power companies allowing them to kill this protected species without penalty.

By subsidizing wind power, the N.C. Aquarium will be contributing to the now legalized slaughter of this national symbol.