Photo: Patrick Finnegan
What is it about renewable energy that draws insects to their doom like a moth to a cleaner-burning flame?
I was blown away to learn we’ve been painting wind turbines the wrong color. (White seemed like such a safe color — unless you’re one of those people who still thinks you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day). Alas, white is just about the worst color you could paint a turbine, if you’re an insect or insect-eating bird or bat, that is. A new study tested the rainbow and found that white and light gray turbine blades are a strong and lethal attraction for bugs and the wildlife that munch on them. If you’re a person who cares about climate and clean energy, you’d be better off avoiding the whole “clean energy vs. wildlife debate” by painting your wind energy investments with a purple brush, as that was the least popular hue for bugs (even if fashionable people like it).
While the scientists authoring this study said this doesn’t “necessarily” mean you should rush out to paint all turbines purple (cuz of other complicating factors), wouldn’t it be great to see violet wind turbines blooming across the landscape? It might feel a little bit like Candyland.
Finally, a clean energy issue easily fixed with nothing but a little paint!
Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of weird, offbeat, and/or just plain funny green news, sent out every Friday.
Get Grist in your inbox