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and the data say...

23rd Apr 2018

And the data say.....

A while back I wrote a blog about the demolition job done by Prof Rhys Green on offshore windfarm data for a proposed set of sites in E Scotland. Rhys was not impressed with their 'interpretation' of the data..


A piece in The Press and Journal summarises the problems of getting into bed with some people. The following excerpt gives the flavour:


"The Scottish division of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has hit out against a study published today on the risk to seabirds through collision with offshore wind turbines, calling the findings a “very optimistic interpretation of data”. The new collaborative report by the Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) claims that seabirds are at less risk than first thought and that the collision rate is “less than half of what would be expected”. Despite being a member of the collaborative group taking part in the construction of the report, the RSPB Scotland has said the data does not go far enough to prove seabirds avoid offshore wind turbines more than expected. A spokesman for RSPB said: “We were pleased to take part in this expert panel. We are very supportive of the broad stakeholder investment of time and resources to advance understanding of behaviour of seabirds in and around offshore wind farms. The study has collected a vast amount of new data which will be invaluable to growing our knowledge of how wind farms affect seabirds for many years. “However, it is extremely important to note that RSPB does not subscribe to the study’s conclusion that “the collision risk of seabirds is less than half of what would be expected”. “The results are interesting, but we believe this is a very optimistic interpretation of the data, and it has simply not been possible to apply them to the current means by which we assess collision risk in the UK."


As a former Civil Servant, I admire the style of understatement. Put simply, the very reasons that Green lambasted the industry about on data seem to be resounding here. If you're going to claim that <1/2 are affected, then you need to know what 100% is, and just how many that <1/2 is: 49.999% +/- what?


RSPB really needs to shape up a bit more, or it will continue to be damned by association. It also needs to state what the data (if available and trust-worthy) actually show......

previous posts
and the data say...
23rd April 2018
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17th April 2018
all fools' day
4th April 2018
cold comfort
29th March 2018
Thank the Lords
23rd March 2018
too energetic
12th March 2018
tables going down
9th March 2018
cold out there
5th March 2018
cold curlew
12th February 2018