Bird lives worth more than military lives?

August 17, 2009

ExxonMobil pled guilty to killing about 85 protected waterfowl, hawks and owls in five states over the past five years. The birds died from exposure to  the company’s natural gas well reserve pits and waste water storage facilities.

Exxon has already spent $2.5 million safeguarding its facilities and is being fined an additional $600,000 — a total of $3.1 million for 85 bird deaths. That works out to about $36,470 per bird death.

Let’s put this in some perspective.

The “death gratuity,” as the U.S. military calls it, is only $12,420 for active duty personnel, jumping up to $100,000 for combat-related deaths.

Poultry give their lives to feed us for about $2 per pound — chickens and turkey existing at a level far below their “protected” bretheren.

There’s something very wrong about a society that values some dead birds on a par with dead soldiers — not to mention a Department of Justice that actually spends time and taxpayer money prosecuting the deaths of 85 birds.

2 Responses to “Bird lives worth more than military lives?”

  1. papiertigre Says:

    Come on Steve. Everybody knows that a raptor’s life is worth a million sub-Saharan Africans catching malaria.
    So of course a raptor’s death will be priced at just under 3 times as much as a soldier’s.

    But what I’m wondering is why are windmills in Altamont killing 4.7k birds, actually chopping their feathery heads off, without any financial repercussion?

    The Altamont, a major migratory corridor, hosts large raptor populations, including one of the world’s highest densities of breeding golden eagles. When wind turbines were installed here in the 1980s, their blades’ lethal effects were little known. But for more than 25 years, Altamont’s 5,400 turbines have been killing up to 4,700 birds annually–as many as 1,300 of them raptors.

    25 times 4,700 times $36,470 equals
    $4 billion 285 million 225 thousand and 000
    dollars and cents.

    Pay up suckers.

    Seriously, we have precidence here. Established law. What do they call it?

    Oh yes Stari desisis.

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