One of the strongest arguments for greening the power sector is the promise that a low carbon revolution will create thousands of new jobs, offering rioting students the hope they may one day become a wind turbine technician or solar panel salesman.
So the Sceptic Tank was delighted to learn even man's best friend could take advantage of the green jobs boom, after it emerged wind farm developers are considering hiring dogs to undertake important investigations into how many birds are being killed by crashing into wind turbines.
Consultants have been grappling with the problem of how to manage avian populations near wind farms, as it has proved difficult to accurately count the bird and bat carcasses before they are gobbled up by scavengers – nature really is that cruel.
Estimates of winged fatalities have to date been based on field surveys performed by humans, but apparently we have proved incapable of finding the corpses quickly enough. Now new research has concluded canines would outperform us humans when it comes to collecting tiny corpses. In a battle between the two species, dogs picked up 96 per cent of carcasses scattered across a wind farm, compared to our measly 20 per cent detection rate.
This is good news for everyone, apart from the birds obviously. Researchers will get better data, and all for the price of a can of Pedigree Chum.
The only fear the Sceptic Tank has is that this could be the thin end of the wedge. The renewables sector has been warned time and time again to boost its efforts to close the looming skills gap. But it now appears the animal kingdom is ready and willing to fill the vacancies that are not being filled by feckless students. With dogs helping out wind farm operators it is surely only a matter of time before dolphins come to the aid of marine energy developers and cats start cleaning rooftop solar panels.
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