Sunday, January 04, 2015
Naomi Oreskes again: We Greenies are not NIMBYs
Now that she is opposing development in her own backyard, she is at pains to say that her opposition is not merely based on personal convenience. I agree with her. I think her opposition is deeply ideological. She says at length that her opposition is based on a love of natural beauty but that is almost certainly just camouflage. An interesting test of that would be to hear what she says about wind farms. They GROSSLY despoil naturally beautiful landscapes. Is she against them too? I'm guessing not.
She opposes the building of a power line that will bring much-needed electricity to New England. Power is already so scarce there that the price mechanism has pushed up electricity bills for residents to unprecedented heights.
So what is her solution to that problem? She has none. She simply says airily: "There are other ways to address future energy demand". No details.
I guess she is so well paid that electricity bills don't worry her. They are only of concern to the unimportant "little people" who need Greenies to make them behave properly.
By Naomi Oreskes
The term NIMBY – “not in my back yard”– has long been used to criticize people who oppose commercial or industrial development in their communities. Invariably pejorative, it casts citizens as selfish individualists who care only for themselves, hypocrites who want the benefits of modernity without paying its costs.
Communities and individuals who oppose fracking, nuclear power, high voltage power lines, and diverse other forms of development have all been accused of NIMBYism. It’s time to rethink this term.
A recent example close to my home is the Northern Pass power development, a proposal to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec to consumers in southern New England via a high-voltage power line that would trace the spine of New Hampshire.
Its sponsors tout it as an investment in New Hampshire’s future, stressing the tax revenues and jobs that the project will bring, characterizing hydropower as a clean and renewable energy source, and arguing that the project will help to address an emerging energy crisis in New England.
Opponents note that the lion’s share of the jobs created will be temporary, that the power will be delivered to customers south of the power line, that hydropower is not actually renewable, and that there are other ways to address future energy demand.
They also question the promise of economic benefit, noting that chambers of commerce along the proposed route believe it will hurt tourism and damage real estate values. But the key issue at stake for the opponents is not jobs or money, but beauty.
The project is opposed by the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, The Conservation Law Foundation, and the N.H. Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. All agree that the key issue is the project’s impact on the natural beauty of New Hampshire.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).