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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Monday, November 22, 2004

not in my back yard

as a proponent for nuclear power my entire adult life, i've seen the effects of nimby, or not in my back yard. as our dependence on foreign energy sources drive our foreign policy, from who in the world are our friends, to what we pay for fuel at the pumps, i find any amelioration of our need paramount. i've also bumped up against the whole environmental mindset. i helped clean and release a good sized chunk of a naval shipyard that had been decommissioned. i listened to the lawyers, i attended the public meetings, and i watched untold amounts of money dissappear down the gullet of the environmental lawyer's voracious practices. no remediation possible as long as there was money available to pay the lawyers. i watched a 1.2 billion dollar pot of money set aside to clean a superfund site of ddt in the san pablo bay across from the shipyard get chipped at by the sierra club lawyers, the friends of the earth lawyers, the abalone allience lawyers, etc, etc, etc, to where there is now no money, and not one bucket of waste was removed. but the groups these sharks represented all claim victory. who lost?

i've seen whole forests here in northern california ravaged by drought, insects, and ultimately fire. when a proposal to go in and remove the salvagable wood damaged by those events was tendered, guess who fought that move? the same ones that dissavowed any responsibility when the trinity fire started, and destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of forest because of the almost unimaginable fuel load. a fuel load that the foresters tried to reduce. the groups all claimed victory. who was the loser?

i've seen the state try to put in local power plants, near the locations that really need the electricity, such as in the san jose area. nimby's fought it. the plant was not put in. they claimed victory. who was the loser?

now there is a viable and workable method of reaping energy from the wind off of cape cod, as written about in this article from the san francisco chronicle. will the nimby's win? will they claim victory? who will be the loser?

i've been subjected to this mindset. and i've listened to the folks in haines, alaska. the majority of the residents in and around that town made their living off of tourism, mainly by catering to the cruise ships that ply the inland waterway from seattle to skagway. an "artist" activist from berkeley moved there a couple of years ago, and decided that she would be the arbiter of what was right and wrong in haines. she felt that it was imcumbant on HER to protect and save alaska. well, she is trying to save something all right. but it is her view of the world she is saving. she managed to get a couple of implants from other places in the country together, and they protested the cruise ships, picketing and giving the folks visiting their town grief every time a ship pulled alongside the pier. guess what? the cruise ships left, and now the town that has very little to support it's population that doesn't require decimating the local ecology, no longer has that "clean" source of income. i am sure she and her cronies claimed victory. who lost?

this whole mindset will shatter any illusion of right and wrong you may hold, once you've been exposed to it. that area of cape cod has as it's residents many of the rich and powerful, at least for part of the year. and many of these folks are the same ones you see standing in amongst the protestors outside the gates to nuke plants, cameras in their faces, and reporters breathlessly hanging on their every word. hey they are famous, they must be better than us.

these are the same people that went to puerto rico to protest the navy artillary range. raise a ruckus, get the cameras focused on the area, make entertainment tonite and the 6 o'clock news. raise enough stink, show a decidedly one sided view of the issue, and carry the day simply because they know how to deliver a good speech. where are they now? back living in the luxury their craft or trade affords them. what about the folks that relied on the money the military brought into the region, the money that the vast majority depended on to survive? have any of them gone back and asked the average person what they thought of the whole thing. of course not, because that's not important. poking the government, and especially the military in the eye, that was what was important. and they got to look like crusaders for justice. except they didn't ask the "little guy". they claimed victory, and went home, back to their maids and personal trainers, their pools and luxury vehicles. who lost?

3 Comments:

Blogger Alison said...

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather see a wind farm as I drive along the coast than a nuclear plant as I drive down the inland highway...

11/22/04, 10:20 AM  
Blogger bothenook said...

that's the point. they are trying to find alternatives to nuke plants, and you would think that would be a good thing.

11/22/04, 11:46 AM  
Blogger bhd said...

Similar issues here along the New Joy Sea coastline. Interesting, too, that it's the folks dwelling in the million-plus dollar homes that own the view. Environmental issues need to be studied, for sure - and you'd know that if you saw the snow geese and cormorant migrations. But sheesh. We really need to get a grip.

It's currently against every local town's code to put up a wind vane to harness power. But I don't see anyone turning off the a/c, or the freakin' flood lights that illuminate their palaces. I'd love to get off the grid, and if I had the bucks, I could probably do it. Then again, if I had the bucks, maybe I'd be like the rest of them and not care about what's beyond the back bay. I'd like to think not.

11/22/04, 3:01 PM  

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