After getting to know the folks who make up the fierce opposition to wind power projects, Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post puts her finger on the larger problem when it comes to building new energy infrastructure:
The problem plaguing new energy developments is no longer NIMBYism, the "Not-In-My-Back-Yard" movement. The problem now, as one wind-power executive puts it, is BANANAism: "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything." The anti-wind brigade, fierce though it is, pales beside the opposition to liquid natural gas terminals, and would fade entirely beside the mass movement that will oppose a new nuclear power plant. Indeed, the founders of Cape Wind say they embarked on the project in part because public antipathy prevents most other utility investments in New England.Good question. But as our readers already know, a number of communities are clamoring for the chance to host a new nuclear reactor (click here and here for examples). For more on the opposition to the Cape Wind Project, click here.
Still, energy projects don't even have to be viable to spark opposition: Already, there are activists gearing up to fight the nascent biofuel industry, on the grounds that fields of switch grass or cornstalks needed to produce ethanol will replace rainforests and bucolic country landscapes. Soon the nonexistent "hydrogen economy" will doubtless be under attack as well. There's a lot of earnest, even bipartisan talk nowadays about the need for clean, emissions-free energy. But are we really ready, politically, to build any new energy sources at all?
Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Energy, Electricity, Environment, Wind Power