NIMBY Numpty

Stupidity No Comments

There’s not really a great deal wrong with NIMBYism. After all, who’d really welcome a waste incinerator, abbatoir or power station behind their house? The thing is, though, that NIMBYs have a bad rep. Selfishly standing in the way of progress and all that. So these days a perfectly valid opposing stance has to be dressed up with economic or environmental factors. And this can make people look very foolish.

Take, for example, the bloke on this morning’s Today programme arguing against a massive great wind farm being proposed on some Scottish moorland near his house. He insisted he wasn’t a NIMBY but was opposed on economic grounds. The Government’s stumping up 30 million quid for the project, apparently. The chap argued that the wind industry “made up facts” to support its case for renewable energy, and then went on to make some up of his own.

“These turbines are only 30% efficient,” he ranted. “Who’d buy a car that was only 30% efficient?”

Sorry to disappoint, but that would be pretty much anyone who’s ever bought a car. And anyway, efficiency’s a pretty moot point when we’re talking about renewable resources. If you’re burning stuff that you’ve only got a finite amount of then it makes sense to extract as much as you can from it. If you’re just extracting a bit of oomph from stuff that lasts for ever it really doesn’t matter at all. Indeed, when it comes to wind power 100% efficiency would probably do some pretty odd things to the weather.

There was some other guff about CO2 generation during construction, but again that’s no worse than building anything else and at least they won’t make any more during their lifetime. And then he ranted about increased energy costs, complaining that “15-20% electricity bill increases just for using a renewable resource”. Er, “just”? Call me a tree-hugging greenie loon, but a mere 20% price hike for something that lasts for ever looks like a bit of a bargain to me.

If you’re going to be a NIMBY, then stand up, be proud and say it. You look a lot less of an idiot that way.

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