Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Environmental Nimbyism

Before I do this one let me develop my street cred.

I belong to the Audubon Society. I garden organically and compost, I avoid chemicals and fertilizers on my lawn and have developed my yard into a wildlife habitat.
My vacations are usually at National Parks and I support the acquisition of open space.
I recycle (one of my motto's is waste not want not). I hate ATVs snow mobiles and Jet Skis.
I once gave money to Green peace and belonged to a save the rain forest organization.
I camp, hike, scuba dive and do tons of other outdoor activities.
As you can see I am not exactly anti-environment.

Now recently it was proposed to build 2 natural gas terminals twenty miles off the cost of New Jersey. This is being vigorously opposed by environmental groups and the local newspaper has editorialized against it. First lets face it, we need these things. One of the reasons gasoline is expensive is lack of refining capacity. Do we want to be looking at a Natural Gas shortage in 10 years. Then people will be looking at fuel oil and coal fired electricity to heat their homes. Both worse for the environment and using more oil is bad for our national security. Is there a risk of an environmental or safety accident. Sure there is always a risk. Would you you rather have the accident happen out at sea or at a terminal in Queens NY or Bayonne NJ. Do you want your Gas bill to triple?

By the way these same groups have opposed Windmills off the coast until "more studies are done" of course some of the opponents have been honest enough to say they just do not want their view ruined.

I am happy to say some of these people have come to there senses. One of the founders of Green peace is now in favor of Nuclear Power.

Environmentalists have to realize that we owe civilization to energy consumption. Their attitude will throw us back to time when travel was difficult, life spans were short and even the spread of knowledge was slower. No one really wants to go there. Yes alternate sources of energy need to be developed. Yes conservation is good and should be encouraged.

However you also need to do some risk /benefit analysis and the benefit side of all three of the above energy projects are not being added into the mix. We also need to loose the NOT IN MY BACK YARD ATTITUDE. If it was nuclear power plants, these gas terminals and especially the windmills would be built.

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