Companies seeking to construct large, polluting plants
often dismiss local opposition
is NIMBY (not in my backyard), as if that is sufficient by itself to
establish that no weight ought
to be attached to the complaints.
The September 18, 2000 Wall Street Journal shows a
different side to this issue. The
article ("Cisco Opposes Plan for New Power Plant") reports
that Calpine (a major
independent power generation company) planned to build a
badly needed gas fired power
plant in rural Coyete Valley near San Jose...and Cisco
Systems, which is producing
backbone equipment for all those computer systems which are
one of the significant sources
demanding new power plants. Cisco Systems opposed the plant,
which is akin to General
Motors fighting an oil refinery, observers note.
The reason why this is such a rare occurrence, of course,
is that most of the time,
these facilities are never proposed to be sited in the first
place in or near wealthy
communities or near headquarters of major
corporations in the first place.
I mention this because, NIMBY really, then, is not a
pejorative, but rather is a symptom of the pervasive
and inherent unfairness and ruthlessness of our so-called civilization. It is a tacit
acknowledgement that no one who reaps the benefits wants to be near the effluvia of a
modern economy. It is only the fact that we have typically been able to site these
plants somewhere else
(i.e. near those without the political clout to successfully oppose them) that keeps the
gears of our economy greased.
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