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Old 08-19-2005, 08:00 AM   #1
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Not In My Back Yard!

Quote:
A Mighty Wind by Jonah Goldberg
"The law, in its majestic equality" wrote Anatole France, "forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

But apparently not environmentalism. On that score there's one rule for the rich and one rule for the rest.

Witness the current fight in Cape Cod over an effort to build wind farms just offshore. It features sanctimonious environmentalists, super-rich property owners, and super-rich, property-owning, sanctimonious environmentalists feeding on each other like big hungry sharks in a small tank.

The basic situation is that some environmentalists and a company called Cape Wind want to build 130 windmills way out in the ocean to help offset energy costs in the region - and to satisfy all those demands that we find substitutes for evil fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, other environmentalists and conservationists are eager to stop the wind farm from being built, largely because it will mar the view from their extravagant coastal homes. Leading this charge is Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose famous compound would have a nice view of the turbines. (To be fair, though most people say the turbines would be hard to see except on very clear days, and even then they'd be tiny blips on the horizon.)

But Ted wants no such thing spoiling cocktail hour on the veranda. So he drafted his famously green nephew Robert to join the fight - even though Robert is a senior lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which strongly backs the project.

Obviously, the reason this is so much fun is that the stakes are so small for everybody except a handful of people who deserve to lose. Personally, I couldn't really care one way or the other. I think the aesthetic arguments have some merit, but I also think wind power has more potential than most of its critics claim. The windmills would ultimately provide about 75 percent of the energy used by Cape Cod and the surrounding Islands, including Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard - in a clean, renewable form that, unlike older technologies, wouldn't kill birds in an avian frappe. Seventy-five percent of the area's power needs may be a rounding error when discussing America's total energy consumption, but that's a lot for any specific community.

But why get distracted by the merits of the issue when the real fun is to take a Nestea Plunge into the swirling waters of limousine liberalism.

A very quick search of the LexisNexis news database reveals that Sen. Kennedy has called for more "sacrifice" from the wealthy roughly 8 kabillion-jamillion-gazillion times during George W. Bush's presidency (and forget about during Ronald Reagan's!). He's excoriated Bush's tax cuts, the war, health care policies, and just about everything else for not demanding the rich share more in the "national sacrifice."

Well, here's their chance. This is not some symbolic hybrid car you park next to your Hummer. Recall Arianna Huffington's passionate campaign against SUVs? She made great sacrifices to rid the world of those guzzlers as she flew around the country in a private jet.

Well, here is something concrete the rich and famous can sacrifice for the little guy and for the environment: their views.

And, let's be honest, it's not a huge sacrifice. If Teddy really thinks his fat - or, if you prefer, "phat" - crib on the beach will be ruined by the prospect of having to look at some windmills five to 13 miles offshore, he can swap pads with me.

The opponents of the project have made every ludicrous claim in the book, proving that environmentalists will even lie to other environmentalists. The windmills will kill whales, cause oil spills, ruin fishing, etc. None of these things are true, and the honest opponents know it. This is simply Nimby ("not in my backyard") politics pure and simple.

When a reporter for The New York Times Magazine called Walter Cronkite, a windmill opponent, and asked him about the proposal, the retired newsman bristled at the suggestion that this was all about selfishness. But, he had to confess, that's exactly what it is.

"The problem really is Nimbyism," he conceded by telephone, "and it bothers me a great deal that I find myself in this position. I'm all for these (windmills), but there must be areas that are far less valuable than this place is." The reporter prodded, and he said maybe the California desert would work. Isn't that a bit far away to supply Cape Cod? Well, he added, "Inland New England would substitute just as well." In fact, any place but here would do just fine.

Is seemed to dawn on Cronkite that such honesty wasn't serving his cause or himself, he interrupted his train of thought and implored the reporter, "Be kind to an old man."

I'm all for kindness to old men, but let's not hear fossilizing liberals like him, Kennedy and Huffington talk about the need for the wealthy to make sacrifices anymore. And they better not get caught with one of those "Think globally, act locally" bumper stickers on their SUVs, either.
The hypocrisy is delicious!
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:11 AM   #2
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:42 AM   #3
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Anyone who has driven from the Los Angeles area to Palm Springs knows the visual blight caused by the windmill farms. The natual beauty of the area is lost because of some "environment saving" program developed hundreds of miles away.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Anyone who has driven from the Los Angeles area to Palm Springs knows the visual blight caused by the windmill farms. The natual beauty of the area is lost because of some "environment saving" program developed hundreds of miles away.
I thought traffic pollution was a marginally bigger problem in LA than the 'visual blight' caused by windmills.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


I thought traffic pollution was a marginally bigger problem in LA than the 'visual blight' caused by windmills.


yeah, though smog gives you pretty sunsets, i'd much rather have spoiled landscape than black lung.

and i'm sick of SUVs crowding the streets of east coast cities developed long before automobiles -- an SUV crashed into my old Toyota and drove away one fateful night at 4:30am, though it was a blessing in disguise as now i'm totally car-free.

and better for it.

i do agree that liberals and conservatives alike need to get over the NIMBY phenomenon -- a NIMBY for conservatives might be having their son or daughter sent to Iraq, for example -- however i find anything Jonah writes difficult to take too seriously.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:12 AM   #6
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I thoroughly enjoy the sight of windmills but that might also be because of what they stand for. I think I'm the exception to the rule though, most people I know rather have an oil refinery out of sight than windmills on the horizon. This society needs to get its priorities straight.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

however i find anything Jonah writes difficult to take too seriously.
Yeah, but he's got such a great sense of humor! And he's not nearly as snarky as Dowd or Coulter.

Speaking of which, are there any liberal columnists who use good humor when making a point? Many (with humor) come across as mean or below the belt.

Sorry, off topic
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsforu2
Speaking of which, are there any liberal columnists who use good humor when making a point? Many (with humor) come across as mean or below the belt.

Sorry, off topic

Funny that you say that, many liberals would consider various conservative commentators' personalised attacks on Ted Kennedy (I don't necessarily include the article posted in that category) as extremely mean and below the belt, considering the man's very tragic family history.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
I thought traffic pollution was a marginally bigger problem in LA than the 'visual blight' caused by windmills.
Perhaps, but the regulatory scheme created to allow for windmill farms (tax incentives) had nothing to do with traffic.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsforu2


Speaking of which, are there any liberal columnists who use good humor when making a point?
Sorry, off topic
No.

Much to my chagrin.

While I think a lot of liberals are funny, liberal columnists are not. They are on a whole, stuffily earnest.

Hopefully, I'm missing somebody.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
I thoroughly enjoy the sight of windmills but that might also be because of what they stand for. I think I'm the exception to the rule though, most people I know rather have an oil refinery out of sight than windmills on the horizon. This society needs to get its priorities straight.
I rather like them too.

I don't think they look that bad at all.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:02 PM   #12
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I love windmills! They're absolutely stunning. There's nobody I've ever met who thought they looked ugly.

If we want to start talking about what's contributing to ugliness in the world, there are many, many, many, many things which need to be examined prior to windmills.

Most North American cities are so ugly and disjointed architecturally that one does not even know where to begin.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:17 PM   #13
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Oh for pity's sake.

I would much rather look at some windmills than have to stare at those ugly cell phones towers that have proliferated all over the country side.

And if they're truly going to be so far off that they will be a blip on the horizon on a very clear day, why are they wasting their breath whining?

I look out my window at night and see a whole line of cell phone towers stretching across our beautiful hills. How can I see them at night? Simple. They are marked with lurid red blinking lights, so low flying aircraft don't run into them.

So Kennedy, Cronkite, and all the rest of them can just get the fuck over it and get used to looking at the damn windmills as far as I'm concerned. And for a far better reason than I have had to get used to (not that I really have) looking at those ugly ass towers--so that Susie and Jillie and Jennifer Jr. High can spend even more than the old fashioned 12 hrs. a day on the phone.

I have no time or patience for people who turn on their own principles so quickly and for such a shallow and greedy reason.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:13 AM   #14
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Wind farms are not that pretty, and they do kill birds, and there is the maintainence issues, and the space issues ~ go nuclear; well maintained but clean and efficient power
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Old 08-20-2005, 03:19 AM   #15
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Clean? And where are you going to store the waste, which will remain radioactive for about the next 30,000 years?
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