Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Answer - Smaller "NIMBY" footprint!!!

AHA. So what was the question? Why would a green-ly inclined Premier build a desalination plant in Sydney? The alternative of another dam involves incalculable number of "Not In My Back Yard" ers. The other answer is how the "culled" trees get treated. For general expansion of Sydney all trees are killed humanely (ie. chopped down quickly) and the animals which relied on those native trees could move on (a bit like the early settlers thought about aboriginals). With a dam being built, the imagination is that basically everything gets drowned - a slow and painful death.

This is also why Hydro-electric schemes get fought tooth and nail by environmentalists, despite the incredible number of carbon credits over a number of centuries of likely operation. Meanwhile, fossil fuel powered schemes just find an existing industrial complex to attach themselves to WITHOUT A SINGLE PROTESTER!
ACT LOCALLY - yeah right, as long as no big ugly dam, wind turbine, solar generation stack, farm etc. doesn't end up in my back yard!

4 comments:

Dr. Clam said...

About the same time you were in third year I was working in the bush during the uni holidays for a fellow who did contract labouring for the mining companies, and I remember being struck by the contrast between the environs of the mines and the surrounding properties... near the mines it was always lush, with lots of wildlife, while the grazing properties were almost always horrible dustbowls. Not long after that I became a vegetarian, partly because of the obvious and enormous impact of tasty quadrupeds on our environment- yet it was always the mines that attracted the noisy attention of the protestors.
It will be interesting to see the Nimby phenomenon take off when our high level nuclear waste depository gets closer to reality...
Parenthetically, I think the government is being clever in canvassing a full-blown nuclear option... when the dust settles, a local enrichment facility making great piles of cash for us will seem like hardly anything in comparison and doubtless gain bipartisan support!

Dr. Clam said...

BTW, is your discussion with Claire ongoing in some obscure corner of your blog? Or has it petered out? I couldna find it...

Marco said...

Petered out, it seems. I think with grazing and other farming, its more about whether new wilderness is being converted, rather than the actual impact. Since we can't choose where lucrative mineral deposits will be, new mines will almost always either on wilderness or private land. From memory, there seems to be little protest if a mine ends up wholly on land that used to be used for grazing. To extend this model, I can't foresee any NIMBY problems if nuclear power stations are built replacing coal power stations; nuclear waste depositories on privately held land; enrichment facilities at places which already handle radioactive products etc. The grass roots environmental movement is far too ad hoc to make an actual difference to the bigger picture; Good or bad. People like Claire at least have some view of the bigger picture ie pricing, targets, differential incentives.

Dr. Clam said...

Thinking about water- I really think this is an area where the conventional mantra 'use less' can work. We are totally dependent on rainwater tanks in an area with a similar rainfall to that of Sydney, and have about the same roof area as we did there. We haven't run out of water yet in a year and a half, nor have we had to drastically change our lifestyle. Methinks the average Sydney householder could probably meet most of their own needs with rainwater, and instead of sinking gazillions into new construction the state government should just charge more for piped water to encourage people to put tanks in...