The NIMBY label is nothing new.
What is new is the degrees of NIMBY-ism. One of the arguments against NIMBY-ism is that the NIMBY will benefit from the infrastructure. But what happens when infrastructure is proposed for the backyard of someone who does not benefit from it? Are they still a NIMBY?
And what happens when a NIMBY who will benefit from the infrastructure objects, but insists on still receiving the benefits?
Enter the silliest academic "study" I've read in a long, long time. Dr. Sanja Lutzeyer and Dr. Laura Taylor of NCSU, along with Dr. Daniel Phaneuf of the University of Wisconsin, recently released study called “The Amenity Costs of Offshore Wind Farms: Evidence from a Choice Experiment."
The study is the result of a survey of North Carolina beach vacationers. It asked them if they would pay more to rent a beach house with a view of offshore wind farms. No, they would not. In fact, most of the beach tourists wanted a discount on their rental if they had to look at offshore wind farms, especially at night when they are lit up with red, blinking lights. The study concludes that building wind farms off the shore of North Carolina will destroy its tourism industry.
The study also shared that the respondents generally supported wind energy, but Not In My Ocean View.
Where do these folks think wind energy they want to benefit from gets generated? Is it supposed to be generated by wind farms in someone else's back yard who won't benefit from it? Are others supposed to have their views, their night time skyline, their farm business, and their tourism destroyed so that these beach goers can have wind energy produced by wind farms that they don't have to look at?
I'm sure this same attitude (or worse) would also be applied to huge, honking, new transmission lines proposed to transmit far away wind energy to the North Carolina beaches. But, of course, nobody is stupid enough to propose a gigantic HVDC transmission line along North Carolina's coast.
But someone has been stupid enough to propose several enormous transmission lines on virgin land (known as "green field" projects) stretching through the back yards and working farms of thousands of folks in the Midwest for the benefit of those in Carolina beach shacks.
Here's the take away... if you like wind energy, put it in your own back yard. If that costs a little more, then that's the price you pay to be "green." Don't expect a whole bunch of folks who will receive no benefit to make a sacrifice for you.
Who's the ultimate NIMBY?