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NIMBY

NIMBYism is a term thought to have been coined by Walter Rodgers of the American Nuclear Society.  It’s an acronym for Not In My BackYard and was supposed to describe opposition to development projects critically needed by society.  An online dictionary, dictionary.com, even gives the following definition:

Not in my backyard: used to express opposition by local citizens to the locating in their neighborhood  of a civic project, as a jail, garbage dump, or drug rehabilitation center, that, though needed by the larger community, is considered unsightly, dangerous, or likely to lead to decreased property values.

The key words here might be “needed by the larger community“.  There’s never been a firm demonstration by Maine government, the wind industry or other groups promoting wind power development that, on balance, any given wind project or wind power, in general, is “needed by the larger community”.  No doubt, there might be benefits to a wind power development, but do its benefits outweigh the negative impacts that even its supporters acknowledge do exist?  Is it so critical to Maine, New England or the United States that the interests or well-being of the affected people or state resources should be overlooked?

Until these questions can be adequately answered, it might be prudent to proceed more cautiously in the pursuit of mountaintop wind power development in Maine.  It might also be appropriate for those using the NIMBY label to put it away until such time they are prepared to answer these questions satisfactorily.

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