Sunday, December 27, 2009


No Room at the Inn for Anything

I viewed with mixed emotions the recent news that Diane Feinstein is introducing legislation to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert from construction of solar and wind power plants. On the one hand, it is occasionally nice to see some technology other than nuclear power picked on. On the other hand, if you can't put solar collectors in what is arguably the ideal location for them, what are our prospects for accomplishing anything?

Thinking about the NIMBYism involved here reminded me of a list I started compiling from various sources some time ago of all the variants of "not in my backyard." I offer that list today as my gift of the season:

BANANA = build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone
(can also be read as: build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything)
CAVEs or CAVEmen = citizens against virtually everything
GOOMBA = get out of my business area
GOOMBY = get out of my backyard
LULU = locally unwanted land uses
NANA = not anywhere near anyone
NIABY = not in anyone's backyard
NIMC = not in my constituency
NIMD = not in my district
NIMEY = not in my election year
NIMBY = not in my backyard
NIMFOS = not in my field of sight
NIMFYE = not in my front yard either
NIMO = not in my ocean
NIMTOO = not in my term of office
NITL = not in this lifetime
NUMBY = not under my backyard
NOMH = not on my horizon
NOPE = not on planet earth
NOT = none of that
NOTE = not over there either
PIITBY = put it in their backyard
WIIFM = what's in it for me?

You will notice that there are far more of those sentiments than there are of the other kind:

IMBY = in my backyard
KIIMBY = keep it in my backyard
YIMBY = yes in my backyard

I'd welcome any additions if anyone knows of other such acronyms/initialisms of either persuasion.

More than that, but tougher, it would be nice to find a solution to this growing problem, but I'm afraid that will be far more difficult.


1 comment:

  1. Gail:

    You wrote:

    "On the other hand, if you can't put solar collectors in what is arguably the ideal location for them, what are our prospects for accomplishing anything?"

    I think there is non sequitur there. Just because we shouldn't place solar collectors in the Mohave Desert does not mean that we cannot accomplish "anything".

    There are excellent reasons why putting enormous swaths of solar collectors in the desert is a very bad idea. That environment has real value to its current inhabitants - human and otherwise. The power that may be produced will be minimal compared to the amount of impact that the project will have and the investment - mostly from taxpayers - that would be required. Even if you built the collectors, you still have to figure out how to get the product to market, impacting lots of additional sensitive areas.

    In contrast, nuclear plants have far less impact per unit of energy produced. If desired, we can even build them underground - we have been operating them underwater for more than half a century.

    The benefits to the neighborhood near nuclear power plants are enough to provide a completely different cost versus benefit analysis that can overcome any disadvantages. I do not believe that is true for desert located large solar plants. (My feelings about roof mounted solar right next to consumers are different.)