Environmentalists Hate Solar Energy, Too

By April 29, 2008Energy, Global Warming

OK, OK — just some environmentalists. But as this entry in the Wall Street Journal’s “Environmental Capital” blog details, California is afflicted with many, many people who like the idea of solar power in the abstract, it’s just that actual getting it to the consumers who might use it that’s unacceptable.

The L.A. Times reports that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is throwing his support behind a proposed 150-mile transmission line that would partially run through a state park. Gov. Schwarzenegger pressed the case in a December letter to California’s public utility commissioner Dian Grueneich, though the decision won’t be made until this summer. The “Sunrise Powerlink” would link solar power plants in the Colorado Desert with San Diego—but wold also mean hulking high-transmission towers snaking through a state park enjoyed by a million visitors a year.

It’s hardly a local phenomenon. From Texas to Scotland, new clean energy projects that might disrupt wildlife habitats (or vacation views) have become an internecine battleground among green warriors. Fighting climate change by adding renewable energy is good; but upsetting pristine landscapes is unconscionable.

At what point does NIMBY become NIABY, Not in Anyone’s Back Yard?

Related thoughts at The Chilling Effect.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Laura says:

    The environmentalists are doing the same with their big switch on biofuels — just as they’re becoming an effective energy source (hey, haven’t you read Zubrin’s “Energy Victory” yet?), the enviros are denouncing them. The enviros were even in favor on nuclear power in the 1950s, so that they had something to wield against coal plants, then turned against it just as it became widely deployable. Detect a pattern here?

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