Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Few Words About NIMBY

Paul attended the town board discussion of the new broadband towers, as did several of our neighbors. Mostly they were concerned that (1) they might see the tower (they won't) and (2) the tower might require a blinking light (it won't), but there was some mention of destruction of habitat (not in those words, but I believe that was the message) and the fact that us poor folks in the country don't need no Internet. Since we were also referred to as "those rich creeps on the hill," I guess the message was somewhat mixed. One man, known by us only as "the guy who built the plywood shack development," brought with him a picture showing his view, which he claimed would be marred by the tower. His view included a huge telephone pole and a plethora of wires.

At the same meeting, an impassioned woman declaimed on fracking's potential destruction of our way of life.

There is something in us Americans that makes us prefer not to know the derivation of the stuff we use. We don't want to consider that our meat was once an animal or imagine the process that brought it to our table. We think that our water comes through pipes and don't think about its source. We heat our house by turning up the thermostat. We are so divorced from the origins of our household goods and services that it's second nature for us to cry havoc when one of those sources appears close to home.

Unless we're willing to give up using all this stuff, our complaints are specious. I firmly believe that we should obtain power locally, if only to limit the cost (financial and environmental) of transporting it. I am delighted that a local company has stepped up to offer decent broadband service when other, larger companies turned their backs on our community. Anyone who's visited us knows how much we care about the look and feel of this place, but we're willing to sacrifice a small patch of woods in our own BY, ultimately, I think, for the common good.

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