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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

19 April 2006

Impossible energy

Anne Applebaum writes in the Washington Post: “The problem plaguing new energy developments is no longer NIMBYism, the ‘Not-In-My-Back-Yard’ movement. The problem now, as one wind-power executive puts it, is BANANAism: ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.’ … There's a lot of earnest, even bipartisan talk nowadays about the need for clean, emissions-free energy. But are we really ready, politically, to build any new energy sources at all?”

I find this to be the most accurate assessment of the energy predicament that many Western states in general, and America in particular, face. Opposition to nuclear power is high; oil is perceived to be the devil incarnate, and so are the countries that either produce it or consume it. LNG is regarded as dangerous for security, pipelines dangerous politically (especially in Europe).

Exciting as it may be to believe that a renewable energy source is just around the corner, hoping will not make it so. We need to learn to live better with the energy sources that we have, not with the ones we wished we had.

References:
Anne Applebaum, “Tilting at Windmills,” Washington Post, 19 Apr 06 (link)

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