Not in My Backyard

Saskatoon Green Energy Park. Image from the City of Saskatoon.While I generally dismiss out of hand arguments of the Not in my backyard (NIMBY) nature, I came into one just yesterday that is not so easy to dismiss. Here in Saskatoon, there was a proposal for a green energy park, which included a wind turbine at the landfill (i.e., the dump).

The NIMBY argument is that it’s a noisy eyesore. I suppose if I lived in the area and had to see or hear it all day long, I might believe the same thing. But I’m generally of the opinion that it has to go somewhere and my backyard is probably as good as anyone else’s.

If the noise is actually an issue or there is evidence of problems with birds and bats, as demonstrated by other, similar turbines, then those are legitimate arguments against the turbine. If you just don’t like the way it looks, I’d say that’s not a thing. In this particular case, however, if you don’t like the way it looks and it sits on a giant mountain of garbage, that you’ve had to look at for years and is only getting worse, then you probably have a legitimate issue. And more legitimate when, I’m sure, the turbine can probably be built anywhere in the city, farther away from established neighbourhoods.

This is all moot, because the project has been deemed too expensive and the turbine will not be built any time soon.