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What is wrong with Nimbys? Renewable energy, landscape impacts and incommensurable values

Schwenkenbecher, A. (2017) What is wrong with Nimbys? Renewable energy, landscape impacts and incommensurable values. Environmental Values, 26 (6). pp. 711-732.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.3197/096327117X15046905490353
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Abstract

Local opposition to infrastructure projects that implement renewable energy (RE), such as wind farms, is often strong even if state-wide support for RE is strikingly high. The slogan 'Not In My Backyard' (NIMBY) has become synonymous for this kind of protest. This paper revisits the question of what might be wrong with those who are NIMBYs about RE projects, and how best to address them. I will argue that local opponents to wind farm (and other RE) developments do not necessarily fail to contribute their fair share to producing a desirable public good (clean energy). In fact, with landscape concerns being at the heart of much protest, the question of fair burden distribution becomes sidelined: landscape impacts cannot be distributed nor compensated for. Protests may be attempts to express a true conflict of (incommensurable) values. Understanding them as such will help us better address NIMBY concerns and overcome such opposition through ensuring procedural justice.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: White Horse Press
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/39375
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