BANANA republic - Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything

August 23, 2003

By J. Matthew Phipps

Special to The Seattle Times

Seattle, Washington

To submit a Letter to the Editor:

Today: If you build it, they will complain.

Gone is NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), to be replaced by the BANANA -- Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

The recent blackout in the Northeast is just a symptom of our "Green BANANA" problem.

So are the wildfires we face in the Western states.

But, it's not the science-bound environmentalist that is the problem, it's the pseudo-scientific environmentalist, the one with the loudest voice, posters, bullhorns and condescending attitude that is to blame.

They are the ones that have caused this -- by effectively driving environmental policy for the past three decades.

Serious environmental scientists are just now being heard, (on the idea) that forest protection requires forest management. The hairy tarantula in the bunch of Green BANANAs would rather the scientists just go away.

The same goes for energy production. We can generate safe, relatively clean energy, but for every solution, there is a BANANA with a reason why we shouldn't:

Hydro-electric energy is safe and clean. Sorry, the fish don't like it. Blow the dams.

Nuclear energy, as designed with current technology, is both safe and clean.

But the BANANA will scare you with tales of old technology and fourth-rate Soviet workmanship, and tell you the same will happen here.

Coal, with the new technology, is cleaner than it was, but it won't last forever. The BANANAs "may" be right on this one.

Wind power is clean, safe, and wind farms are cropping up in many places.

But, Green BANANAs think they are a threat to birds, and the vibrations may cause other problems.

And, dude, they don't look nice and they take up a lot of space.

Tidal power is being used in Japan and places in Europe. But, there's a Green BANANA objection there as well; they return to the fishies for that one.

We cannot progress as long as we are buying Green BANANAs, and I'd be willing to bet that the environment will further be harmed if we continue to listen to the unripe bunch as well.

J. Matthew Phipps lives in Gig Harbor.