Sunday, July 29, 2007

Environmental justice

The EU is an opportunity for Europe to benefit from a much larger electricity grid which makes wind power plausible. Who knew? The Economist of July 28 includes an article that makes the case.

We all knew of the benefits of a larger extent of the market and it makes perfect sense here too. But it is not simply because of deeper specialization among traders. In this case, because nature makes wind unevenly available, a larger grid is the way to handle the problem.

It's just that the old-fashioned windmills that we associate with the Dutch landscape look so much better than the modern ugly ones that we see on wind farms. But it is positively heartwarming to see the wealthy environmentalists of Martha's Vineyard demand their fair share of "environmental justice."

Many coastal areas here and abroad have wind as well as rich people, many of whom may come to see that it is all about tough trade-offs.