Thursday, August 05, 2004

Here are two interesting NIMBY stories the General ran across today.

First, in case you live under a rock, NIMBY stands for "not in my backyard". It captures the political attitude that desired yet dangerous or simply unpleasant projects be built (they are desirable, after all), but simply not anywhere near me. Refracted through the lens of globalization, we all want the goodies that global trade can bring to us, but we don't want all that unpleasant infrastructure in our backyard that can interrupt our enjoyment of said goodies.

Cases in point. First, the American Petroleum Institute reported last week that
. . . . more than 90 percent of the gasoline we use is refined in this country. . . . domestic refining capacity utilization is running at record highs -- 97 percent. . . . no new major refinery has been built in the United States since 1976
Looks like the US will be looking to import more gasoline since we can't/won't refine it at home. Best to make somebody else live next to those nasty refineries, anyway -- better yet if they live in some other country and can't bitch and moan to Congress.

Second, Chicago's O'Hare airport is slowing down the entire nation's air traffic system because it is overcrowded.
O'Hare, which handles both cargo and passenger traffic, has more takeoffs and landings each year than any other airport in the world.

On an average weekday this summer, just under 3,000 planes are taking off and landing at O'Hare. During the first six months of this year, there were 490,987 flights arriving and departing the airport.

About two-thirds of arrivals are on-time this year, compared with the 82 percent systemwide goal the FAA sets.

"If it weren't for O'Hare, we'd be making that goal," Blakey said.

Flights departing behind schedule from Chicago will be late everywhere else they fly that day. Seven in 10 passengers flying to O'Hare connect to other flights.
Flying around the country and the world is great -- so long as I don't have to live anywhere near the airport. If those poor bastards who live near O'Hare won't allow the thing to expand, gosh, I just don't know what else to do!


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