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The NIMBY Syndrome

The NIMBY Syndrome

Sometimes we come across words that we don’t understand, don’t make sense, or are even strange to us. One such word is “nimby”. Well… the term “nimby” is actually not a word but an acronym that stands for “Not In My Back Yard”. As it progressed in usage, NIMBY became a descriptive term to express acceptance of the need for something but this something is something one doesn’t want near one’s home… therefore, not in my back yard! Nimbies are persons who would normally say: “You could have or do anything you like so long as it’s nowhere near me.”

Environmental advocates and activists are often called “nimbies” simply because they oppose infrastructure projects that violate environmental laws and principles… especially land use-related ones. This term is really a misnomer for an environmentalist because a true pro-environment person will never say he “approves of something, an activity or event so long as it’s nowhere near him”… a genuine environmentalist will categorically say he disapproves of something… here, there or anywhere on planet Earth.

NIMBY also applies to a group of people with common aspirations typically living within the same vicinity. It is a term to describe a social phenomenon that occurs when a significant number of people in a social, geographic, or political group are opposing a future or an ongoing event. The term has negative connotations typically applied to an opposing group by the approving group of such event. It is often called the NIMBY syndrome.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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