Sunday, April 1, 2007

Other Side of NIMBY, Fine In Your Back Yard (FIYBY)

Everyone knows about NIMBY. Corporate America, affluent neighborhoods and our larger society have used the concept of NIMBY for decades to drown out the cries of individuals and communities who object to environmentally dangerous and destructive projects being built in their towns, villages and rural communities. The short of it is simple...We tell the chosen community, "stop being so selfish, look at all the good this project will do for the larger society, the plant will generate taxes, or bring jobs and economic renewal to the area, or in the case of Nuclear Power, we need the energy." In short, people and communities not being asked to play host too environmentally dangerous projects, not being asked to accept the risks associated with certain enterprises are fine with someone else accepting those risks so they themselves can reap the benefits.

Perhaps it is time to explore the other side of the NIMBY COIN known as FIYBY (Fine In YOUR BACK YARD). How many Americans have joined committees, groups, and coalitions to keep a particular something out of their communities, yet are fine with that same project being built in someone else's backyard? Can you imagine the public outcry if Walmart announced plans to build one of their SUPER STORES in say Briarcliff, Pleasantville, or perhaps further upstate in the business district of Woodstock? Build the Walmart SOME WHERE ELSE, and those opposing the Walmart in their community, will shop there as long as it is built some place else, such as in your back yard, or mine. Talk about hypocrisy!

If the risks associated with a particular project are too much for your own community to accept, is it fair to expect another community to accept them in your stead? What if for instance Indian Point's 20 year license came with a caveat that during the 20 years of continued operation Entergy was required to site, license and build a replacement AP1000 reactor, or two, or three in White Plains, Scarsdale, or even on the island that is Manhattan? Such a caveat would see hundreds of buses streaming into Peekskill for the public relicensing hearings from points just south of us. Big Guns and Big Money would be out in full force to oppose such a caveat!

Our community has played host to the Indian Point reactors for almost 40 years. Isn't it time another community took a turn at playing host to the risks of supplying power to the masses through nuclear power generation? If you oppose a project in your own back yard, shouldn't you be helping to oppose its placement in MY BACK YARD? Is it fair to ask another to face and accept risks you are not willing to accept for yourselves, your families, your children? If a prison or halfway house is fine for my community, should not it be fine for yours? If the DOE wants to build a National High Level Radioactive Waste Storage Facility (Yucca Mountain) in Nevada's community, why is such a facility wrong for yours?

The whole governmental regulatory process is based on risk verse benefit analysis. The problem with this, is the risk IS NEVER SHARED EQUALLY AMONG ALL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY...someone, or some community is deemed potentially expendable in the name of the greater societal good or benefit to be gained. The Nuclear Industry wants the masses to believe nuclear energy is safe, and without substantial risks...then why do we need the Price Anderson Act to limit their financial liability in the case of a significant incident. If citizens playing host to a reactor face losing everything in the case of a major accident, should not the NRC's licensees face the exact same financial risks? If nuclear reactors are so safe, why have their owners placed each one in a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) to protect the parent company's financial assets?

Statistics show us that America's nuclear reactors account for 20 percent of electricity generated nationwide. Shared risk and/or sacrifice...ask yourselves a question here. Would you rather A) play host to a nuclear reactor in your own back yard, or B) see the larger society share in the joint sacrifice of cutting back consumption by 20 percent so that these 103 aging relics could be decommissioned? There is the rub isn't it? Most think it is fair for some community other than theirs to accept risks so they can enjoy the benefits free of any consequences.

What are each of you willing to sacrifice for the greater good of society? What plan to mitigate Global Warming can we implement that spreads the burden out fairly amoung all of us? For far too long, we as a nation, as a world have traveled down the pathway of convenience and over consumption of the Earth's resources, and the time is fast approaching where the bill is due and payable upon demand, and though we accept that looming reality, we expect someone else, anyone else to pay the bill, expect them, not us to make the sacrifice. Al Gore and his, "Inconvenient Truth" are a perfect example of this wrong thinking mentality...he's out there sounding the alarm, but owns THREE HOMES, and flies around the globe in private jets. Where is his own sacrifice for the greater societal good?

NIMBY cannot and does not exist without FIYBY, and we as a world cannot solve Global Warming with a societal paradigm thats accepts Global Warming as a reality, while thinking everyone else should accept the risks in searching for solutions, expects others to make the is all for one, and one for all, or we are doomed to failure in our quest, though it will be our children's children who will pay the ultimate price. The way to finding answer means less consumption, rather than finding ways to continue it unchecked. Nuclear Energy is not Green, and is not the answer to Global Warming, and expecting other communities to continue hosting these dangerous beasts so you can continue to consume is just wrong.


1. Outlaw all non commercial vehicles that get less than 35 MPG on the highway based on provable studies.

2. Place a large national sin tax on any family (traditional and non-traditional) that gives birth to more than two children, on a per head basis. FACT...unless we bring the human population growth under control, no solution to Global Warming is workable.

3. Eliminate McMansions by placing a yearly obscenity tax on homes above a certain agreed square footage per occupant basis. Does a family of four really need an 8500 square foot abode?

4. One family, one car.

5. Publicly funded projects to solarize every home in America. We build roads, schools and hospitals with public money...why not solarize communities through similar public works programs.

6. Get back to neighborhood shopping, and do away with the LARGE BOX SHOPPING EXPERIENCE. How many gallons of gasoline are burned daily to run out for a loaf of bread, and a gallon of milk? How many workers could walk to work daily instead of driving if most retail sales were done in the local community where they lived?

7. Home Energy Allotments...if you go beyond your usage allotments, you pay a far higher price for the additional energy consumption.

8. Major Green Roof projects implemented in every American city to mitigate the concrete footprint.
9. Community Gardens...the time for fenced in back yards with a pool and a hot tub in every one needs to come to and end. Lets create a new paradigm of shared community resources.

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