I’m proud to be a NIMBY

It’s interesting to find others, especially those in other countries, who share one’s views on Things Important and Worthwhile.

Those of us who have struggled to save some of what’s left of the wild have often been accused of being a NIMBY, aka Not In My Back Yard. The connotation is that we NIMBYs are opposed to nearby industrial development, road building, destruction of natural habitat and open spaces because we want to protect them as our personal playgrounds.

Our response has always been, no, we’re opposed to development of the natural world on the principle expressed best by Aldo Leopold:

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” The Land Ethic, A Sand County Alamanc, Aldo Leopold

NIMBYs are opposed to any development that limits or reduces biodiversity, that lessons the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community to which we all belong. In defending our bioregion, our watershed, our ecosystem, our biosphere, we are protecting ourselves and our community of life.

Not In My Back Yard, nor in any Back Yard. NIMBYs Are Us!

It was gratifying to find a 2014 article by Geoffrey Wheatcroft (what a great name!) in The Guardian, celebrating those of us who proudly declare our NIMBYism: “I’m proud to be a nimby. For the environment’s sake, we all should be!”

If each of us proudly wears our NIMBY badge and works to keep our own Back Yards free from destructive development, our biosphere would be in much less peril from unlimited growth and development. It’s an ancient tradition, steeped in the tea of self-reliance, self-responsibility and mutual aid.

All for one, one for all and everyone a NIMBY!





One thought on “I’m proud to be a NIMBY

  1. This is a very important essay for all to consider! Thanks, Michael.

    NIMBY is a term used to ridicule, to discredit and to dismiss those who care not only for the natural world but also for one’s already-developed urban neighborhood. It is well past time to embrace a sense of pride in our principles of caring and working to stop destruction of all backyards. Once we get the destruction stopped dead in its tracks, we can then continue to restore what has already been harmed.



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