02 October 2009

65 Days - The Problem is Another Kind of NIMBYism

You know what NIMBY means, right? It stands for Not In My BackYard. And it is still quite common, for example, amongst people fighting the installation of wind farms. (Have you seen "The Age of Heartbreak, er, Stupid" yet?)

It struck me the other day that the reason the climate change emergency has not garnered the attention it deserves is another form of NIMBYism. Because it's not in my backyard, I can't see it (don't see it; won't see it) and therefore I don't care about it.

I've started getting angry with people who talk like that. As though the children dying from drought in Africa are not our children. As though the people losing their homelands in the Pacific are not our brothers and sisters. As though the Inuit in the Arctic who are losing their homes and their ancient way of life are not our relations.

Even Mr. Compassion himself, the Dalai Lama, didn't talk about climate change until he realized that the glaciers in Tibet were melting. (It seems a little attachment is a good thing these days.)

Don't people realize that what's happening to the children in Africa now will very soon be happening to our own children, here in our own backyards?

It's still amazing how many people refuse to see what is not right in front of their noses. Maybe we need to give everyone a nose that reaches to Africa and the Maldives and the Arctic!

Damn it, where is Pinocchio when we need him?

(With thanks to André Koehne for the art.)

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?