Saturday, September 30, 2006

NIMBYs in Iowa

I've been following the debate in Dickinson County over the siting of a good sized hog confinement about 4 miles west of West Okoboji Lake. Like anything, when you build something "raw" too close to a group of gentrified people, they are outraged, even while contributing indirectly to the offender's existence. They are, in essence, NIMBYs, or Not In My BackYard.

Here are a few ways to tell if you or your loved one is a NIMBY:
  1. You are opposed to large scale livestock operations, but you buy your meats at WalMart because they are the lowest cost.
  2. We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, so you purchase a hybrid...SUV. This, in turn, uses more energy to build and to dispose of the batteries when its life is over, and your overall mileage doesn't improve considerably.
  3. You are opposed to GMO (genetically modified organism) corn and soybeans, but you don't care about the farmer having to use more toxic insecticides if GMO corn is banned.
  4. You request that your local grocer (again, WalMart) stock organic foods, but only if they are microwavable and come in disposable, sealed containers.
  5. You drive 100 miles each way to see Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth".
  6. You complain about nitrogen levels in rivers and write letters to the DM Register, but think nothing about the "Weed N Feed" you applied to your lawn.
  7. You're against a new packing plant coming to town because of the "rif-raf" it will draw, but you wouldn't dare check the IDs of the landscapers you've hired.
  8. You decry big pickup trucks as gas guzzlers, but think nothing of driving across town for a chocolate latte at Starbucks.

As you can see, NIMBYism and environmental hypocrisy are very close in nature.

To read more from the Iowa NIMBY point of view, click here, here, and here.


Blogger citizendefender said...

I'm north of you and we have a similar problem, only maybe worse. Locals are complaining about plans to build a coal-fired power plant. They want cheap electricity at the flip of a switch, but the power plant is a bad thing. One problem may be worse because there's activists involved. Here, it's the Sierra Club (from out West) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (from out East) who are organizing the locals and working overtime with clever media initiatives. If you get a chance, visit

But your situation may be bad that way, too. If you look closely, you might find that the Waterkeeper Alliance is behind the opposition to the pork operation. They're a nationwide activist group with a stated goal of shutting down every large hog farm. Like Sierra and the NRDC, they're floating in cash and chock-full with spin artists and rabble-rousers.

6:24 AM, October 01, 2006  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Thanks for the insight - I didn't realize how involved Fenton Communications was in this.

I was told that this plant is unnecessary, and it would be generating power for outside the state. Is this true, or another CAW statement?

Honestly, I'd rather see more wind turbines owned by local farmers and landowners, but of course, the time they produce electricity is not always 100%. I would have to believe that coal fired plants have come a long ways and will have less pollution than previous incarnations.

Once you figure out their motivation, you start to figure out their source of revenue. A person can only stand to be a non-paid activist for so long; once you get good at something, you expect a regular salary, and unfortunately, there are groups out there all too willing to pay a person to bitch and complain.

7:27 AM, October 01, 2006  

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