Ignore Ignorance

This world is a funny place…

Posts Tagged ‘cars’

NIMBY = Not In My Backyard

Posted by Brandon McKoy on June 12, 2008

So I’m taking this summer course titled “Cities, Suburbs, & Community” which (2 weeks in) has been quite interesting. It’s basically an urban planning course that talks about how modern architecture and zoning policies do not foster community, but stifle it. In order for a community to prosper, the residents of that community must invest themselves in it, otherwise there will be no real progress; which brings me to…the Toyota Camry Hybrid (da da!).

Everyone knows the ridiculous gas situation we have right now (if you don’t, you have issues), and as I’m in the market for a new vehicle the Camry Hybrid fits my needs perfectly. I can save gas, help the environment, and ride in style all at the same time; a no-brainer right? Well…that depends. I’m splitting the cost of the car with my parents, so of course they are going to have a significant amount of say in what car I end up getting. Here’s the conversation I had with my father:

Me: So what do you think? Looks to be a good deal.
Dad: Well, I see that the Hybrid is $6,000 more than the base model.
Me: Yea, but the point is to get a Hybrid. It’ll be best for the long run.
Dad: Well, how long would it take the Hybrid to pay off that extra $6,000?
Me: I don’t know, but that’s really not what matters here.
Dad: Yes it does. We have to get the cheapest deal possible.
Me: At what expense?
Dad: Whatever is necessary for me to save money.

So the environment is supposed to take another one for the team, all so that we can save some cash (which would undoubtedly be spent on something less important). This is a man who participated in sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement, marched on DC for the Million Man March, and was the only African-American on his company’s board of directors; he knows what it takes to create change. However, like so many of us, when an issue doesn’t directly effect him, he sees no need to participate in the change that is needed.

People moan and complain about high gas prices, but they will still pay them if they are able to. Herein lies the problem: Those who wish to make a difference tend to not have the resources to do so. Those with the resources ($$$) to make that difference are either selfish, just don’t care, or are profiting from the status quo. People can buy more efficient cars, use a bike, or public transportation; but if they are not forced to do so they simply won’t. It’s the old NIMBY line. People want change and progress, but not at the expense of their personal time and investment (not in my backyard). Obviously, this socially ingrained mindset leads to endless stagnation. In order for the problem to be fixed, it takes a collective effort (social movement) to get anything done. We all know what must be done; we just refuse to do it…it’s the American way.

Listening to: Chronic Future – Time and Time Again


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