NIMBY ENVIRONMENTALISM

Pity the poor San Franciscans in those well-to-do waterfront neighborhoods.

The tidal wave of “homeless people”, who come to San Francisco – among other major cities – because elected officials have put a welcome mat out for them, are (gasp!!!) affecting their formerly beautiful, quiet, peaceful, insulated existence.  And that can’t be.

No fair!  It has to stop!!!

But there is a problem;  how do they attack the homeless without being called haters, racists, inhumane sub-humans…and hypocrites, given that so many of this bunch were happy to welcome homeless people to San Francisco as long as they camped out somewhere else?

Why…. they go after them on environmental grounds.

That’s right.  Environmental grounds.

From Vivian Ho’s article for London’s Daily Guardian:

The wealthy San Francisco residents who launched a crowdfunding campaign to block construction of a new homeless shelter in their waterfront neighborhood are employing a new tactic: arguing that homeless people are bad for the environment.

In a lawsuit filed against the city of San Francisco and the California State Lands Commission, the residents called for the project to undergo an environmental review before breaking ground.

“This project will have a significant effect on the environment due to these unusual circumstances, including by attracting additional homeless persons, open drug and alcohol use, crime, daily emergency calls, public urination and defecation, and other nuisances,” the lawsuit states.

Opponents of infrastructure and affordable housing projects often call upon the California Environmental Quality Act as a stalling ploy to delay construction. The law requires developers to explore any environmental effects a project might have, and take steps to reduce them

Does this surprise you?

I hope not.  Because the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) philosophy is nothing new – especially from rich hypocrites who are happy to saddle others with problems they think their money and influence should buffer them from.

You can almost hear them say it:

“See, we’re be OK with these lovely folks with their tents and their panhandling, and we’re very understanding when they relieve themselves, front and back both, on the street, and we are completely tolerant about so many of them being drug addicts who leave their used needles on the streets as well.  It’s just that we are environmentalists – you know, like the Sierra Club – fighting to keep these streets pristine.  

“It has nothing to do with the fact that the homeless camps can take down our property values.  And it has nothing to do with the fact that we don’t want our children wading through human waste and drug paraphernalia, not to mention co-mingling with these people because, or that we see them as sub-humans we don’t want our families to come in contact with on a day-to-day basis, or that we’re fine with this as long as it’s in someone else’s neighborhood, so it’s their problem, not ours.  Honest.”

NIMBY Environmentalism.  The new abnormal in San Francisco.

Expect more of it.  A lot more.

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