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What Comes From “Not In My Backyard!”

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New York City is a forever growing hot spot of fashion, entertainment, art and the sciences.  With a total population of over 8.4 million people (and growing), New York City requires a tremendous amount of energy, goods and services to thrive every day. Thus, the power plants, transfer posts, warehouses and distribution buildings needed to help keep the city boroughs stay economically afloat must go somewhere.

The infamous phrase “not in my backyard” was coined in the early 1980s and is now commonly used in the debate over environmental justice. The phrase means that these warehouses and factories need to be put somewhere but if you have the economic standing and time to spend fighting the development of these industrial sites, there is a higher chance that they will not be built in your district. On the other hand, if you are not economically fortunate or if you are too busy with other obligations, it is much more difficult to fight these developments.

In recent years the Bronx, one of New York City’s boroughs, has fallen victim to this injustice time and time again. As of 2010, according to a report issued by the Center For American Progress, the area of the South Bronx was the poorest congressional district.  The people of the area have been, and still are being, taken advantage of.  However, this isn’t stopping the residents of the borough to take action. In the summer of 2006, activist Majora Carter delivered a stunning TED Talk about environmental racism titled “Greening the Ghetto”.  She has become not only a role model and inspiration for residents of the Bronx, but also a template for environmental activists around the world. Carter refuses to be beaten, to give up or to be taken advantage of.  She embodies the inspiration and enthusiasm that everyone should be hungry for.  When watching her speak, you can’t help but to share her passion.

Carter is not alone. Although environmental racism and injustice still occurs, many are taking a stand and joining the movement. This is bigger than any one house, neighborhood, borough, city or state.  The movement against environmental injustice is a fight for the happiness and health of every resident. The fight against environmental racism and environmental injustice is a fight for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

If you want to learn more about this cause please follow this link.


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About the author

Hello! I am currently a college student working on getting my B.S. in Sustainability Science. I like to write about all different types of environmental issues that concern me.

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