Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Busy dying: aged new NIMBY's and poor kids

...the people who are most vocal in their protests are ones who just want to be left in peace for the last 10 to 20 years of their lives."

I'm connecting these stories: from Germany Spiegel on NIMBYism as the entitlement of the aged, and from the U.K., the Financial Times on "the fastest growing type of inequality over the past five years has been between the young and the old."

Angry Germans: 'Big Projects Face Growing Resistance' - SPIEGEL ONLINE:  
Granmothers opposing electricity: from The Toronto Star:
Residents rally against Mississauga Power Plant
...Wherever ambitious construction ventures loom on the horizon in Germany -- from the cities to the countryside, from the coastlines in the north to the Black Forest in the south -- opponents are taking to the streets.

More often than not, the demonstrators are protesting against projects that stand for change: extensions to airports, railways, new wind farms or power lines. Not even new subways or sports stadiums are exempt.
"Infrastructure developments have always been society's flagship projects, a symbol of progress," says Torsten Albig, governor of the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. But as the public's enthusiasm for constant innovation has lessened, so has the appeal of these sorts of projects, and, as a result, they now inevitably come accompanied by picketers.
Germany's graying society, it seems, is so cozy and settled that it resists anything threatening to upset the status quo. In the process, it has lost sight of the bigger picture. All that matters to these "Nimbies" -- as opponents of new developments have been dubbed (an acronym for the phrase "Not in My Back Yard") -- are their own interests, seemingly oblivious to the fact that German industry relies on intact infrastructure, new roads and train tracks, apartments and power plants, supply lines and shipping routes in order to function.
Read the entire article at Spiegel online. I took both the message that NIMBYs are increasingly people fighting the advancement of economic interests after retiring comfortably, and that talking things through up front is proposed as a solution, but without resolve may be a solution only to a question of how to inflate costs.

Speaking of comfortable retired NIMBY's, this time from a myopic Ontario perspective, Frank Clegg is back fabricating news. "This is just not right" said  the former Microsoft Canada in his successful fight against electricity generation in Oakville (a fight succeeding via "on the basis of a sheer perversion of the facts in studies"). Now, Papa Clegg's got a brand new tinfoil hat, as indicated by Wireless radiation exposure code 'fails to protect Canadians':
A group of Canadian physicians has written to Health Canada about Safety Code 6, the microwave radiation safety guidelines policy. The federal government has invited public comment on its proposed changes, and the doctors, along with a non-profit group called Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST), say they fail to factor in dozens of studies that demonstrate the harmful effects of exposure to everyday technology: cellphones, baby monitors, and even cars and refrigerators.
“Our very strong message is that this safety code fails to protect Canadians from their own cellphones,” Frank Clegg, CEO of C4ST, told an Ottawa news conference.

“It fails to protect children from all-day WiFi in schools, it fails to protect anyone from a cell tower or a smart meter that may be located across the street or outside the window of their home or office building.”
Safety Code 6 was first developed before the Internet existed, Clegg said.
“It is outdated and it failed to keep up with the times,” he said. “More importantly, it has failed to keep up with the established science.”
For those of us familiar with lobbying techniques in Ontario, this hits all the lows:
-claim of medical expertise in a group headed by somebody with no medical knowledge, and displaying none
-claim of "established science"
-claim of worrying about the children.

There's a playbook for anti-productive kooking.

The Financial Times reports that data from "the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggest that the fastest growing type of inequality over the past five years has been between the young and the old..."

This is why young people can’t have nice things | Financial Times
Today’s young people are less likely to booze, take drugs or commit crimes than previous generations. They are sober, serious and staid. Socially, their maturity belies their years. But as a new report makes clear, the Great Recession has made them economically juvenile...
Graphic from the Financial Times article
It is not only older workers who are doing better, according to IFS-JRF. In perhaps its most eye-catching statistic, the report notes that after housing costs are taken into account, “median income among pensioner households overtook that of working-age households in 2009–10 for the first time since records began in 1961″. 
...The fact that young workers take a battering during a recession is to be expected...
What is different – and especially worrying – about this time is that today’s 20-somethings are in many ways doing worse than the generation before them.
Perhaps what is different this time is that two generations before them are active - and successfully opposing growth.

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