Last Sunday I was asked to speak at the 20th birthday party of the excellent and gloriously small wildlife charity the Little Ouse headwaters Project — https://www.lohp.org.uk/
Here’s a little of what I said.
“Nimbyism — an acronym for Not In My Back Yard — is supposed to be a reprehensible thing: standing in the way of the interests of Big Business and Big Government – insofar as they can be separated — out of a selfish desire to protect your own. But I have a lot of time for Nimbyism: at its heart it’s about people trying to protect something they love.
“The point of Nimbyism is not that it’s fine to trash someone else’s favourite place so long as you leave mine alone: it’s that trashing the natural world is a bad idea wherever its taking place: and the people on the spot are best placed to protect it. The more we can build up a network of Nimbys, the stronger we will be when it comes to protecting what matters…
“The big things that happen in the world seem sometimes to be dictated by the people who want to conquer it: who want to make huge statements and leave a mark. Those that succeed usually leave their mark in the form of war, horror, deprivation, inequality, damage, pollution, destruction and disaster.
“And while this goes on the great majority of us are trying to live decent lives in peace while looking after the people and places we love. That is why little things work out better than big ones: and the more the small things can link up the louder our small voices become.”