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Old 02-20-2012, 08:15 AM
 
2,563 posts, read 3,083,225 times
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Why is it that many residents in Puerto Rico oppose virtually anything and everything that equates to modernization and progress? I've yet to understand this cultural trait of ours. It seems like blind opposition to anything that has to do with progress has become Puerto Rico's #1 national sport with baseball far behind at a distant second place.

Most here may be familiar with the proposed 92 mile natural gas line which (as with most other projects) has been received with raucus opposition. To my recollection, there hasn't been one proposed project which hasn't been vociferously opposed by mostly well intentioned yet emotionallydriven/poorly informed opponents.

I recall opposition to the all the following:

- Tren Urbano (a trolley system designed to aliviate traffic in the metro area. It is fully functional)

- Supertubo (a water supply line traversing beneath the northern coast. It is fully functional)

- Cementera de Ponce (a cement producing plant owned by CEMEX. It is fully functional)

- Molinos de viento (proposed wind turbines for the south cost. Never built)

- Planta de Recobro de Energia en Arecibo (proposed Waste-to-Energy plant to reduce garbage crisis. Never built)

- Planta Thermoselect en Caguas (proposed Waste-to-Energy plant to reduce garbage crisis. Never built)

- Gasoducto (proposed natural gas line. Yet to be built)

- Planta de agua potable (reverse osmosis water treatment plant. Yet to be proposed)

- Antenas de comunicación en Moca (cellphone communication towers. Not sure about its status)

It seems like many people would rather adopt a neanderthalistic/third-world/anti-progressive life style before embracing modernity. The opposition I normally hear is starting to sound like a pre-recorded message:

"ay, y si eso explota, ¿que yo me hago?" All I hear is fear of the unknown. Fear of "el cuco."

Can someone please explain the reason for this phenomenon?

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
7,624 posts, read 8,113,732 times
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What makes you think this is exclusive to Puerto Rico? This mentality exists in practically every community in the United States ...

You think it's bad in Puerto Rico ... we have a community here on Long Island that went ape**** over plans to build a White Castle (a fast food chain) location for fear that it would "cause too much traffic" at the proposed location. People were protesting in the streets and writing letters to their US Congressional representative.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:33 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 3,083,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
What makes you think this is exclusive to Puerto Rico? This mentality exists in practically every community in the United States ...

You think it's bad in Puerto Rico ... we have a community here on Long Island that went ape**** over plans to build a White Castle (a fast food chain) location for fear that it would "cause too much traffic" at the proposed location. People were protesting in the streets and writing letters to their US Congressional representative.
A White Castle barely makes a dent in a the quality of life a society affords its residents. There's no comparison between a White Castle and a potable water plant, a waste-to-energy plant, a trolley system, a natural gas line, etc.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:46 PM
 
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People that are like the ones Chacho_keva describes are known as NIMBY's (Not In My Back Yard).

These type of people are all over the U.S., and often oppose projects that would improve their own quality of life.

In the following link you will find quite a few articles published in the New York Times about NIMBY's: Articles about Nimby - New York Times
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
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Good chuckle... so true... As you have said chacho_keva, most people are just scared of the unknown: "can that explode? how much time will it take to build? who will maintain it?" So people often prefer to stay as they are instead of trying to improve.

I remember the wind turbines case. People were saying that they would look ugly and would damage the skyline around the area. Well, as an island, where would you put the darn thing? On top of you house? Of course you will have to put them on a mountain! It's not like we got space to spare to place the things whereever we want.

People tend to cling the a false sense of self righteousness and block any big project because they think it cannot be done for the dumbest of reasons.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:58 AM
 
2,563 posts, read 3,083,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efrenb5 View Post
Good chuckle... so true... As you have said chacho_keva, most people are just scared of the unknown: "can that explode? how much time will it take to build? who will maintain it?" So people often prefer to stay as they are instead of trying to improve.

I remember the wind turbines case. People were saying that they would look ugly and would damage the skyline around the area. Well, as an island, where would you put the darn thing? On top of you house? Of course you will have to put them on a mountain! It's not like we got space to spare to place the things whereever we want.

People tend to cling the a false sense of self righteousness and block any big project because they think it cannot be done for the dumbest of reasons.
I call them NO-istas, that is, misinformed people who oppose anything and everything from an emotional stance, the kind that tend to say:

"¡NO! Eso NO, porque eso puede explotar. . .¡y te mata!"

That's a response/argument I've heard several times regarding a few necessary projects in PR. Some people have a tendancy of imagining the worse case and most sensational scenario. This is the argument currently being used against the proposed natural gas line.

The same argument was used in opposition to the proposed Waste-to-Energy plant in Arecibo which, after 11 years, is once again being proposed with a greater sense of urgency. Why? Because PR is rapidly running out of landfill space. Why? Because of the misinformed NO-ista opposition 11 years ago.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
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I have heard about the landfill problem from the longest of time. I still wonder how come we are not swimming on trash already. What do people think? That we are going to build EVERY little thing here on the island? No, you ***wipe. Parts will be bought from the same developers everyone buys them from. Or at least hopefully, because of how crappy politics are here, the main supplier will probably be governor's nephew, who buys every little cheap and used part he can.

I think this is part of what some people fear, including me. When a big project is developed, who is brought in to develop it? Some highly placed politician relative, so every one is worried about cheap materials being used to build important parts. I remember this was the case with the supertubo. There was some scandal about how bad materials used were and that those pipes won't last long.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:20 AM
 
2,563 posts, read 3,083,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efrenb5 View Post
I have heard about the landfill problem from the longest of time. I still wonder how come we are not swimming on trash already. What do people think? That we are going to build EVERY little thing here on the island? No, you ***wipe. Parts will be bought from the same developers everyone buys them from. Or at least hopefully, because of how crappy politics are here, the main supplier will probably be governor's nephew, who buys every little cheap and used part he can.

I think this is part of what some people fear, including me. When a big project is developed, who is brought in to develop it? Some highly placed politician relative, so every one is worried about cheap materials being used to build important parts. I remember this was the case with the supertubo. There was some scandal about how bad materials used were and that those pipes won't last long.
I can only address the waste management issue given that I was directly involved in the WTE plant proposal from 1998 until 2001. The fact is that, according to the Environmetal Protection Agency (EPA), PR's waste management dilemma has reached a critical point. See the following link:
EPA - Solid Waste in Puerto Rico

WTE in PR has been proposed, analyzed and opposed since 1988. All the while, the amount of landfill capacity has rapidly diminished. By 2020, it is estimated that PR will only have four (4) available landfills in which to bury the more than 10,000 TONS of trash generated EACH DAY on the island. See the following link:
http://cohemis.uprm.edu/forods/pdf/pres_ads.pdf

Despite these facts, there's already fierce misinformation based oppostion which disseminates sensational propaganda such as the following:
Arecibo Se Respeta: Incinerador

It's OK to oppose something from the standpoint of logic, fact and data. Once you've validated and qualified your opposition you then have the responsibility of providing a better solution to what you fiercely oppose.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
353 posts, read 901,029 times
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I agree. It is very easy to oppose anything, but you better have a very good argument on which to base your opposition. Also, as you have said, if you have a good argument, you better find some kind of alternative for the problem; because if you can't, it would be like saying: "You can't do that. Just let the poop hit the fan".

I guess, when we are drowning on garbage, then incinerators will pop-up on every little corner. That's how I've always thought PR's think, sadly.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:08 AM
 
228 posts, read 658,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efrenb5 View Post
I agree. It is very easy to oppose anything, but you better have a very good argument on which to base your opposition. Also, as you have said, if you have a good argument, you better find some kind of alternative for the problem; because if you can't, it would be like saying: "You can't do that. Just let the poop hit the fan".

I guess, when we are drowning on garbage, then incinerators will pop-up on every little corner. That's how I've always thought PR's think, sadly.
Or illegal dumpsites will start cropping everywhere...

ups...that happens already!
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