Dakota Access Protesters Trashed the Land? So, they are being accused of doing so, is it true?
On February 7, the Trump Administration gave the final green light to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, bringing an end to the efforts of thousands of water protectors gathered to protest its construction. The media coverage at Standing Rock has been divided at best, and even now, as the last of the people have been forced to evacuate, they are accused of trashing the land around them.
People all over the world started arriving last August (and even earlier) because they want clean energy and believe it is time we fight our dependence on big oil with greener technologies, not pipelines that threaten our precious ecosystems. The thousands of protectors who gathered made their presence and voices stand in unison not only to protect the waters potentially affected by this pipeline, but to show that it truly is hip to be green. As Louise Liu pointed out in Business Insider, the protest helped reshape “the national conversation for any environmental project that would cross the Native American land,” despite ultimately losing the battle against NDAPL. We hope that the conversation will also continue at national and even global levels to stand in solidarity against companies who harm our earth.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has refused to extend the deadlines needed for the protectors to return to the land and collect the donations and their personal belongings held at the camp. Because of the winter, especially with freezing and thawing temperatures that create tremendous mud, many people cannot return to collect their items. The USACE’s refusal to work with them will cost taxpayers roughly $1 million for them to complete the cleanup. Many belongings have been bulldozed and tossed into the landfill.
What a waste.
Depending on your point of view, you’ll find a story about the cleanup (or lack thereof) that suits your worldview. This type of relativism lends many to believe that “alternative facts” can be used to label anything that doesn’t match how we see things. But in some cases you can leave all of that behind, and just do what you know to be right. Being green can happen, no matter what facts you want to listen to.
Being green is about small, tiny choices you can make all day long— regardless of what you believe about protecting our environment. Many people choose to bring less and less chemicals in their homes. From cleaning products to organic food to the creams we rub on our skin, there has been a strong movement to “green ourselves up” from the insides of our homes to the insides of our bodies. We want to protect our family’s health. We make these choices apparent with the products that we buy, and when you see the availability increasing you know that the demand is also raising for these types of conscious consumerism. It is Hip To Be Green! Many of us choose not to bring toxins into our personal environments, even if climate change is not something we choose to acknowledge or think about. However, you can also make small, tiny choices that help to keep our planet clean. You can be an earth protector every day. Whether “Green” is only to protect your family’s health or to protect the Earth, It is Hip To Be Green!