As I watch safely from afar, just mulling over the simple aspects of the pipeline and the limited news and issues I know related to it, I feel that there are some serious problems with our country and the mentality of those who drive us nearer and nearer to ecological destruction.
Can this really just be about financial gains? Has common sense become so unused that we would choose money over life itself?
From my point of view as a simpleton, the devastation we allow is just unthinkable when you consider the fact that we could choose to be less harmful to our planet, less harmful to our people, and just as beneficial to job markets and financial growth. I have to believe there is more to this degradation of our standards. Our cultural methods are at play in these decisions, and if we don’t find a big-picture perspective soon, I fear we are doomed to the fates we are courting.
It seems that many citizens and political decision-makers are choosing misinformation over facts. Because of faulty studies and premature data, we are living from moral judgements that simply further our already biased opinions.
Our political stances have become as polarized and prejudiced as our choice in favorite football teams. We choose our red or blue jersey and no longer even bother to listen to the issues or choose a representative of our beliefs. Our point has become a hope to “beat” the opposing team. We look on with greedy glee as the battles further demolish our world.
This makes me wonder if the motivating factor behind people’s opinions for and against the pipeline are based on anything more than the donkey or elephant for which they cheer. Have they even considered the magnitude of the water crisis our world faces? According to water.org:
>> 663 million people, or one in 10, lack access to safe water.
>> Twice the population of the United States lives without access to safe water.
>> The water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), as announced by the World Economic Forum in January 2015.
How do we convince a population so hell-bent on their own team winning, so lost in their desire to win that they will disregard reports by scientists telling us emphatically that our “[mining practices] permanently pollute streams, destroy drinking water sources and threaten forests?”
No matter who wins this fight, I fear we are all going to lose the battle if we can’t see past red and blue.
We have forgotten that we are all red, white and blue. Our inability to see a united “us” in our country is creating a dynamic of destruction. There is no empathy for the Standing Rock Sioux, just as the Romans had no sympathy for the Gladiators. The political battlefields have become playing fields we amuse ourselves on as cheerleaders. Issues have become games of distraction.
All the while, we are losing our humanity in this mob mentality, wildly relating to our fellow fans without any real thought or understanding of the repercussions. This bitter rivalry has everyone lost in blame, refusing to take any personal responsibility to the greater good.
While misinformation continues to cloud good sense, we are living in a world where clean water is really only for the elite. And the day draws ever nearer when there might be no more clean water at all.
The points I have made here are based in concern and care for you and my children—my fellow man. I have been standing outside the political chaos in a simpler reality, and I can see clearly the need to prioritize the Earth and its resources. My approach is grounded in a moral and ethical platform, a place of humanity rather than team or financial concern.
Let’s put aside the pom-poms for a while and come together to actually make something good happen. Let’s all make a huge change of direction and rejoice together in a moral decision rather than a million dollar battle.
I am trying really hard not to let the news rattle me to my bones like it used to. I want to care and do what I can to help protect people and Earth, but not at the cost of my health. For a time, I was so passionate about certain causes that I wreaked complete havoc on my nervous system. That being said, I have a real issue with this Dakota Access Pipeline.
To add your name to the petition fight the pipeline being implemented without environmental review and public comment please take action here.
Author: Traci Burnam
Editor: Callie Rushton