Dakota Update - Sanitation Crews Work Around The Clock To Clean Up Debris Field (video)

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Making a dent in the immense amount of trash being hauled out of the Oceti Sakowin #DakotaAccessPipeline protest camp is being hindered by the weather. The garbage that was left behind is now frozen into massive chunks of junk.

It's estimated it will take 250 trucks filled with litter to clear the camp. Each load that's dumped is inspected by the Morton County Sheriff's Department for contraband and the possibility of dead bodies frozen from the extreme cold. #DAPL

This horrible mess is costly to the community, and defeats the purpose of the entire rally which was to be a fight against oil in to the benefit of the land, the water, and the people.  An organized festival plans for cleanup.  

One official said, "We might just as well have had an oil spill to clean up here."  

Below - a video of the ongoing cleanup effort:

True natives, survivalists, hikers, backpackers, boy scouts, girl scouts, and military all know that you pack your own garbage out.  What was left behind is a disgrace to the effort when environmental activism leads to desecration of the environment.  The good news is that tribal leaders are utilizing much of the donated funds from the viral campaign to pay for a portion of this clean-up effort.  They are happy for the support that arrived.  Many of those supporters were "warm blooded" visitors not prepared for the subzero temperatures, let alone to camp in it.  For many, survival and escape from the freeze became paramount to "bringing garbage along."  

Reducing the use of oil will come in time as technology advances beyond our current infrastructure, as components wear out, and a new infrastructure is needed.  Rapid changes and harsh conflict hurts everyone and the nature we are here to protect.  I look at the timeline of the last 20 years and the energy advancements we have made, and it is astounding to see.  We are moving in a positive direction and rapidly.  Let's keep going!  As new technologies even now are making solar more productive and less costly and soon personal wind energy and water power will follow, let's keep it up!

I don't think any of us wants to put the water at risk.  We off-grid enthusiasts represent a healthy mix of naturalists, farmers, vegans, hunters, democrats, republicans, libertarians, and even facists and communists.  There is an ideal that loves the natural beauty of the planet, and craves to live in it.  Then there is another that craves the communication, connection, and technology of the present.  There is a freedom that comes with producing your own power, water, and fuel that disconnects you from much of this planets' taxation, it's financial system, it's stresses, and creates a simple life.  

In my opinion, the Pipeline is a choice.  Weighing the options, and communicating those options should be the priority.  Since running it under anyones' waters is a risk, let us calculate that risk for the benefit of all.  The U.S. government and the media have done a terrible job communicating why the pipeline may be necessary.  In my time reading through factoids, stories, and clips, I have formed an opinion of my own.  I'll preface it with this little story:

Granny had lived in a place called Scotland Missouri.  Actually she was my college room-mates granny, but took me in for Thanksgiving weekend, and made some fantastic Thanksgiving pies.  She told us the story of how the freeway came through - Interstate 44, and how they didn't get a choice.  They had hundreds of acres of farmland, but the freeway cut it in half right down the middle, and then didn't put any sort of on-ramp nearby to access the other side.  They sold the rights to the project because they didn't have a choice, and then sold off the other side, because it didn't make sense to keep it.  They were troubled and harmed for the greater good of all of us today, when we want to take a vacation, there is a freeway we can take.  Anyone harmed by progress should be fairly and adequately compensated.  

Here in Florida they have wetlands remediation.  When you buy a lot that has mangroves or any type of wetlands on it, and you decide to cover that up with sand or gravel and build a home, you must calculate the square footage that you destroy.  Then you must pay a certain dollar amount to wetlands remediation who then buys back private lands, and restores an equal amount of land, allowing mangroves to grow, and making way for nature.  

In these ways, compromises are made.  

I initially supported the protest and the protection of native lands, and combat the idea that the government ever has a right to intervene in a peaceful protest.  

I have formed an opinion based on the following:

  1. The ugliness of getting our oil from overseas - both the wars that have happened to protect that oil, and the shipping of all that oil through our oceans.  I think it's more secure to have a pipeline running through the land than oil over the oceans.  
  2. I read that it would take 300,000 truckloads of oil per day to make up for the oil transported by the pipeline.  The damage to roads, danger of accidents, danger to our lives on the roads, and amount of fuel used in transporting makes the pipeline a great trade-off.  
  3. I see activism pulling bank accounts from banks who support the pipeline.  I find this crude behavior.  If you don't support the oil, ride a bike and sell your car, buy an electric car and solar panels, or find alternatives to oil and use those.  Until technology has a few more breakthroughs and mass produces them, oil is here for a little while longer, so let's be kind.  If oil vanished, let's be honest, we would be up a creek and our lives would change tremendously for the worse.  
  4. Just as responsible timber companies have learned to re-plant what they take and create renewable sources of timber, so can profitable responsible oil management make enough to pay for damages caused, and if they run profitably, can run a clean operation.  Companies that struggle can't afford to run right.  Companies are owned by hard working people who hear the troubles, hear the complaints, and make the hard decisions.  So make your complaints known, and shop accordingly.  
  5. Let's create shopping patterns that are forward leaning so that we as a society can continue to better our planet.  Buying good techs will help them to grow and to surplant the techs we now use.  I buy eggs that are taken from free range chickens even though they cost more.  In such a way we make decisions that better our planet one chicken at a time.  Or I buy a chicken and raise my own eggs and avoid the purchase altogether.  
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