We must rapidly cure ourselves of this disease or it will take us all down
I was at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, during the Thanksgiving holiday supporting Indigenous Peoples, the Water Protectors, from over 300 tribes and their allies from around the world. Thousands of people, with 2,000 veterans from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan about to join them. Their aim is to stop Sunoco Logistics and its Dakota Access Pipeline from crossing Standing Rock ancestral lands and drilling beneath the Missouri River.
I came away with the belief that what is happening at Standing Rock is an existential confrontation between two opposing world views. One is represented by the Indigenous Water Protectors and their allies who believe our future depends on respecting the land and water on which human life depends. The people on the front lines are very brave. They stand, carrying their banners, chanting, and praying with arms reaching toward the sky. They are unarmed as they face the Morton County Police. They have all been trained in non-violent civil disobedience. No weapons of any kind. And no drugs or alcohol are allowed in the camps.
The aggressor side, with militarized police defending their interests, is represented by those who insist on unfettered extraction of non-renewable fossil fuels no matter the consequences. Greed versus a habitable planet.
Because of where we find ourselves at this precarious moment in history, with the reality of climate change close to its tipping point, if the short-term, profit-oriented view is allowed to prevail, it could actually spell the end of human life as we know it.
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