Mounds of Trash Left Behind by Environmentalists as Camps are Cleared

Wednesday, February 22, was set as the deadline for protestors to leave one of the largest camps near the Dakota Pipeline that was on federal land. Although many left early there were still some that decided to stay behind, which in turn led to their arrest as reported by NPR’s Rebecca Hersher.

The main purpose of these camps was to try to halt the progression and completion of the Dakota Pipeline due to worries that it would contaminate the drinking water for that area. This stems from the fact that part of the pipeline will be run, “under a section of the Missouri River known as Lake Oahe,” as Hersher stated in her article.

However what people aren’t discussing is all the trash and debris left behind by the protestors. We are told they’re environmentalists, which by definition tells us is, “a person who has a specially strong interest in or knowledge of the natural environment, and who wants to preserve it and prevent damage to it.” So it begs the question why these environmentalists would leave so much trash and debris behind?

Time’s Blake Nicholson and James MacPherson talked about how a massive cleanup has been in progress for weeks, starting with protestors and now being taken over by Army Corps. However, my question is why wasn’t this debris taken away step by step as each protestor left? Yes, some stayed to help clean up but to the many that left without cleaning up and claim to be environmentalists, now that is quite the double standard. They’re all concerned about making sure the pipeline doesn’t contaminate the water, but they don’t seem to be worried about the contamination from their left behind trash and debris that may be carried into drinking water sources when it rains.

(view images on NPR)

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