By Shannon Pincheck
The people of Michigan know first hand how vital clean water is. With Flint in such close proximity, students from Walled Lake Central understand that there is a problem with drinking water, not just in developing countries, but in our “backyards” too.
In North Dakota, there are thousands of people gathered together peacefully protesting a pipeline that will carry crude oil across four states. The protesters believe the big name oil companies are only thinking about greed and money and giving no thought to the negative effects of a pipeline of this size and capacity. When looking at the track record of oil barges and oil spills, it is easy to see where these protesters are coming from- the pipeline could burst and contaminate drinking water for people close to the pipeline and those downstream of it.
These protestors are not just protesting against the potential of a pipeline breaking, but protesting for to protect sacred land. A large amount of protesters are from the Native American descent, most likely due to the fact that a huge portion of the pipeline will be under the land of the Standing Rock tribe. Since the beginning of “The New World”, the government and european immigrants have come in and taken Native Land, as if they are entitled to it. If this pipeline were to break, the sacred land of the Standing Rock tribe would be ruined.
The companies are saying that the pipeline would increase local revenues and decrease dependency on the Middle East for oil.They are also saying that making the pipeline and keeping up the pipeline with the crude oil would create lots of jobs for Americans. But at what cost?
To help support this cause, there are many celebrities that have stood up against the big oil companies to fight this pipeline. Leonardo DiCaprio, Shailene Woodley, and Pharrell Williams are just a few to name that have joined the fight for clean water. They’ve shown support for the cause and also work to bring attention to the situation. Shailene has been at Standing Rock protesting, but also posts about it on social media to raise awareness to her millions of followers.
The main problem with this pipeline is the extremely high probability that sacred Native American land will be ruined and the possibility of Americans not having clean water. To add to this, there is also an underlying issue that the media isn’t talking about it which makes a not a well known story. It’s time for more Americans to take a stand beside the tribes gathered at Standing Rock. If people can come together and protest against corporate greed, something can be done for the good of the country.
Photo courtesy of BuzzFeed.com