Home | About | Donate

A Pipeline Fight and America’s Dark Past


A Pipeline Fight and America’s Dark Past

Bill McKibben

This week, thousands of Native Americans, from more than a hundred tribes, have camped out on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, which straddles the border between the Dakotas, along the Missouri River. What began as a slow trickle of people a month ago is now an increasingly angry flood. They’re there to protest plans for a proposed oil pipeline that they say would contaminate the reservation’s water; in fact, they’re calling themselves protectors, not protesters.


Bill McKibben writes with such clarity and demonstrates why he is a respected leader in the most important issue of our times. The sanctity of Standing Rock Sioux’s ‘protection’ movement speaks for itself and the eloquence of the participants in their actions and words sets an example for all of us to follow.
This movement defines our future to survive and revive our lives and planet.


Seeing how anybody who is not a Native Americans is an immigrant or descended from immigrants, perhaps we need to take Trump’s campaign a step further and deport all of us not-so-recent immigrants and descendents ?


A point also made by an attorney for farmers in Iowa is that the multi-billion PRIVATE pipeline company, owned by some 4 other billion dollar corporations claim that they have the right to exercise “eminent domain” - that the pipeline is a “public” benefit. Reader here know the actual route of the gaming of this travesty indicating that the ban having been lifted from export of the oil, will be doing just that.

So, what are the constitutional provisions that are being treated as “externalized costs”?
What political entities in the Iowa state government are lobbied and receive to keep those costs externalized to be paid by human lives for the profits of the multi-billion companies??
What % of the externalized cost methodology is forced onto continuation of indigenous genocide for these corporations now apparently totally dehumanized in the egregious Citizens United ruling?

The psychopathic premise that the peoples, knowledge, water, land, biomes, diversity absolutely essential to healthy balances that constitute the BODY of LIFE represented by those “externalized costs” simply disappear must be rejected because as we all know, these do not disappear but rather become aggregate destruction that the addiction to such an insane methodology propagates.

The difficult realization is that the legacy of entities at the scale of the practice of “externalized costs”, which are documented as continually intensifed and internalized by the industries constitutes a parasitic modality that is and always has been absolutely dependent on killing whatever components of its its host are most convenient at any given time. Each time that it does so, the addiction is intensified. Witness the global finance industry now imploding from “derivatives”. Witness the sacrifice of human rights, the rule of law, the environment, information and the “national security state” that must have everything - it is an appallingly consistent record. Witness the BILLIONS spent on PR companies to twist the truth, control outcomes, starting with a lie based on ‘plausible deniability’ because the industrial model has fully internalized its psychotic premise that nothing exists except its interests.


Democracy Now?


What must be noted about this Corporations is the absolute callous disregard they have for that environment and the living space of others, be they people, animal or plant.

As example.

In a presentation to the Government of Canada to allow the development of a mine in Northern BC a Mining compnay included in the proposal that they would use lakes in the area as tailing ponds. This would kill the lakes and all life around them. One lake in question was a sacred lake to the local First nations tribe and a destination spot for many tourists because of its beauty and the fact it was teeming with fish.

The MINDSET is just impossible to grasp. They suggested that there lots of lakes in Canada and there no real harm done if some of them destroyed for the sake of “progress and jobs”. That they can even suggest such a thing is mind boggling, but than the pursuit of profits turn many into fools.


This is a ‘Capitalist’ problem, not a corporation problem.


Thousands of native Americans protesting the pipeline should be a good story for the MSM. But the opinion makers have had little if nothing to say about it. This story will likely be buried alongside the Panama Papers.

Nader used to suggest that we should revoke the broadcast license of media “that no longer meets the character requirements set under the law”.

"But a review of FCC and court records show the FCC has only revoked a handful of licenses since broadcast law was established in 1934, and hasn’t taken a major action of that kind in more than 20 years.

Peter Tannenwald, an attorney at Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, said the FCC has moved to revoke licenses in the past, but never against a broadcaster with the size and clout of News Corp.

“For anybody this big? I think not.”

Even if the FCC moved against News Corp., Tannenwald said it would likely take more than a decade to resolve the court battle that would ensue.

Absent “truly godawful” revelations about behavior at News Corp., Tannenwald predicted the FCC would shy away from pulling the licenses and instead settle the matter with some sort of consent decree.

“It’s just too much resources to spend [on a case],” he said."

Direct Democracy


To be more accurate it a problem with the “Dominionist” model wherein certain people believe the world is to do with as they wish.

The destruction of ecosystems predates Capitalism . The Epic of Gilgamesh, just as example , relates how the ruler made war on the natural world around him to force upon it “Civilization”. Socrates wrote as to how the Mountains of Greece were once covered in forests until those forests were cut down to create more grazing land.

Capitalism and the Corporation are that model taken to the extreme.


“Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow may never come.” Were they Dominionists or Fatalists?


Tribal governments and communities can urge a clearer application of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act And appeal to the President. Consider the ways projects like this “receive federal financial assistance!” Direct and indirect subsidies, tax breaks, trickle down eminent domain, permits, etc. - everything needed to make billions and all built on discrimination. Does the Executive Order regarding Environmental Justice not apply to any fossil fuel project so generously supported by federal agencies?


The Army Corps of Engineers does not have the people’s interests in mind. Remember this is the same outfit that blasted channels through the Mississippi Delta causing vast erosion exacerbating the effects of hurricanes and did not build the levies high enough. Now they fast track the permitting process for this pipeline when clearly many parties were not consulted. Accepting the use of eminent domain by corporations is truly mind boggling - the pipeline a public good, my ass.


I happend to like this writer and this article is up to his level. That being said, DeeCee couldn’t care less about Native Americans, burial sites,religious sites, holy ground, etc. The Feds have proven this out over and over with all our Indian Nations. They have made promises, broke treaties, took the land given and took more and more and are still doing it. They have no rights although the Feds keep saying they do. They are heathens, backward, animals–Isn’t that what our Presidents have referred to all of them, and worse? It’s all BS.

That redneck sheriff should have arrested all the private security and shot the dogs. The activists are within their rights and the law and all others are lawbreakers. This entire race of people has tried valiantly for decades to save their heritage, their way of life, and guess what? The Establishment can’t be bothered with rights, laws, or the law. This is cultural genocide.

If ranchers, home owners can’t stop fracking (the destruction of drinking water and the environment and with proof fracking is deadly with deadly consequences), what chance do they have? Not much. When the American Indian bought the lies, we killed their buffalo. Ran them to ground and slaughtered them like animals. They made peace and were starved, crowded onto reservations where nothing could grow or live. We took Black Hills when gold was discovered. We killed some more. And here we are, here they are decades later, still fighting for their very lives.

I’m so goddamn proud!


As per Newsday, Thurs Sept 8 :

North Dakota

Jill is now wanted by local Cops for standing with the Sioux and spray painting “I approve this message” on a Bulldozer blade.

“Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.”


We can’t let them lose. This is a critical fight for symbolic reasons; because it amounts to a domestic-only version of the XL pipeline, and we didn’t defeat that only because it originated in Canada, did we? And because of the enormous resonance of hundreds of tribes coming together to defend native land. If they are starved out or dragged off to jail, it means the end of any vestige of the US as an honorable country. It must not be only a fight between natives and the oil companies (the fact that “mainstream” (corporate) media has not covered this fascinating story is an ominous indication of where the administration stands. We white people have to stand with the native defenders, and how can we best do that? Send money? Write letters to editors? Drive to North Dakota?


PS This letter from McKibben is not enough. He should be mobilizing the whole 350.org network to howl in outrage, to write letters and make phone calls, to set up some more civil disobedience trainings. The trouble with most nonprofit organizations is they don’t want to invest any resources into actions they didn’t cook up themselves.


Mr. McKibben, does 350.org accept support from the agribusiness (animal slaughter) industry? I cannot help but notice that all of your articles published on this site place the spotlight on the coal, oil, and natural gas/pipeline industries as the main drivers of global warming. The animal slaughter industry is the main driver, but you never point that out. Is it your intent to confuse the public, or to enlighten the public?http://www.new-harvest.org/the_world_s_leading_driver_of_climate_change_animal_agriculture


It may be a driver, but I don’t see it as the main driver.