Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe: We are killing our planet
Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe says Standing Rock protests are a reminder that we're consuming our planet's limited resources at an unsustainable rate
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is close to the project's path, believe the proposed 1172 mile pipeline would affect their supply of drinking water and could lead to potential oil spills. They also argue the project will disturb a sacred burial ground.
Blythe, who joined the camp in protest last week, says we need to ask ourselves a "most important" question – at which point will humanity decide whether to leave a world behind "where human beings can survive in the future?"
In an article for Rolling Stone, Blythe says: "I am a touring musician who makes his living traveling around the world in vehicles powered by fossil fuels. I flew in a plane and drove a car to get to Standing Rock – this required fossil fuels.
"As I look at the area I write this, on a mere two-foot-by-three desktop, I see my computer monitor, wireless keyboard, a writing pen, a synthesiser, a lamp, a cell-phone charger – all of these things contain plastic, a substance most often constructed from petrochemicals – chemicals derived from petroleum, a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are pervasive in my life. They are in yours, too."
He continues: "Fossil fuels also pollute the ever-loving crap out of our planet. This is not a matter of debate. This year, smog in Los Angeles was at its highest level since 2009, with hospitals and clinics reporting increases in patients seeking treatment for respiratory illness associated with bad air quality. It's worse elsewhere – in Beijing, my eyes burned after one hour of arriving in the city, just from walking around the area near my hotel. Oil spills poison our waters, wiping out marine life.
"The supply is going to run out. So what will happen then? Will we take off in our spaceships and hope we can find some other planet suitable for raping? And how will we fuel those ships once we've drilled the earth dry?
"The events at Standing Rock are a timely reminder that we are killing our planet, and it is the only one we have. We have to begin damage control now, and as one race start embracing clean energy alternatives.
"This will obviously not occur overnight, and the millions of hard-working people who feed their families by working in the fossil-fuel industry will need to be provided with a way to earn a living.
"It's going to take a lot of research by people a lot smarter than me, it's going to be very difficult, and it's going require some complex, forward-thinking actions during an uncomfortable transition period. But we don't have a choice, do we?"
Rock icon Neil Young recently called upon President Barack Obama to put an end to "human rights abuses" against protestors at Standing Rock.