Environmental Activist Regrets One-Sided Narrative

In a recent piece for The Free Press, Lucy Biggers, a former journalist for NowThis News, details her personal journey in the world of ‘environmental activism.’ Eight years ago, Biggers—who was in her mid-20s—produced videos for the left-leaning company on a plethora of issues, primarily focused on highlighting the group’s ideology. In the story, she reflects on helping make the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline “go viral” online, by amplifying emotion-driven, one-sided content despite her conscience urging her consider the other side. Her zeal first started to dim when news came that forty-eight million pounds of garbage were left behind, sticking North Dakota taxpayers with a cleanup bill north of $1 million. As Biggers matured out of her 20s and left NowThis, she began to confront the various problems she had encountered as a self-described “sustainability influencer.”

Reading books that strayed from the conventional progressive party line, she realized the issues surrounding energy were far from simple, writing, “I realized that the environmental causes I had so breathlessly championed were much more complicated than good versus evil.” Considering her short-sighted 20s as an environmental influencer, Biggers notes that fossil fuels have made modern life possible, “freeing women from hours of labor,” and empowering people in millions of ways, an inconvenient truth that her old activist camp never acknowledge. 

Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline, Biggers cites the facts, not fantastical exaggerations or edited montages of celebrities:  the pipeline carries 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois, resulting in hundreds of fewer trains and trucks which leads to less accidents, spills, and emissions. Similarly, she notes that there are thirteen pipelines that currently run under the Missouri River, none of which have ever crossed with the water that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe rely upon. “In fact, three tribes in North Dakota use the pipeline to transport the oil drilled on their land,” Biggers says. Now 34, married and a mother, Lucy Biggers tells us she has become much more realistic about the world we all share, concluding with, “Am I still afraid of speaking out? I am. But I’m also afraid of staying silent.”

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