The protests against the oil pipeline in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation is about to reach its end game. Whether that ending results in farce or tragedy largely depends on how idiotic the protestors choose to be.

The troubles started when some members of the Sioux nation rose in protest against a pipeline designed to carry oil from North Dakota’s shale fields to a port along the Mississippi.

The Native American activists claimed that the pipeline encroached on their sacred burial grounds and endangered their drinking water. The first accusation is untrue and the second dubious at best.

However, the protests attracted a slew of professional activists from across the country who set up camp near the pipeline site and started violent demonstrations that involved clashes with local law enforcement and vandalism of construction equipment.

The continued protests soon caused a split between the local Native Americans and the interloping whites for a variety of reasons. The Sioux people were aghast at some of the violent tactics being employed by the visiting protestors. They were outraged at how much of a trash heap they had made of their camp. The pattern that developed around Occupy Wall Street, that featured activists camping out in urban centers in sites that soon became toxic waste dumps where women were in serious danger of being raped occurred in the wind swept plains of North Dakota.

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Now, as the saying goes, winter is coming. Winters in North Dakota can be especially brutal, especially for people under canvass in the middle of nowhere who clearly lack survival skills. Local authorities have given the protestors until December 5 to clear out, but do not propose to force the matter if they refuse.

Authorities are counting on the bitter cold to drive the protestors out and stand ready to assist them the moment they decide to flee.

To be sure that bespeaks of the humanity of local law enforcement. However, what happens if the protestors decide that they rather freeze to death rather than leave? Do the local authorities move in to recover the frost bitten bodies of the environmental activists who clearly have little clue about surviving in the Environment? They may have to.

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