The Bitterroot Valley of Montana faces the same environmental issues that plague and have plagued societies across the world. The most dominating and prominent of these issues include the aftermath effects of the mining, lumber, and agricultural industries on the quality of air, water, soil, and biodiversity in the Big Sky State. Every one of these issues were introduced by humans and continue to get worse as the population continues to rise. I do not think that these issues can be considered historical in nature, due to the problem of the people. Not only did the increasing population work in tandem with the growing industries mentioned above, but when those industries collapsed or died out, the population of the Bitterroot Valley (and Montana in general) passed blame from person to person until the topic and money became exhausted, and the issue was shoved under the rug until someone is forced to bring it up again. Other issues with the population include public relations (as seen with fire suppression techniques), lack of financial responsibility and the “ignorance is bliss” view that Diamond claims outsiders and tourists have.
Diamond claims that Montana will serve his purpose as a case study to demonstrate five themes in his book. These themes include climate change, human impacts on the environment, importance of society’s response to its issues, a society’s relations with neighboring societies, and exposure to potentially hostile societies. I feel that Diamond failed to demonstrate the last two of these themes through his discussion of Montana, but the first three were unfortunately representative, especially the importance of how a society deals with the environmental issues it is faced with. Montanans and “outsiders” are not the only group of people to distance themselves from issues that they created.