Environment of Greed

The Bitterroot Valley of Montana is full of paradoxes, it is beautiful with its flora, yet these plants can actively damage the world, its lush and green yet the water is too salted to use most of the time, and a place known for its mining history is haunted daily by it. The environmental issues plaguing this part of Montana include invasive species, salinated groundwater, water disputes caused by water shortage, decaying infrastructure liable to relax toxic chemicals to the water supply, and toxic soil and waste left over from un-environmentally friendly mining methods. These problems are most certainly all man-made and have a historical root in the actions of the companies and individual’s seeking to become rich off the bountiful landscape of Montana. These actions have led to large amounts of taxpayer and individual’s money having to be spent to attempt to fix the ailments of the land.

As bleak as the situation might seem the Bitterroot Valley is a one of a kind environment to help us understand and learn to fix the environmental damage caused by the capitalistic greed of the past. As stated in Jared Diamond’s “Under Montana’s Big Sky” the area is being used as an example by foreign mining companies that want to avoid these damaging mining practices and the same could be applied to how we think of and deal with soil and water damaging industries. As a whole, the entire toxicology of the land is a PSA on what not to do to maintain a healthy and safe environment.

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